The divide-and-rule tactics of US imperialism suffered a new setback, and the Bolivarian Alliance for the People’s of Our America (ALBA) was strengthened, by the landslide victory that returned the Sandinistas to power in Nicaragua’s November 2011 elections.
According to estimates by the electoral authorities, once nearly 86% of the votes had been counted, President Daniel Ortega had won 75% of the votes on a 70% turnout. Overall, in the congressional elections, the Sandinistas won just under 63% – more than double the votes won by their closest rivals, the Independent Liberals.
The Cuban newspaper Granma International, summed up the situation, stating:
‘An administration with majority popular support, and which benefited the most dispossessed of this poor central American national – this is the key to its triumph’.
An opinion poll found that the most popular Sandinista policies were its housing projects, accounting for 53% of government spending, and an employment programme that received another 18.6%. Other popular Sandinista programmes included road building, free education and scholarships. There has also been an impressive fall in infant and maternal mortality rates, and significant advances in controlling HIV/AIDS and other contagious diseases. The World Health Organisation’s representative in Nicaragua believes that the country is on course to meet the Millennium Development Goal to reduce maternal deaths by 75% by 2015 (compared to the year 2000).
All in all it is no wonder that these improvements – brought about with valuable assistance from Cuba and Venezuela, in the framework of ALBA – enabled the Sandinistas to comprehensively rout the assortment of US-funded bourgeois forces ranged against them.
Inevitably, there was a furious reaction from the most rabid sections of US imperialism. According to Granma, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chair of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs launched a furious attack on Ortega’s re-election and demanded the election results be considered invalid. Clearly by voting in the Sandinistas, the Nicaraguan people had violated the basic right of the US to run the country, via its bourgeois placemen… but then again, such violations have been a refreshingly common occurrence in Latin America of late.