"Things are heating up again. There is another national strike today which means there will be lots of violence and deaths." "The UN Human Rights have been kicked out of the country. I lost count of the deaths after 430. The injured is up in the thousands." "Yesterday they made a proclamation that on September 17th the Cordoba will be devalued but they haven't said by how much. There will be further changes to the social system, ie pensions and medical care." "September 13th to 17th are big holidays here as they celebrate their independence. But I can see the violence already starting to gear up. Yesterday and the day before the MIB were here rounding up people from the neighborhood. Where they were taken and why is anyone's guess." "We are safely tucked in behind the walls and don't leave now for anything. My son has it worse in (city name redacted). The police have been shooting people in front of his house. His house is all boarded up and they are safe inside for the moment." "There has been a law passed that makes it illegal to speak against the government in public but that has since expanded to include private conversations. There are spies everywhere. You have no idea who is listening in on our conversations"
These quotes were given to me by a person who is living in the hot zone of this bloody Nicaraguan conflict. The real danger of reprisal from their government prevents them from reporting this themselves and so I had to promise to protect their identity in order to get these words to you. I didn't translate them, this is raw reporting from the ground and I only made redactions and changes to protect the source.
What is all this pain and suffering all about? I believe like all complicated issues like this, there are more variables than can be named in one article but I hope to be able to explain a few things about this generational war that has been raging since the Iran Contra scandal in the early 1980s.
Yes that's right, this fight started over 30 years ago and Ortega was there right at the beginning of the battle. For a quick but in depth look at the U.S.A.s role at the time Ortega first seized power please read this article. https://www.historyonthenet.com/authentichistory/1974-1992/3-reagan/5-irancontra/index.html
The crux of our involvement hinged on America's commitment to fight Communism wherever it starts to take control and that policy was most aggressively practiced in during the Reagan administration as the end of the cold war drew near. The fall of the U.S.S.R. was seen as a huge victory for American values but the left wing ideology remained and even flourished in places like South America. The way we fought Ortega however, was not legal by our standards and caused more problems than anything else and a feeling of resentment still persists in those who support the far left regime.
Communism does not work, it never will work and that is because it is based on the idea that we can forcibly change human nature and how we feel and interact with one another. No central planner, no matter how powerful can force everyone in their country to behave a certain way and trying it has led to pain and death without fail.
Unfortunately, when we funded rebel groups in Nicaragua during the 80s, we did it with money obtained illegally from Iran and then secretly gave these funds, along with weapons and armor, against the orders of our Congress and the will of our people. That meant that when the Reagan administration was caught in the act of doing this we had to withdraw all support being promised to the rebels leaving them outmanned and outgunned.
Withdrawing our support right when the opposition group was gaining ground on the Ortega government has left the entire nation in a state of civil war for almost four decades now and there does not seem to be an end in sight for them. Not only that, America's actions gave the communist government the enemy the needed to keep their grip on power. Whenever their left wing ideology fails to produce the intended results they can always point us and the problems we caused the nation as the reason things are so bad. It us and our imperialist bullying that keeps them down.
We won't share our wealth and we don't want our friends to share theirs with authoritarian dictators like Ortega, plain and simple. If we think the money we generate through trade or the technology we develop is aiding a person who would change their nations constitution to make themselves president for life and appoint their wife as vice president, we take ourselves out of the situation, at least in theory that is.
In practice that does not seem to work out for us and has always been a problem since the early 20th century here and we do end up looking like hypocrites more often than not. People behind the scenes in our government abuse their position to either enrich themselves or to support personal ideology, this is a great case in point.
For a better sense of what the anti American sentiment looks and feels like please read this article by a pro communist author who writes for a left leaning think tank.
Perhaps the outrage is justifiable, I would like to hear opinions in the comments, but either way resentment and belligerence is not going to end this war. Hating the U.S.A. will not make us fund the IMF or stop the sanctions we have on the country. They won't get lifted until people have a real vote and a constitution they believe in. We won't trade with a government that has agents shooting people in the streets because they want the money promised to them by the very people who are killing them.
If you have read any of my previous articles on global trade you will have heard me warn against trusting the IMF (international monetary fund). This is an example of why. They cut their aid because of a shift to environmental protections over agricultural production and pension relief. The central planners in Nicaragua were counting on that money as it had been promised to them years ago by the global community. When people can't eat or pay their rent because they are left without the money they thought was coming the riot. If my boss made me work even a day and didn't pay me I would be outraged, I can only imagine what it feels like to put a lifetime into working for a system just to not get your just reward at the end of the day.
The problem we have outside the international community and the IMF, ie the U.S.A. government, is that we know what will happen if we step in and give Ortega the resources he needs to pay the country's bills. If we try to fill in the budget gap left by the ever broke IMF the dictator there will not use it as intended. He will most likely continue to act as he is now but perhaps worse. The money we give will probably go to consolidating is power and buying weapons and soldiers to clamp down on any resistance and people will get shot before they get fed.
By the end of the month life will be more like it is in Venezuela than it had been in the nations long and proud history. The plan the government there has to pay its bills is the same as all communist regimes, massive currency devaluation and the nationalization of productive industries. The bank runs have already started and limits on how much cash can be withdrawn per day has been set at low rate of course. Anyone who resists the powerful are harassed, intimidated or just murdered in public to make examples of the State's power. Para-military groups dressed in black carry guns openly and act above the law.
Things are bad and they are about to get worse. The fear is real and life locked in a house that has been boarded up is not going to work for the people for long. More resistance is coming because human values are universal and dictators and jack boot thugs can't change that no matter how much force the use. Our spirits can not be crushed forever and change is coming.
Like I said before my government has lessened its war on left wing ideology and in some instances have begun to support it. The chances of us supporting the rebels are not looking great, it is near impossible to find out who would rise up to replace Ortega but as the situation escalates a leader will emerge and that will help the opposition gain support. Our previous covert efforts to aid only made things worse and that chapter of our history is not considered a proud moment so I doubt we will relive that failure in the next few years.
What does that leave for those who want to help? I would suggest dropping the left-right paradigm and look at this on a person to person level. If you see someone posting from the region upvote it and share their work with others. Realize that they cannot speak their minds openly unless they want to risk their very lives and need help regardless of what side they fall on. You may take a position openly that you detest in private under such duress or just do what you can to remain benign and neutral. If you know someone who does want to speak out you could fund a software program that hides their IP address and keeps them safe to trade crypto. The things we can do in our online communities may do more good than any amount of machine guns, so please make more suggestions in the comments. What ever we do, we have to make sure it's ahead of government controls and won't lead to the people we want to help getting targeted because of what we do.
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