[Marxism] Re: Nicaragua 25 years later

Lou Paulsen LouPaulsen at sbcglobal.net
Sat Jul 24 01:54:44 MDT 2004

LP> The election of 1990 was about as fair under the circumstances
LP> as Milosevic's trial,

  That is quite a strange statement -- the election took place with
the FSLN in power. What resemblence did this have with Mr. Milosevic
being imprisoned?

"Until the Sandinista revolution against the U.S.-backed dicatator Anastasio
Somoza, the bulk of Nicaraguan exports had gone to the U.S.  The embargo,
which Reagan said was aimed at making the Sandinistas 'cry uncle', collapsed
Nicaragua's banana, coffee, cotton, seafood and sugar market.  ... The trade
embargo and a decade of contra war has choked and crushed the economy.
Annual per capita gross national product has fallen from an already low
#1,130 in 1979 to $743 in 1989.  In 1988, inflation climbed 33,600%!  Real
wages have dropped 90% since 1981.  That is what U.S. imperialism did to
Nicaragua, inflicting one unremitting dose of pain after another to have its
way with this small nation.

"... Then along comes Bush, with his candidate, Violeta Chomorro.  In so
many words, Bush told the Nicaraguan people, "Vote for my candidate or your
life will get even worse, for I have the power to starve you."  Bush and
Congress gave Chamorro millions of dollars for the campaign.  The threat of
a Panama-type invasion was fresh.

"In the meantime, some $400 million in aid from Eastern Europe and from the
USSR, which the people of Nicaragua needed desperately, had been cut off or
slowed to a trickle by perestroika 'reforms' and counterrevolution.  And the
units of the CIA contra terrorists, the second largest military force in
Central America, continued to roam the hills of Nicaragua's north.

"This sort of violent coercion would be considered a crime in a court of
law.  In Nicaragua, Washington calls it a 'free election'.

-- Andy Stapp, Workers World, March 8, 1990

"To give an idea of the impact of this money [$17 million in U.S. aid to the
U.S.-backed UNO coalition, amounting to $10 for every voter in the country],
an equivalent amount in the United States would be about $1.5 bilion.  But
considering that the average income in the U.S. is about 25 times that in
Nicaragua, the true value of such foreign financial influence would be about
$37.5 billion, a hundred times more than was spent by both the Republicans
and Democrats in the 1988 election year for all the candidates -
presidential, senatorial, and representative!  Of course, it is illegal in
the U.S. for an outside power to openly finance an opposition campaign in
the elections."

-- Dee Knight, Workers World, March 8, 1990

"It would be one thing if [the UNO coalition] were -secretly- financed by
the U.S.  But this is not the case.  The U.S. government has openly boasted
about financing the UNO campaign lock, stock, and barrel, without
obstruction of any type.  ...  The U.S. imperialist government, which has
conducted a most merciless, ruthless and predatory war against the people
since the triumph of the revolution, suddenly decided it would carry on the
same level of warfare by a different method.  The object remained the same:
the domination of the country by U.S. finance capital."

-- Sam Marcy, Workers World, March 8, 1990

"Suppose that some power of unimaginable strength were to threaten to reduce
the United States to the level of Ethiopia unless we voted for its
candidates, demonstrating that the threat was real. Suppose that we refused,
and the threat was then carried out, the country brought to its knees, the
economy wrecked and millions killed. Suppose, finally, that the threat were
repeated, loud and clear, at the time of the next scheduled elections. Under
such conditions, only the most extreme hypocrite would speak of a free
election. Furthermore, it is likely that close to 100% of the population
would succumb.

Apart from the last sentence, I have just described U.S.-Nicaraguan
relations for the last decade."

--Noam Chomsky, The Boston Globe, March 4, 1990

An extensive Chomsky essay is here:

See also here:

Lou Paulsen
member, WWP, Chicago

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