By Dakotah Lilly – Nov 6, 2021
The US has a long history of meddling in Latin America. This week, US lawmakers have approved legislation calling for more sanctions to increase pressure on President Daniel Ortega ahead of Nicaragua’s election on Sunday.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the bill known as the Reinforcing Nicaragua’s Adherence to Conditions for Electoral Reform (RENACER) Act. The move – a response to an alleged crackdown there on the opposition– came just days ahead of the November 7 presidential election, where Ortega is set to win a fourth straight term. Washington has already denounced the vote as a “sham.”
But given the US’ past interfering in the region and its bloody regime-change operations, does anyone still believe it cares about the Nicaraguan people?
Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Mexico, and almost every other sovereign nation in Latin America has thousands of victims to add to the grand total of those that have fallen victim to US foreign policy.
In 1978-79, Nicaraguans had the audacity to lead a revolution against a US-backed dictator, Anastasio Somoza Debayle, and did so carrying the flags of socialism, sovereignty, and Christianity. This was obviously unforgivable, so the CIA decided to supply arms and funds to a drug-smuggling terrorist organization known as the Contras. This led to the infamous Iran-Contra affair which roiled Washington and exposed some of the CIA’s more nefarious dealings in Central America.
It is quite telling that this same government now dares call the upcoming November 7 elections in Nicaragua, with the State Department saying that they “condemn President Ortega and Vice President Murillo’s undemocratic electoral process and ongoing repression.”
What nerve must a government have to fund death squads and drug cartels in your country and then think they have any moral authority to speak on your elections.
The Biden administration and its supporters constantly talk about how love triumphed and hate was vanquished with his election, but Latin America is just another example on a long list of examples where Biden and Trump represent two cheeks of the same backside. Donald Trump ramped up sanctions against Venezuela and Nicaragua and Joe Biden is continuing in this absurd tradition.
Meanwhile, the EU, not to be outdone in absurdity, recently called democratically elected President Daniel Ortega a “dictator” while describing the situation in Nicaragua as “one of the most serious in the Americas.” Colombia is a narco-state, Honduras has abysmal social statistics, Brazil is riddled with COVID and an incompetent racist as president, Puerto Rico has still not recovered from the 2017 hurricane Maria, and what is troubling to the western elites about Nicaragua is that they have gone their own way of sovereignty and Christian socialism.
Establishment media details the government of Nicaragua the same way it does any government that it is attempting to sow regime change in. To them, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, and others have no support. They are even willing to censor and erase hundreds of pro-government accounts on social media without any sort of process or explanation. This is on the heels of a failed US-backed coup attempt against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government in 2018 that killed hundreds of people. Comparatively speaking, economic war and media disinformation might be the lesser of two evils considering the violence that the US provoked in 2018.
Nicaragua is a small Central American nation that many people might write off as inconsequential in global geopolitics; so what does it do that upsets the global oligarchy so much? It’s simple: like countless other governments, movements, and revolutions, Nicaragua poses the threat of a good example. Nicaragua has a very low GDP per capita, with the highest figures of PPP being in the 5,000s. Yet, Nicaragua has a 98% electrification rate with 75% of energy being produced by renewable means. Haiti, for instance, has a comparable GDP per capita, but only a 45% electrification rate.
Nicaraguan socialism has led to a huge decrease in malnutrition, infant mortality, and maternal mortality. Poverty has more than halved, cooperatives, small businesses, and the popular economy continue to thrive and to challenge neoliberal capitalist logic by putting human beings over the never-ending quest for heftier profits.
Since the mid 2000s, Nicaragua has put forward a new model of development that prioritizes the harnessing of human potential and the improvement in the lives of the workers. Much of the rest of the world has something to learn from Nicaragua.
Nicaragua, a small, sanctioned, vilified, country under constant siege has managed to provide healthcare, employment, education, and a better life for its people. The reason the elites and the establishment are hell-bent on discontinuing Nicaragua’s revolution is because it shows the potential of a system different from capitalism. If this country can provide a better life for its people, why is it that the US, the wealthiest country on earth, condemns millions of its own citizens to misery, poverty, and despair? These are the questions the elites don’t want you to ask.
Featured image: A t-shirt with the image of Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega is displayed on the street, ahead of the country’s presidential elections in November, in Managua, Nicaragua October 22, 2021. © REUTERS/Maynor Valenzuela