The Anatomy of Business Investments in Nicaragua, And A Question
I've been reminded recently about a story about one Sandinista I knew. We were on a walk with one man who did not appreciate the Sandinista's unfair business tactics. I asked the Sandinista, what examples can you give me of honest work you have done? The first example he came up with was that he bought and sold coffee in the 80s. The other man said, "You call that honest business? The law stated that only you and a few other Sandinistas could buy and sell coffee, and you got to set the prices? You sure did earn some money! But the farmers couldn't get competing bids, they got nothing. You got it all!" The Sandinista said, you have to know how to operate, the farmers wouldn't have gotten squat for their coffee beans without me!
Well, that is just a story, and nothing like that is happening now of course. Have you ever wondered why so many Sandinistas wear dark glasses?
But the point of this forum topic is to raise a question.
I was reminded of the story because I received an email reminding me of how these things work. The investor comes in, and either from his own idealistic desire to make friends of Reds, or by favors or potential favors - or as a last resort, by indirect violence that can only be "stopped" by the mafia - the investor takes on mafia (Sandinistas and/or related others) as business partners. Maybe he writes a contract guaranteeing them a certain share of business, maybe they actually invest a small amount of money for a share... in any case, as long as the investor keeps pumping in the cash, those local business partners do well, because the contractors work through them. If the investment in any way turns sour (Nicaraguans can send in prostitutes to destroy a family, send in mercenaries to attack, lawyers to put people in jail, all without remorse) - the foreigner realizes he is dependent on those partners more than he had ever dreamed. If a contract states that the partner will come up with some payment (or share of revenue for selling some lumber) and then it never happens, there should be a default on their "shares", right? But if the investor tries to take the partner to court, then the lawyers and judges all hold out their hands and take more money, then explain they can do nothing. On the other hand, if the partners feel it's time, they go to the same lawyers and judges and pay them less money, but their case is actually going to win and the partners are going to own the whole investment. Maybe the investor can negotiate some trivial payment of "feel-good" to think he is not being robbed. The Sandinistas can pull these "transitions" off much more easily than the PLC because they control all branches of government, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a government fully-controlled by Aleman would be different in character.
From what I have heard, current investors are currently getting the calls to begin this multi-step process. And they are taking on the local investors as partners. I won't say which ones, but I will simply ask a few who either have gotten the call, or will soon.
Mr Fleming of Seaside Mariana, have you taken on local partners? What are the apparent terms? When you calculate the prospective investment return on the $350,000 "shares" you are offering, is this before or after the "partner" take?
Mr Hughes of Cooltop, have you taken on local partners? What are the apparent terms? If so, why haven't you stated the truth on your website so that others will know how Nicaragua actually works?
It reminds me of the Godfather, when Michael gets the advice from his dying father: "Whoever comes to you to propose the meeting, he's the traitor."
The question is: Have you received the call?