Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos wasted little time in his address to the UN General Assembly—three sentences and two breaths, to be exact—to get into Sandinista boilerplate about “savage capitalism” and the need for a new world order.
“The current situation in our world demonstrates how governance seen and exercised from the perspective of global, savage capitalism, as it was called by the Holy Pope John Paul II, is taking us to the edge of civilization instead of becoming a factor for positive transformation, as we were led to believe it would,” Santos said in his Sept. 28 address to UN General Assembly.
Santos—a rather successful capitalist in his own right as owner of the popular Las Mercedes Hotel, a sizable coffee farm tourism project outside of Managua, and several other lucrative family businesses holdings—said the global capitalist model is failing (although not him personally) and that the UN must be “reinvented” to adapt to new world challenges.
Nicaragua, it turns out, has just the plan to make that happen.
“We Nicaraguans have the honor of having taken this initiative. Our brother, former Foreign Minister of Nicaragua and President of the 63rd General Assembly (Miguel d’Escoto), together with President Daniel Ortega and other great present-day thinkers, have taken on the task of developing a project for the reinvention of the United Nations System,” Santos told the general assembly. “We say reinvention because the present organization can no longer be reformed; the reforms that have been proposed up to now have not progressed due the politics of some permanent members of the Security Council. In the name of the people of Nicaragua, I invite all of you to give a tremendous push to this project which seeks to concretize a new United Nations Charter that guarantees democratization of the Organization.”
Santos then mentioned a series of other international issues that are also important to his government: He demanded an “immediate and unconditional end” to the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba; “unrestricted support” for Ecuador’s diplomatic mission in London, which is providing a safe haven for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange; support for the peace process in Colombia; support for Argentina’s “sovereign rights over the Malvinas Islands;” and support for Puerto Rico’s full independence.
Santos offered particularly adulatory support for Venezuela’s strongman leader Hugo Chávez, who is trying to get himself reelected again next Sunday.
“We demand respect for the sovereignty and independence of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which faces a wave of conspiratorial actions seeking to destabilize and destroy the Democratic Bolivarian Revolution project and the popular interests, thus undermining the enormous social and economic gains of the great and courageous effort of the Venezuelan people, and the visionary leadership of President Hugo Chávez,” Santos sniffed.
In the Middle East, Santos said Nicaragua is in favor of peace in Iran, supportive of the idea of a Palestinian State, and upset by the thought of foreign intervention in Syria, which he called “unacceptable” and likened to U.S. support for the contras in the 1980s.
“This form of aggression was already condemned by the International Court of Justice in 1986 in the Nicaragua vs. United States case,” Santos said.
Closer to home, Santos demanded more U.S. support for the war on drugs in Central America.
Santos also pointed to Latin America’s efforts at regional integration—ALBA, SICA and CELAC—as models for a “new world governance.”
“There is no way out for the present global order and its institutions. Only this new effort to deeply transform the economy, politics, society and culture is making headway; only this effort will endure as the fruit of the best of our human nature and our history,” Santos said. “The other world, the world that refuses change, the world of war and human misery, the world of the apocalypse being announced on television as a novelty, will succumb. The hope of the future for which we struggle will grow and shine on the remains of that world.”