Sunday, February 13, 2011
Nicaragua No Pasaran
So let's get this straight... the US crack epidemic in the /80's was all because the CIA didn't like the results of a democratic election in Nicaragua and used the cocaine to fund the Contra's counter insurgency? And the US War on Drugs was really a war with the CIA's drug importing competition? Woah.. narley Dude.
After all, Oliver North knew Barry Seal and claimed Barry Seal had information about the Sandinistas smuggling cocaine. Heaven forbid the Sandinistas were doing the same thing the CIA was on behalf of the Contras. No wonder the CIA wanted to eliminate their competition.
Let's take a quick peek at the history of Nicaragua. Originally, Nicaragua was a Spanish colony back in the 1500's but gained it's independence in 1821. José Santos Zelaya became president at the turn of the century. Nicaragua was initially the preferred location for the construction of a canal.
When the United States shifted its interests to Panama, Zelaya negotiated with Germany and Japan in an unsuccessful effort to have a canal constructed in his state. Fearful that president Zelaya might generate an alternative foreign alignment in the region, the U.S. labeled him a tyrant in opposition to U.S. planned hegemony.
In 1909, the United States provided political support to conservative-led forces rebelling against President Zelaya. Aside from wanting to build a canal, Zelaya attempted to regulate foreign access to Nicaraguan natural resources. How dare he? That's worse then dumping British tea into the Boston Harbour.
The French government had inquired to the U.S. whether a loan to Nicaragua would be deemed unfriendly, the U.S. secretary of state required the loan to be conditional on U.S. relations.
U.S. Marines occupied Nicaragua from 1912 to 1933. When the Americans left in 1933, they set up the Guardia Nacional (National Guard), a combined military and police force trained and equipped by the Americans and designed to be loyal to U.S. interests.
To me there are definite similarities between the US control of a canal in Panama with England's control of the Suez canal in Egypt. It was about money not democracy.
The Somoza family came to power as part of a US-engineered pact in 1927 that stipulated the formation of the Guardia Nacional, or the National Guard, to replace the U.S. marines that had long reigned in the country. That dynasty lasted from 1936 - 1979.
In 1961 Carlos Fonseca, turned back to the historical figure of Sandino, and along with 2 others founded the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). Fonseca turned to the KGB and Cuba's DGI for arms and assistance.
Upon assuming office in 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan condemned the FSLN for joining with Cuba in supporting Marxist revolutionary movements in other Latin American countries such as El Salvador. Reagan was also concerned about the growing Soviet and Cuban presence in Nicaragua, and the Soviet hope to turn Nicaragua into a "second Cuba."
Under the Reagan Doctrine, his administration authorized the CIA to have their paramilitary officers from their elite Special Activities Division begin financing, arming and training rebels, some of whom were the remnants of Somoza's National Guard, as anti-Sandinista guerrillas that were branded "counter-revolutionary" by leftists (contrarrevolucionarios in Spanish). This was shortened to Contras, a label the anti-socialist forces chose to embrace.
Nicaragua No Pasaran documentary.
This is the problematic nature of sticking your nose into other's people's business all the time. The end does not justify the means. If you support a dictator the people will rebel. Some will swing left some will swing right for support. Clearly, it's not about protecting democracy and human rights, it's about protecting American interests and that is sad. There is no reason Nicaragua can't still build a canal if they so choose.