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November 18, 2008 [LINK / comment]

Baseball diplomacy: Nicaragua

Cal Ripken Jr. recently agreed to serve as a "goodwill ambassador" on a mission to improve relations with Nicaragua, the most baseball-friendly country in Central America. It was a daunting challenge, given the surge in political violence in Nicaragua, but he went ahead and spent many hours teaching young kids the basics of baseball. That took real courage. Ripken had to change his lodging arrangements, however, because a Sandinista mob smashed windows in the mall located next to his hotel. Nicaragua just held municipal elections across the country, and the opposition charged that there was widespread fraud. The State Department has criticized the Sandinista government of Daniel Ortega for repressing dissent and outlawing certain opposition political parties. See Washington Post. It is sad that the former dictator Ortega was given the chance to regain power because of a corrupt alliance with a nominally "conservative" political leader. The infighting among parties, and even within parties in Nicaragua, has put democracy at grave risk.

Joining Ripken was former Montreal Expos pitcher Dennis Martinez, for whom the national stadium in Managua was named.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 18 Nov 2008, 12: 38 PM

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Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

  1. Wild birds (LAST)
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  5. Latin America
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  8. Baseball (FIRST)