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May 13, 2007

Alejandro Bendaņa 2

In 1987, P.J. O'Rourke met Alajandro Bendaña and wrote this:

We met our first Sandinista that same night, General Secretary of the Foreign Ministry Alejandro Bendaña, who mentioned that he'd rather be out dancing at the street festivals (which I saw no sign of) and said he assumed we would, too. Tsk. Tsk. There but for lack of international understanding ... Bendaña oozed self-confident charm. His clothes were nattily rumpled, he bummed cigarettes and, having gone to Harvard, he spoke better English than we did. He was full of enthusiasm for the Central American Peace Pact, the Arias Accord. Bendaña vowed Nicaragua would comply - unilaterally if need be - with all the Accord's requirements, though he had to look in his briefcase to see just what those requirements were.

In a fit of bonhomie, Bendaña then hinted the government would soon allow the one opposition newspaper, La Prensa, to publish again, permit the Catholic radio station to resume broadcasting, free some political prisoners and announce a partial cease-fire with the contras. 

"The revolutionary process," said Bendaña with real heat, "does not require having a newspaper shut down, does not require having a radio station shut down, does not require eliminating political parties. Those measures go against the grain of the revolution!" By the look of the faces on the faces of the StaffDel members, I'd say it had occurred to them that Bendaña worked for a revolution that didn't require those things but had done them anyway. The aides had some major questions, which Bendaña parried like an amused and slightly absent-minded Northwestern football coach defending his team's record against Michigan and Ohio State.

In 2006, I met Alejandro Bendaña. He hadn't changed much.

Posted by Julie at May 13, 2007 6:01 PM

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