The Nicaraguan Crisis – A US Regime Change Operation

 

Nicaragua is one of the safest in all of Latin America, and has been able to prevent the Central American drug cartels to establish a presence, which account for the lack of migration to the United States or other nations, as in the case of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

Over the past four and a half months western corporate news reports about Nicaragua have painted a harrowing picture about the Central American country, historically known for a revolutionary legacy that has put the nation at odds with United States foreign policy and interests.

In this latest iteration of conflict between the two nations, the United States has made full use of its global propaganda machine and regime change apparatus not only to create chaos and instability in the country, but also to politically and diplomatically isolate it from the rest of the world; the aim? To overthrow the Sandinista government and install a neoliberal puppet government in its place.

GH Bush sits with dictator drug runner for US “Everything done by the Republic of Panama under my command was known,” Noriega said during his incarceration. “Panama was an open book.”

What we are hearing vs what is happening

Whether we are getting our news from western media organizations like The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, the BBC, or any of the many US-financed opposition news outlets in Nicaragua, the narrative about the recent wave of violence and chaos that has engulfed country has remained uniformed.

This past April the Sandinista government approved a series of reforms to the country’s social security institute, which prompted students to go out into the streets to protest. The government then unleashed its police force against the students and other protesters, who were peaceful. From then on the government went on a killing rampage that resulted in the deaths of more than 400 peaceful protesters.

This narrative has not only been adopted and promoted by US-financed non-profits and opposition news media organizations in Nicaragua, but also by national and international human rights groups, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Modernizing repression: Usaid and the Brazilian police

Usaid’s actions in Brazil: the assistance provided for the training and technical modernization of police forces which promised poorer countries better development alternatives than the revolutionary path.

On the political and diplomatic front, Inter American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR), the “human rights” arm of the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OUNHCHR), have also taken the opposition accounts and included them in their reports without verifying the facts or vetting the organizations that produced the narrative in the first place.

The IMF, the US, and the Nicaraguan right

The opposition’s account, however, does not stand to scrutiny. For starters, it was the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and a powerful private business group (COSEP), who supported the original reforms to the social security institute, which included cutting out 53,000 retirees, doubling the number of contributions necessary to qualify for retirement, and changing the retirement age from 60 to 65.

“In addition to sales of military hardware and substantial U.S. military and economic aid to Israel, we discussed the possibility of applying Israel’s experience and talent in the areas of … police and security training in third world areas, particularly Central America, under contracts from the Agency for International Development.” -Robert McFarlane, Ronald Reagan’s third National Security Advisor

The government responded with a counter offer that didn’t cut anyone out, or changed the number of contributions or age of retirement, but increased contributions by employees and employers, and removed a salary cap to ensure Nicaragua’s highest paid people who have to pay in accordance with their income.

The counter reforms incurred the wrath of Nicaragua’s wealthiest business people, who were in turn the ones who called the initial protests, at first attended only by university students trained by organizations financed and directed United States regime change agencies, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

For 30 years, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has been sub-contracting the legal part of illegal CIA operations. Without rousing suspicions, it has put in place the biggest network of corruption in the world, bribing trade unions and management syndicates , political parties both on both the Right and Left so that they defend the interests of the United States instead of their members.

The vast majority of political entities behind the opposition, starting with the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS), the oligarchic political parties, media outlets, Catholic schools and churches, non-profit organizations,  university students, and people from different sectors, have received financing from the USAID, NED, and other US agencies.

Many of the leaders, according to WikiLeaks’s embassy cables, have been meeting with US officials at the US Embassy in Managua, some since the 90s, and a couple of them since the late 70s, when the US began trying to figure out who would replace Nicaragua’s embattled US-supported dictator as “their new man.”

Human Rights for Regime Change

The human rights organizations are all politicized against the Sandinista government. One of them, the ANPDH (Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights), was founded and financed by the Reagan Administration in the 80s for the sole purpose of white-washing the atrocities of the Contras, the mercenary army trained and financed by the US with money from drugs and weapons sales to Iran.

The other organizations, national and international, also receive most, if not all, of their funding from the United States and Europe.

They too have played a destabilizing role in Nicaragua by republishing accounts of government killings and atrocities without verifying the sources or conducting any kind of fact checking. One could look into the death reports, accusations of corruption and repression, the portrayal of the opposition as peaceful; none of the accusations publicized by these national and international groups, and easily see that none would match even the most relaxed standards of journalistic or fact checking standards. However, they are supported and promoted by the most powerful country on earth, against a small developing nation, so they get away with it.

In all truth, the opposition has been made up of a mixture of US trained operatives embedded within private university programs, non-profit organizations, media outlets, churches, and political organizations, that have unleashed a wave of political assassinations,  destruction of government institutions, undermining of the economy, and a number of other tactics and strategies implemented through social media platforms and international news and human rights organizations, all in order to bring about the demise of the Sandinista government.

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Why Nicaragua?

Because Nicaragua has been a thorn on the side of the United States since its very independence, or soon thereafter. Starting with interests around a possible US canal through Nicaragua in the 1850s, and continuing with military invasions and occupations in the 20s and 30s, the 40 plus decades of the Somoza family dictatorship, the Contra war, and this latest attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government, the United States has been trying to impose its will upon Nicaragua, and has always faced fierce resistance.  In 2013 Nicaragua signed a concession law giving a Chinese company the rights to build and manage an interoceanic canal, which might require the Chinese to sell US debt in order to start construction.

 

This time around Nicaragua, one of the least developed nations in the American Hemisphere, has managed to build a strong economy, much to the benefit of its poorest citizens, largely outside of neoliberal standards.

Prior to the beginning of the protests in April, Nicaragua boasted one of the fasted growing economies in Latin America, with a steady 5% annual growth for the past few years. The country cut poverty by two thirds in record time since the Sandinistas returned to power in 2006. Nicaraguan citizens produce approximately 90 percent of the food eaten in the country.

Lastly, Nicaragua is one of the safest in all of Latin America, and has been able to prevent the Central American drug cartels to establish a presence, which account for the lack of migration to the United States or other nations, as in the case of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

Such level of success happening outside the austerity-and-privatization neoliberal economic model favored by the most powerful countries of the world does not sit well with the United States. The present aggression against Nicaragua merely seeks to turn Nicaragua’s economy into a cheap market so transnational corporations can easily ransack its natural resources and exploit its citizens.

The Way Forward

Therefore, it is of the utmost importance for conscious Americans, especially within the veteran community, to stand up against US interference in Nicaragua’s affairs. Such solidarity should include an effort to become informed about and vehemently oppose new forms of intervention into the affairs of other sovereign nations, even when such interventions are endorsed by reputable media and human rights groups that lend a veil of acceptance of the false narratives, when in reality they are doing the bidding of their funders, much to the detriment of those who depend on them to tell the truth. It falls upon us to find that truth, to expose it, and to defend it at all cost.

Afghanistan: It’s Imperialism, Stupid

After 17 bloody years, the longest war in US history continues without relent or purpose in Afghanistan.

Vietnam is a blueprint for all US wars.

“To understand how the United States got bogged down in this horrible disaster that ended up in an epic tragedy for both the people of Vietnam and a large part of the American population? Call the second age of imperialism.
The Dulles Brothers were so intent upon putting down this rebellion against the French attempt to recolonize the area because to them, it was an example of an industrial or already commercialized western power going ahead and exploiting cheap labor and cheap materials in the Third World. In large part, that’s what their law firm (Sullivan & Cromwell) represented.” ~James DiEugenio


Watching the world’s greatest power bomb and ravage little Afghanistan, a nation so poor that some of its people can’t afford sandals, is a huge dishonor for Americans (just like Vietnam)

Afghanistan: The War That Shames America 08/19/2018

There, a valiant, fiercely-independent people, the Pashtun (Pathan) mountain tribes, have battled the full  might of the US Empire to a stalemate that has so far cost American taxpayers $4 trillion, and 2,371 dead and 20,320 wounded soldiers.  No one knows how many Afghans have died. The number is kept secret.

Pashtun tribesmen in the Taliban alliance and their allies are fighting to oust all foreign troops from Afghanistan and evict the western-imposed and backed puppet regime in Kabul that pretends to be the nation’s legitimate government.  Withdraw foreign troops and the Kabul regime would last for only days.

The whole thing smells of the Vietnam War. Lessons so painfully learned by America in that conflict have been completely forgotten and the same mistakes repeated. The lies and happy talk from politicians, generals and media continue apace.

This week, Taliban forces occupied the important strategic city of Ghazni on the road from Peshawar to Kabul. It took three days and massive air attacks by US B-1 heavy bombers, Apache helicopter gun ships, A-10 ground attack aircraft, and massed warplanes from US bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar and the 5th US Fleet to finally drive back the Taliban assault. Taliban also overran key military targets in Kabul and the countryside, killing hundreds of government troops in a sort of Afghan Tet offensive.

Afghan regime police and army units put up feeble resistance or ran away. Parts of Ghazni were left in ruins. It was a huge embarrassment to the US imperial generals and their Afghan satraps who had claimed ‘the corner in Afghanistan has finally been turned.’

Efforts by the Trump administration to bomb Taliban into submission have clearly failed. US commanders fear using American ground troops in battle lest they suffer serious casualties. Meanwhile, the US is running low on bombs.

Image result for Reagan-bush drug running

Roads are now so dangerous for the occupiers that most movement must be by air. Taliban is estimated to permanently control almost 50% of Afghanistan. That number would rise to 100% were it not for omnipresent US air power. Taliban rules the night.

Taliban are not and never were ‘terrorists’ as Washington’s war propaganda falsely claimed. I was there at the creation of the movement – a group of Afghan religious students armed by Pakistan whose goal was to stop post-civil war banditry, the mass rape of women, and to fight the Afghan Communists.

When Taliban gained power, it eliminated 95% of the rampant Afghanistan opium-heroin trade. After the US invaded, allied to the old Afghan Communists and northern Tajik tribes, opium-heroin production soared to record levels. Today, US-occupied Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, morphine and heroin.

US occupation authorities claim drug production is run by Taliban. This is another big lie. The Afghan warlords who support the regime of President Ashraf Ghani entirely control the production and export of drugs. The army and secret police get a big cut. How else would trucks packed with drugs get across the border into Pakistan and Central Asia?

The United States has inadvertently become one of the world’s leading drug dealers. This is one of the most shameful legacies of the Afghan War. But just one. Watching the world’s greatest power bomb and ravage little Afghanistan, a nation so poor that some of its people can’t afford sandals, is a huge dishonor for Americans.

Even so, the Pashtun defeated the invading armies of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, the Mogul Emperors and the mighty British Raj. The US looks to be next in the Graveyard of Empires.

Nobody in Washington can enunciate a good reason for continuing the colonial war in Afghanistan. One hears talk of minerals, women’s rights and democracy as a pretext for keeping US forces in Afghanistan. All nonsense. A possible real reason is to deny influence over Afghanistan, though the Chinese are too smart to grab this poisoned cup. They have more than enough with their rebellious Uighur Muslims.

Interestingly, the so-called ‘terrorist training camps’ supposedly found in Afghanistan in 2001 were actually guerilla training camps run by Pakistani intelligence to train Kashmiri rebels and CIA-run camps for exiled Uighur fighters from China.

The canard that the US had to invade Afghanistan to get at Osama bin Laden, alleged author of the 9/11 attacks, is untrue. The attacks were made by Saudis and mounted from Hamburg and Madrid, not Afghanistan. I’m not even sure bin Laden was behind the attacks.

My late friend and journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave shared my doubts and insisted that the Taliban leader Mullah Omar offered to turn bin Laden over to a court in a Muslim nation to prove his guilt or innocence.

President George Bush, caught sleeping on guard duty and humiliated, had to find an easy target for revenge – and that was Afghanistan.