After the war and signed the peace agreements (1990-1996) the old guerrilla forces became parliamentary parties and abandoned any revolutionary reference or intention. They became forces of the order.
By PT-Costa Rica.
Castrismo: from mountains to palaces
The Peace Agreements guaranteed institutional integration and impunity. However, the participation of thousands of fighters in the civil wars allowed the FSLN and FMLN to continue usurping the masses’ revolutionary efforts and present electorally as a “revolutionary force.”
The leftist rhetoric did not disappear, but the practice was different: a summit was created, linked to the old Commandants (Ortega in Nicaragua, Handal and Sánchez Ceren in El Salvador), whose goal was to accumulate power and money in the [respective] parliaments and municipalities, and develop a powerful electoral and clientelist apparatus while keeping the control of the mass movement.
Castro-Chavismo: rich and tyrants
Chávez’s and Lula’s electoral triumphs (1998 and 2002 respectively) opened a “business window” to the Central American Castro-Chavismo. The ALBA and the Petrocaribe had nothing to do with “peoples’ solidarity” but with the urgency of a bourgeoisie associated with the administration, corruption and clientelist use of those resources.
Usurping the masses’ discontent for 15 years of structural adjustment and neoliberalism, the FSLN (2006) and FMLN (2009) took the power back. The usurpation and deception were brutal, as from the Parliament the FSLN and FLMN were keys to guarantee the implementation of the neoliberal order, specifically the privatizations and the FTA.
The major crisis of Castro-Chavista parties – the FSLN, FMLN, Libre in Honduras and the Frente Amplo in Costa Rica – has a common explanation: those are parties of the neoliberal order, committed to neoliberal policies, and where they rule countries, municipalities, parliaments, they do it serving the rich, encouraging or tolerating state corruption, enriching, and in the case of Sandinismo, acting like dictators.
The masses’ rupture with Castro-Chavismo
Between 2014 and 2017, it seemed like Castro-Chavismo was at its peak. The statement of the XXI Sao Paolo Forum (2015) said: “in Central America, there is a political situation that combines the left in the government [FSLN in Nicaragua and FMLN in El Salvador], and growing and important institutional spaces in hands of the left [Libre in Honduras and the Frente Amplio in Costa Rica].”
Three years later, the illusion is broken. In 2018, Castro-Chavismo lives its worst stage and its more intense crisis since became the leadership of the masses, from the 80s on. Today, the Sandinista government confronts a popular insurrection against tyranny, corruption, enrichment, lack of freedoms and impunity in the Ortega-Murillo family’s tyranny.
The FMLN suffered its worst electoral defeat in 25 years of existence, in the recent legislative elections, when it lost 12 of 14 municipalities and the control of the parliament. In San Salvador city, it lost 48.4% of its electoral support.
In Costa Rica, after reaching 17% of the votes and 9 deputies, the Frente Amplio lost 96% of its electoral support, and 8 of 9 deputies.
There are common elements in this massive rupture in Nicaragua and, electorally, in Costa Rica and El Salvador.
The first one is that [all of them] are seen as parties of the neoliberal order; parties that rule or co-govern and so they guarantee the measures that cause suffering to the masses.
The second one is that they have been corrupted; the access to the parliament, municipalities, the government and the administration of the relationship with Venezuela produced a new bourgeoisie linked to this process.
The third is that under these governments, corruption, nepotism and clientelism did not end but increased.
Fourth, where they lead the mass movement they do it through authoritarianism – if they reach the government, they rule through tyranny.