By William Grigsby – Jun 13, 2021
The following is a transcript of the speech by William Grigsby on a recent episode of the program Sin Fronteras of Nicaragua’s Radio La Primerísima. Listen to the speech here:
What was the US instrument to overthrow the ”Sandinista Dictatorship” in the 1980s? The armed counter-revolution—the Contra. The US gave approximately 2 billion dollars to create it, train it, equip it, and maintain it. That was the instrument to defeat the ”Dictatorship”—Ronald Reagan’s freedom fighters against the “Sandino-communist horrible dictatorship” there in Nicaragua. [The Contra] murdering peasant women like the woman I just told you about, who was burned alive on her ranch; or the 16 peasants murdered on May 31, 1986 in Yale [Jinotega]. The armed counter-revolution, the Contra, was the instrument—to sow terror, to destroy bridges, schools, health centers, and to murder peasants for no other reason, simply because they were peasants, to destroy the cooperatives, to carry out attacks such as the mining of the Corinto port, the mining of the Sandino port, the mining of Bluff [in 1984]. Or the attack against the airport, twice. Destruction by armed means… even with all of this they couldn’t overthrow us [the Sandinistas].
The people of Nicaragua confronted them; those who not only nourished the Sandinista popular army and the Ministry of the Interior, but also continued working and sustained the war fronts with their work, with their sacrifice in thousands of privations—the new generations have no idea—the privations that we suffered in the 80’s as a consequence of the imperialist war. And suffering all that, the people of Nicaragua resisted, and defeated North American interference. They defeated it!
Operation Danto [an all-out offensive to beat the Contra in 1988 that destroyed many Contra bases in Honduras. It is considered to have defeated the Contra militarily and led more quickly to peace talks] was the culmination of the defeat of the armed intervention of US imperialism in Nicaragua.
Then came the Sapoá negotiations of ’88, then Esquipulas, and finally the 1990 elections where the North Americans defeated us by putting a gun to people’s heads saying ”either you vote for us or the war goes on.”
That was in the 1980s.
And what did they do before that? Since 1847/48, what did they do? They bought land for Americans, colonizing with Americans because they wanted the canal.
Then they brought in Walker to try to annex Nicaragua to the southern slave states. They failed.
And then they went down the economic road. And they overthrew [President] Zelaya with ”diplomacy” by putting in war frigates, ”I’ll shoot you if you don’t resign” they told Zelaya, and Zelaya surrendered.
And then they financed the war against José Madriz who was left as president after Zelaya’s resignation. They financed the war and forced him to resign. They installed their people in power. They totally intervened in the finances in Nicaragua, the national bank, the railroad, the treasury, customs, all of that was managed by Yankees. There is the history. There are photos to prove it, documents to prove it.
Then Sandino rises. How do they intervene? With troops, directly. And then they have him killed; together with the conservative oligarchy, the Chamorros, the newspaper owners of the time, the rancid oligarchy of Granada, Emiliano Chamorro, who had carried out the coup d’état against the liberals of the time, in 1926, the famous Lomazo. That one, Emiliano Chamorro, grandfather or grandfather, who knows what the hell he is to the current ones [he would be their 1st cousin twice removed – their great grandfather’s nephew]. That same one [Emiliano Chamorro] sponsors the assassination of Sandino. He later comes to an arrangement with Somoza. Somoza becomes the gendarmerie of Yankee interests, and that is the Yankee way of intervening in Nicaragua.
And that’s how they kept it up for 45 years, until the Nicaraguan people overthrew the Somoza dictatorship. The Yankees gave Somoza arms, training, advice, intelligence services, you name it, they gave it to him. And the people of Nicaragua defeated him. The same thing happened in the 80s, the same thing is happening now.
How did the Yankees intervene in Nicaragua in the 1990s? With Chamorro-Somozismo. How did they do it? Through international loans, through neoliberalism—”I give you money” knowing that the country was broke because they broke it. They bankrupted Nicaragua with the financial blockade and the blockade of imports and exports that they imposed during the 1980s. They bankrupted the country and said ”if you want to get out of bankruptcy you are going to have to do what I tell you, and what I tell you is to sell everything in the state and give it to my friends.”
And they began to sell everything at the price of ”wet hay.” Everything. The land, the companies, factories like the cardboard industry or the medicine factory, things like that. And they also took the land from the cooperatives, took the land from the peasants who had benefited from the agrarian reform and gave it to the Yankees, to all the Somozismo that came to Nicaragua, believing that they had it in their hands again. They intervened in the country, through the economy, they sent tens of thousands to unemployment. They caused the emigration of tens of thousands of Nicaraguans, a frightening wave of people who left the country starting in 1992, and that is in the migratory figures, there you can see the picture of how migration shot up. That is where it started.
They starved the people of Nicaragua. They took away all their social rights, they took away their education, they took away their health, they took away everything! They destroyed the roads, they left the people to look for what to do in the mountains, nobody took care of them, people died of gastroenteritis, diarrhea, they died in the mountains. That was the way to intervene.
And now, what is the way? The ideological apparatus. They have occupied, according to the circumstance that corresponds to them, they are occupying the mode of intervention. And now it is the propaganda apparatus to sow hatred, to condition the minds of the population.
What they did not know is the strength of the Nicaraguan people. They underestimated it, they undervalued it. First the people of Nicaragua defeated the military attempt of the counterrevolution in 2018, and they defeated it under the same conditions that they put in place. They put armed conditions, so did we and they were defeated.
And then the most important of all, the people of Nicaragua defeated the economic conspiracy against the country. And they defeated it with work. The country was NEVER paralyzed, neither during the coup, nor after the coup, nor during the pandemic. It has never been paralyzed, with the wisdom of Daniel directing the economy, and with the work of the people.
It has been a marvel. The peasant has never stopped working his land or watching his cattle. Nor has the self-employed stopped going to sell. This strength of the Nicaraguan people has allowed the economy to recover and has been the main defeat of the Yankees.
And now we are in Operation Danto. Operation Danto of the 2020s is this, breaking the heart of the Yankee propaganda apparatus in Nicaragua, which was their main way of intervening now, for the elections—conditioning public opinion, intervening, lying, instilling fear, instilling hatred for them to try to defeat the Sandinista Front and Daniel.
And again we are ”busting their ass!” That’s it. That is what it is all about. This whole operation that is being carried out from the prosecutor’s office as a spearhead is just that, to destroy the propaganda apparatus of US imperialism.
Let’s see what they do now, let’s see how good these journalists are now that they are going to run out of money. How will they pay the rent? The internet? Their salary? How are they going to pay for the car they just bought? The house they bought? The children they have in the private university? What are you going to do now that there will be no Yankee funds? Now that there will be no way to avoid the fiscal and governmental controls? What are you going to do? Are you going to get advertisements? Is COSEP (the private business council) going to save you? Do you think COSEP is going to save you? Do you think Pellas is going to invest a penny in you? Never. Because it does not make any profit for him. Because you are not one of their priorities. Never. Neither Pellas, nor Ramiro Ortiz, nor Tano Baltodano [Jose Antonio, owner of Café Soluble], nor the Zamoras, none of them (the wealthiest Nicaraguans), none of them are going to save you. They are dead meat.
Prove that you are independent journalists, let’s see, prove it! Pay your own expenses, work with your own agenda, don’t wait for Yankee guidance, let’s see if it is true.
So, simply put, Operation Danto is happening and there’s more to come. With Operation Danto, the Yankee propaganda apparatus is disarmed.
Let’s go to the elections! Let’s go! Only candidates who are fit to compete (who fulfill the legal requirements). Because there is the Narco-trafficker (Maradiaga), financed by the Colombian Narcos, financed by Uribe. That one is dead meat. And didn’t go roam around foreign lands for a year? The constitution says 4 consecutive years residing in the country are required, he went to wander for a year. There’s nothing for him to do. Kitty herself (Montenegro, of CXL party), she herself is going to get rid of him because she is not going to put her party’s legal status at risk for a drug trafficker who does not meet the requirements to be a candidate. She herself is going to brush Maradiaga aside.
Let’s go against whoever, whoever you put up—someone who fulfills the requirements and who also is not involved in war actions, in conspiratorial actions against Nicaragua, against the legitimately constituted government of Nicaragua.
Remember, our strength is the people of Nicaragua, and we work and advance, thanks to the people of Nicaragua and with Daniel’s leadership.
Featured image: William Grigsby speaks on Operation Danto on Radio La Primerísima program Sin Fronteras. Photo courtesy of Tortilla con sal.