On April 19th, university students in Nicaragua’s capital, Managua, exploded onto the streets. Their initial demand? A more effective government response to wildfires burning out of control in the country’s most precious repository of biodiversity.
I was in Mexico City in 1979. When stepping out of my hotel one evening, a throng of people, several thousand strong, marched down the street carrying banners, most of which I could not read. I was able to decipher two, however. One bore the then familiar hammer and scythe, the other simply read “Yankee Go”. At the time I was ignorant of the USA’s shenanigans in Nicaragua and failed to realize until later that evening that rather than protesting me personally (I have quite the ego), the demonstrators were protesting said shenanigans. Had I known, I would like to think that I would have joined them. Since my awakening, I have always felt simpatico to their cause. My birth country should be better.
Thanks for the good detailed background on the current conflict. Times are changing. The left should not support the corrupt Ortega in any way. Sure, the capitalists who quietly supported Ortega since 2006, will soon turn on him and turn him back into a “socialist dictator” for propaganda purposes - but the left must not bite at this bait.
A separate group of right wing oligarchs will probably replace Ortegea if this uprising is successful, but I see no way this can be avoided at this point.
And Ms. Gordons remark: “To blame everything that happens in the country on puppet masters in Washington denies Nicaraguans their own agency.” can be applied to a number of other countries as well - notably Syria. Ortega is currently resembling Assad in 2011-12 albeit a couple orders of magnitude less brutal.
This a more cohesive and detailed account of how US meddling in Latin America at the root of the regions migrations. To sum up in one word?
In your phony “left” posture, you actually support US global imperialists and local right-wing schemers. Yes there are many players and not all actions are a product of US manipulation, but the US is clearly a big player and interested party in Nicaragua today, and you are on the same side.
Here’s a clip from this article:
Meanwhile, what we do know is that one of the main student groups behind the current protests – the Civil Youth Movement (MCJ) “was created by and received funding from the National Democratic Institute (NDI)” — the NDI, in turn, being one of the three pillars of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which took over a number of covert operations for the CIA in the 1980’s. Indeed, between 2014 and 2017, the NED has given $4.2 million to opposition groups in Nicaragua for the purpose of “democracy promotion” (aka, “regime change”).
At the same time, there is no doubt that the protests, which began peacefully on April 17, accelerated due to violence and the great loss of life which has taken place since the protests began, with certainly over 100 people killed. However, there has been much disinformation about this violence both within Nicaragua and in the Western press.
First and foremost, whenever you see a tally of the deaths, all of the responsibility for them is laid at the feet of the Nicaraguan security forces even though members of the security forces themselves are included in the tally, as are government supporters and bystanders. Indeed, one of the first people killed in the protests was a police officer, and many have been killed since – some at their homes and even in their barracks after Ortega ordered the police off the streets. But you are never told this. You are also never told of the fact that, up until these very recent events, “Nicaragua’s community based policing, and their women’s police stations, specializing in domestic violence, were studied by police departments throughout the world and were famous for their record of positive community relations.”
My friends in Nicaragua tell me that what seems suspicious is that some of the student groups, armed as they immediately were with an arsenal of well-constructed weapons, were so obviously prepared in advance to start a violent uprising, and clearly used the opportunity of the protests against the social security reforms as a mere pretext to start and provoke violence. As one commentator explains, while “most of the media reports have portrayed the opposition groups and protestors as a ‘rag tag’ team of students, . . . examples of opposition violence, such as opposition use of ‘homemade mortars’ and ‘gas bombs’ as well as the burning of public buildings has received minimal coverage in the Western media.”
And, it was these well-armed protesters who became predominant two days after the protests began. As the independent media collective, Tortilla Con Sol, reported, “from April 19 onward, extremist opposition activists hijacked the student protests, attacking hospitals, government and municipal authority offices, public buildings of all kinds, university precincts and even the brand new national baseball stadium.”
Quite tellingly, the violent groups calling for Ortega to step down in the midst of his presidential term – despite the fact that he won re-election in 2016 with about 70% of the vote — have been attacking symbols of the Sandinista Revolution which overthrew the dictator Anastasio Somoza. Again, this reveals these groups to be more counter-revolutionaries than revolutionaries.
Another aspect of the violence which is largely being ignored is the strong evidence of snipers (remember the key role snipers played in the coup against Hugo Chavez in 2002) in carrying out precision killings which are then later blamed on the police.
Barbara Moore, citing the forensics described in a report by the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights, explains:
"The opposition claimed and continues to claim the National Police had used lethal and deadly force, firing indiscriminately into crowds with live ammunition. Yet that seems impossible given the forensics, nearly every fatality occurred in a precise, specific, even clean shot to the head, neck or chest. Not exactly what one would expect given the street battles filled with heightened levels of chaos or that when police do shoot to kill they are trained to aim for the mid-section.
“The public, deceived by press reports, the international mainstream media and rightfully outraged over the killings continued over the following weeks to take to the streets. Almost always the same pattern repeated itself; more killed- always a male, despite the fact the early protests were well attended by females. The victims continued to be shot with incredible precision always in the head or neck, sometimes in the chest. These facts, incidentally corroborate government claims that snipers were responsible for the killings. As the death toll continues to rise this pattern has remained entirely constant.”
What is it about “Ortega is not a socialist, he is a criminal oligarch” do you not understand?
And if the protestors are so “well armed” (those crude handheld mortars that launch ordinary cheap fireworks like you buy at those state-line stores) why have there been no reports of any of the police or Ortega’s paramilitary armed gangs getting killed?
And sure enough, you roll out a totally unsubstantiated conspiracy theory. Why would the capitalists want to overthrow Ortega anyway - he on THEIR side!
If you are going to support blood-soaked mass murderers like Ortega (and worse, Assad) you can go to hell.
The US-left is descending into fascism. Or they are useful stooges for fascism. Once again, go to hell.
i am not “supporting blood-soaked mass murderers.” i am simply noting the blood-soaked mass murderers that you are supporting. Just as you support the US military in the Middle East.
Once again, go to hell, faker.
I don’t pretend to have a firm grasp on all this, although I think Gordon has provided some valuable context.
What I do have is an unshakable conviction that our faith can only be placed in principles, and not blindly in parties or personalities or movements, which must be measured by how they align with those principles.
To do other is to yield to the comforting certainty of dogma, rather than persevere in the often exasperating search for truth.
It’s unfortunate, but all this brings to mind this morning is Woody Allen’s classic Bananas where the evil Central American dictator is overthrown, and the rebel leader morphs into a new evil dictator who needs to be overthrown, ad infinitum. A sad state of affairs all the way around.
You ANARCHO-FASCISTS are the most ignorant people on the planet. Your delusional support of imperialism would be hilarious if you weren’t a threat to humanity:
A month before the student protesters’ meetings with ultra-conservative lawmakers in Washington, a publication funded by the US government’s regime change arm, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), bluntly asserted that organizations backed by the NED have spent years and millions of dollars “laying the groundwork for insurrection” in Nicaragua.
“A lot of what we do was done 25 years ago covertly by the CIA.” Alan Weinstein, one of the founders of the National Endowment for Democracy
How many Americans could identify the National Endowment for Democracy? An organization which often does exactly the opposite of what its name implies. The NED was set up in the early 1980s under President Reagan in the wake of all the negative revelations about the CIA in the second half of the 1970s. The latter was a remarkable period. Spurred by Watergate—the Church committee of the Senate, the Pike committee of the House, and the Rockefeller Commission, created by the president, were all busy investigating the CIA. Seemingly every other day there was a new headline about the discovery of some awful thing, even criminal conduct, the CIA had been mixed up in for years. The Agency was getting an exceedingly bad name, and it was causing the powers-that-be much embarrassment.
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its subsidiaries, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), despite the lofty mission statement articulated on its website, is nothing more than a tool for executing American foreign policy. Just as the military is used under the cover of lies regarding WMD's and "terrorism," NED is employed under the cover of bringing "democracy" to "oppressed" people. However, a thorough look at NED's board of directors, as well as the board of trustees of its subsidiary, Freedom House, definitively lays to rest any doubts that may be lingering over the true nature of these organizations and the causes they support.
How many more times do you have to be exposed as blood thirsty terrorist supporter?
You really are a stupid POS:
On Saturday, June 16th, 6 people in Managua died in a fire started by opposition paramilitaries. Elsewhere in Managua, two people were murdered, one of them set on fire in the street. Opposition representatives, supporters and media attribute all those deaths at the hands of their paramilitaries, to the government. As a condition of the national dialogue Nicaragua’s police withdrew to their quarters. But opposition paramilitaries then besieged them in Masaya, Matagalpa, Jinotega, Mulukukú and elsewhere, killing and wounding police officers while shamelessly accusing the police of attacking them.
Excellent post and information. For every dirty hand the US Government and its various institutions have in stoking conflict and unrest in Countries the world over that is revealed, there that many and more that we never learn about.