Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gadhafi gets support from Nicaragua’s Ortega (Updated)

Heads of state from around the world have condemned Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi for ordering a heavy-handed crackdown against protesters. Though Gadhafi vowed to remain in power the domestic and international criticism against his authoritarian rule has grown to a fever pitch. Thus, it’s unusual to see that he has the backing of at least one president thousands of miles away from Libya.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said on Monday that he communicated several times with Gadhafi to express his support. According to Ortega Gadhafi "is again waging a great battle" to keep his country intact and added that "it's at difficult times that loyalty and resolve are put to the test."

His Costa Rican counterpart, Laura Chinchilla, blasted Ortega’s remarks when she said that his gesture represented the “way in which decisions are made in Nicaragua”. She also claimed that his backing of the Libyan leader helped explain his actions regarding the controversial border dispute between Nicaragua and Costa Rica over Calero Island.

Aside from worsening relations with Costa Rica Ortega’s support of Gadhafi could cause other problems:
A source within hacker activist group Anonymous told that media and government targets within Nicaragua and Venezuela may be hit within days, due to rhetorical support for Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi…

The Anonymous source said this could leave both Latin American states’ governments open to DDoS attacks, which would shut them down for a period of time. They may even be hacked.
Other governments throughout Latin America do not share the same views as Ortega and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. (Castro wrote in his column yesterday that it’s too premature to criticize Gadhafi). For instance:
  • The Peruvian government cut off all diplomatic ties with the North African state “until all violence ceases against the people (of Libya)”.
  • In a statement similar to those sent to Egypt and Tunisia, the Brazilian foreign ministry called for Libyan authorities to “protect the right of free expression of the protestors.”
  • Argentina’s foreign ministry urged a “peaceful solution within a constructive democratic dialogue” and the respecting human rights of all Libyans.
  • Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said via Twitter “what is happening in Libya is unacceptable.”
(Update: Cuba's foreign minister stopped short of backing Gadhafi yet issued a statement alleging that "some North American politicians and media groups are inciting violence, military aggression and foreign intervention" in Libya.)

Image- CBC (“Anti-government protesters rally in Benghazi, Libya, in recent days as Canada on Monday condemned the violent crackdown by security forces.”)
Online Sources- El Nuevo Diario, Al Jazeera English, BBC News, Washington Post, The Latin Americanist, Canadian Press,,, La Republica, Al Jazeera English


Loring Wirbel said...

No progressive person of merit can support Ghaddafi's moves. Ortega and Castro are not admirable nor truly progressive people. That about sums it up.

Anonymous said...

No progressive person can support foreign invasion of any country, if that means supporting the current governments, of course it should be done. We have all learnt the lessons from Iraq and the lies media told to prepare the groundwork for the invasion. I would say, another Iraq? NEVER AGAIN!!!