Nicaraguan President-elect said he would not push for radical reforms.
Nicaraguan President-elect Daniel Ortega seems to have left his revolutionary past behind, according to his first public appearance after winning Sunday presidential vote. In a speech aired on Wednesday, the leader of the Sandinista Front for the National Liberation, said he would not push for radical reforms, as promised to make efforts to keep alive the economical stability reached after 16 years of austerity programs fuelled by the US-backed conservative administrations.
"I am not contemplating dramatic, radical changes in the economy, which has stabilized in recent years," said Ortega, in an attempt to bring calm to local business leaders. Additionally, the former revolutionary leader, vowed to prevent land seizures and work with the International Monetary Fund even as he attacks the widespread poverty that led voters to give him another chance.
During his first rule in the eighties, Ortega confiscated businesses and lands as his leftist militias were fighting the Contra rebellion financed by Washington. A Cuba-styled trade blockade promoted by the US plunged the nation into chaos and wrecked ambitious anti-poverty plans passed by the revolutionary government.
Ortega has dropped much of his Marxist approach of the eighties for a center-left program, which has been accepted by the country’s elites who fiercely fought him 20 years ago.But renovated Ortega wants to preserve Nicaragua’s independence in terms of foreign policy. His presidential bid was openly backed by two Latin American Washington’s foes: Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez and the Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
Castro, a key backer of Ortega's leftist government in the 1980s, said Ortega's win "fills our people with joy, at the same time filling the terrorist and genocidal government of the United States with opprobrium." Chavez has said he and Ortega would be "uniting as never before" to construct a socialist future.
“Now like never before, the Sandinista revolution and the Bolivarian revolution are together. On to build the future, the socialism of the 21st century!" Chavez told Ortega in a telephone chat broadcast on Venezuelan state television.
As the White House worries about these supports, the US State Department supported conservative banker Eduardo Motealegre, who acknowledged on Wednesday Ortega’s victory.