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Attacked by Tyrants

Felix Maradiaga in Mexico City, February 2019 (Jay Nordlinger)

Should Marx and Marxism be debated, given all we have experienced since 1917 or so? I mean, shouldn’t it be like debating smallpox? Marxism is bad and murderous, right? Well, the Cambridge Union, at the University of Cambridge, hosted a debate last week: “This house believes that Marx was right.” Arguing against the proposition, brilliantly, was Daniel Hannan.

I write about this at the beginning of my column, Impromptus, today. I then take up some states where Marxists hold sway — where they indeed rule: Belarus, China, and Cuba. Toward the end of my column, I address some Republican issues. These are very painful, for someone like me. Also unduckable. At the end of the column, there are a couple of balms: music and poetry.

Try it out, here.

Last night, after I had written my column, I got two pieces of news, which I would like to discuss here in the Corner. In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, the longtime dictator, has been sweeping up political rivals. Four of them have been arrested, as you can read in this report. One of them is Felix Maradiaga, who is being represented by Jared Genser, the international human-rights lawyer. According to Jared, Felix has been severely beaten and “disappeared.”

Two years ago, I podcasted with Felix, here. I then wrote a piece: “Nicaragua in Hell: Ortega’s crackdown and people who resist it.” Here is a brief excerpt:

Felix Maradiaga borrows an old line: “Nicaragua produces more history than we can consume.” He is a Nicaraguan political scientist, entrepreneur, and human-rights activist who has been forced into exile. The regime made him a bogeyman. Then a gang of the regime’s supporters beat him to a pulp, knocking his teeth out in the process.

Felix was safe in exile, when I spoke with him. But he returned to Nicaragua, to try to help those struggling for democracy there. He is incredibly brave — and warm and bright and altogether winning. I hope he will get through his present, latest ordeal.

The other piece of news: Orhan Inandi is apparently being held captive in the Turkish embassy in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Inandi is a Turkish exile. There is a large Turkish exile community in Kyrgyzstan. They are opponents of the Erdogan regime back home. Inandi is an educator, the president of a school system.

To read more about his case, go here.

In 2019, I wrote a piece called “Whisked Away: The Turkish government and its program of kidnappings.” That government has an agency with an extraordinarily blunt name: the “Office for Human Abductions and Executions.” They are busy. Supporters of Orhan Inandi — and of human rights in general — fear that the Turkish government is creating a Khashoggi situation in Bishkek: the torture and murder of a political opponent, in an embassy.

Tyranny is a curse of mankind, and must be opposed by all decent people.

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