A Week Lost In Time
Daniel Ortega (right) As I Remembered Him
The other day I heard a story on the radio from Democracy Now that Dick Cheney and Oliver North had traveled to Nicaragua this week. It seems that Nicaragua is having an election and that Sandinista Daniel Ortega-- I'm sure you remember the name-- has a good chance of being re-elected. This would yield yet another left wing government in this hemisphere. Hence, some menace from the Northern Empire seems essential. You can read about it here and here. The story doesn't seem to have gotten much play in the US. Maybe it's evidence that with wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US doesn't have as much energy as before to play its previous interventionist role throughout Latin America. You'll recall, perhaps, what an imminent danger Mr. Ortega was to the US two decades ago and the efforts of the Reagan administration to repress him.
Salvador Allende (right) As I Remembered Him
And then there's the news this week that in Chile Augosto Pinochet is about to be indicted. It's an odd synchronicity that I heard this news as I was reading Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden. When I started reading it, it felt extraordinarily powerful, but the political events, in my mind anyway, seemed quite far away. About as far away as Costa Gavras's 1982 film Missing. Doesn't Chile now have a left wing government led by Michelle Bachelet, whom Pinochet had detained and forced into exile? I thought. If Allende's murder has not been avenged, at least the dictator is no longer in power. And then this news, that the struggle goes on and on and on.
And then, of course, we have the news that Fidel Castro, pictured above as I remembered him, continues to recuperate.
How is it possible that basic news of about events in the Americas continues elude us? It's as if we were in a deep trance, or under anaesthesia, or asleep, or hypnotized, and we somehow can't lift our heads and open our eyes to see across the walls we have constructed.