Daniel Ortega and Jimmy Morales Face Supranational Powers
Their disqualification of the CICIG and GIEI, respectively, makes them the spearhead raised by their respective nation-State.
A basic premise of some of the theories of globalization is the declining power of the nation-states that accompanies or takes place amid the growing preponderance of supranational organizations in the orientation of politics with capital letters. In practice, this reconfiguration of the individual States’ margins of actions has crystallized in the strengthening of the tentacles of imperial power.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have expanded the financial markets for decades—with notable benefits for Wall Street—through decisive actions in the direction of public affairs of nation-states throughout the world.
The asymmetries they introduced between national powers and supranational powers were underlined by the Nobel Prize winner in economics Joseph Stiglitz, in the Globalization and its Discontent: “We have a system that could be called a global government without a global state, in which a handful of institutions—World Bank, IMF, WTO—and a few participants—finance, economic and trade ministers, closely linked to some financial and commercial interests—control the scenario. Most of those affected by their decisions have almost no voice…the Fund does not report directly to those citizens who pay it or to those whose lives it affects.”
The United Nations and its various branches that seek peace, political stability and respect for human rights have also been increasing their power, shaping the social and political agendas of not so few nation-states. But its capacity is far from equaling that of the international financial institutions (IFIs).
The UN proposes, the IFIs impose. In general, the attitude of its officials tends to be extremely complacent with governments. They do not limit themselves to bridge differences. They make sure to purge the studies they entrust to external consultants until they are free of any critical pollution that could get stuck in the hypersensitive governmental gullets.
In Guatemala and in Nicaragua—and in many other countries—it is totally inadmissible to state in a United Nation’s report something as innocuous as that there are young people who migrate because they disagree with governmental policies. United Nations officials prefer to inhabit fictitious countries, even when they have the data available that could help them face—or perhaps neutralize—a threat in its embryonic state.
When the blood flows, as it happened during the April-October rebellion, its officials have no choice but to publically admit what everyone already feared, knew and suffered.
That is what happened belatedly to the OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, who for years came to Nicaragua to hand out smiles and pats on the back. He repeated “Nicaragua is not Venezuela”—and so it was and still is, taking into consideration all conditions. But not in the sense that he wanted to give it, because in that sense Nicaragua is as dictatorial as Venezuela—and he explained that the reforms to the electoral system were marching at a firm and sure step.
Now, the OAS has been using all its mechanisms to find a solution to the crisis in Nicaragua for months. The UN accompanies it on this mission, with less visibility but the same perception of what is happening. They are two supranational bodies with a similar mission regarding Nicaraguan current affairs: stability, pacification and strengthening institutions.
The reaction of the Ortega regime has been to disqualify the reports of the OAS and the UN, vilify Luis Almagro, expel the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI in Spanish) and cram together all the aforementioned under the label of agents of imperialism that have an “interfering and interventionist action,” as said by Foreign Ministry Moncada.
In the north of the isthmus, the fight against corruption that the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) has been fighting for years led to a confrontation with President Jimmy Morales. A low level comedian that a group of military turned into their puppet, who only enjoys autonomy when he is dedicated to pursuing young secretaries, interns and other female public officials. Some of the cases of sexual harassment date back to his period as “Black Pitaya,” his most shameful character: a Morales full of shoe-polish who embodied—ridiculously—an afro-descendant Guatemalan.
When the investigations of CICIG followed the trail of corruption, his personal interests coincided more than ever with those of corrupt businessmen and politicians. They all join together in a common cause, in what was cleverly called a “pact of the corrupt,” to eliminate the CICIG. The expulsion of Commissioner Ivan Velasquez was one of the first convincing goals scored by those in the pact (August, 2018).
The following blow was the expulsion of the CICIG by declaring, in advance and unilaterally, that the mission of this organization was terminated (January 7, 2019) and, thus, the agreement that the Guatemalan State had with the UN in this regard, arguing that “CICIG officials violated the human rights of Guatemalan citizens and foreigners residing in the country,” as said by President Morales.
Morales and Ortega are two leaders with the same vilification discourse against those who perform an impartial scrutiny of their administration. Their disqualifications of the CICIG and GIEI, respectively, makes them the spearhead raised by their respective nation-States against supranational powers.
Morales wants to install a dictatorial power opposing other powers of the State (the Constitutional Court, the Prosecutor’s Office), Ortega has a consolidated dictatorship, although tottering. Their modus operandi unite them, above and below their supposed ideological differences.
It does not matter if one is a puppet of the same army that massacred until total annihilation Maya communities in their fight against communism, and the other is a self-proclaimed socialist who underpins his rule with the support of a police and an army led by former guerrillas.
The differences in the ideological color only mean that Morales believes that Commissioner Velasquez has leftist inclinations and that Ortega accuses Secretary General Almagro of being an agent of the right.
Both presidents now raise the flag of national sovereignty because they need to be assisted by an ideology that convokes the sympathy they lack for their fellow citizens.
The banner of sovereignty is not negligible. But it looks very different in the age of globalization. In practice it has not been a flag, but at most a Kleenex with which the Latin American pseudo-left of ALBA—and now also Morales—blow their snots every time a supranational power reprimands them.
Even attacking the United States is clearly not cool and outmoded in a context where there are hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans and Nicaraguans living in that country and others who keep the American dream alive. And there is still more: the sovereignty that Sandino defended with weapons in hand, was given by Ortega in exchange for a few dollars more from the IMF and the illusory yens from Wang Jing (the one of the canal project, in case someone does not remember anymore).
This does not mean that supranational organizations are omnipotent. The reach of the juridical-political mechanisms of the UN and the OAS are not clear. It is clear that its officials have a lot more patience than the people they should assist in their struggles against dictatorial powers.
The current situation in Guatemala and Nicaragua has subjected them to a tough test. We are witnessing the painful limits and slowness of their limited resources and their toothless protocols, but also the commitment and professionalism of some of their officials.
It continues to be clear that the supranational arm of finance has more strength than the one of human rights, as if the supranational animal were a fiddler crab with extremely unequal arms. That is why the blow imposed by the Nica Act through the IFIs was required, a genuine effective power among supranational entities, for good and for bad.