Daniel Ortega schmoozes ayatollahs

From Reuters, June 10:

TEHRAN – Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who wants more aid from the United States, called on Sunday for a new world order to replace “capitalism and imperialism”, at the start of a trip to arch U.S. foe Iran.

His comments echoed some remarks by his Iranian counterpart who often attacks “imperialist” and “arrogant powers”, although Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a more vehement critic of Washington.

Ortega has raised eyebrows in Washington, which broke diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980, for forging ties with the Islamic Republic. But the Nicaraguan president said he did not need permission about who to befriend.

“We have chosen our friends by our own will and we haven’t got permission from anyone,” Ortega said shortly after arriving in Tehran, the official IRNA news agency reported.

“In negotiation with America we have explained our personal and political positions towards imperialism … Imperialism and capitalism should be removed and we should create a peaceful and friendly world,” Ortega added.

Ortega, a Cold War-era enemy of Washington, had earlier said he would travel to Iran on a jet loaned to him by Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, a former U.S. foe who has been developing better ties with Washington.

The Nicaraguan president, like Ahmadinejad, is also an ally of U.S. antagonist President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

The Iran trip will focus in part on getting Iranian investment in Nicaraguan factories that build tractors and other agricultural equipment, Ortega said before the visit. Business links were a topic when Ahmadinejad visited Managua in January.

“In this trip (by Ortega), the agreements between the two countries which were agreed in Nicaragua will be finalised and put into effect,” Ahmadinejad said, IRNA reported.

State media also quoted Ahmadinejad saying Nicaragua had been wounded by “the lashes of colonialism”. Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla who fought U.S.-backed Contra rebels during his 1980s government, later on Sunday met Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“Today America is the most hated government in the world,” Khamenei told him, the ISNA news agency reported.

Ortega said according to the same news agency: “Today America is isolated among other nations.”

You see, this is the problem with fuzzy-minded populism. Have the ayatollahs ever given any indication that they are not capitalist? Danny is confusing anti-capitalism with vulgar anti-Americanism. Everyone talks about Ortega’s post-Marxism as a sign of political maturity. We dissent. A real Marxist would recognize the clerical reactionary state capitalists of Iran for what they are.

Oh, and a note to Reuters: Where did you hear that Ortega is seeking more aid from the US? And “new world order” is a rather poor choice of paraphrase, given that it was first invoked by George HW Bush to denote the unparalleled US hegemony of the post-Cold War era. How about “new new world order”?

See our last posts on Nicaragua, Central America and Iran.