imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Guardian: The US unduly influenced the Nicaraguan Election

by Duncan Campbell Thursday, Nov. 08, 2001 at 7:39 AM

Titled: Getting the Right Result. Sub-title: Nicaragua's election showed the US still won't allow a free vote. It's an excellent article -- seems like old times.

Duncan Campbell

Wednesday November 7, 2001

The Guardian

During a recent television discussion in the United States chaired by veteran presenter Barbara Walters, the subject for discussion was the new national puzzle: why they hate us. The reason, suggested Karen Hughes, President Bush's special counsellor and his senior press officer during his election campaign, was that "they hate us because we elect our leaders".

Voters in Nicaragua, queuing at the polls last Sunday to elect a new government, might have been forgiven a wry smile on hearing those words. While the United States government radar may seem to have been pointed in the direction of Afghanistan and the Middle East, the state department and many American politicians and officials still found time over the last few weeks to use money, free food and propaganda to try to influence the vote in Nicaragua. In the short term, they may have succeeded - the US's favoured candidate, the 73-year-old entrepreneur and landowner Enrique Bolanos of the ruling Liberal party, defeated the Sandinista leader and onetime guerrilla Daniel Ortega - but who knows what the long-term effect will be?

Some history: the Sandinistas ended the Somoza family dictatorship through a revolution in 1979. Their leaders were more pluralistic and less ideologically strait-jacketed than many similar movements and the victory was broadly welcomed in the country. When the Sandinistas stood for election in 1984, they won with 67% of the vote. The US, having seen which way the vote was going, indicated before the election that they would not recognise it. Instead, they supported what, certainly by today's definition, amounted to a terrorist campaign under the contras or counter-revolutionaries. It was an illegal war which resulted in up to 50,000 deaths in Nicaragua. In 1990, a weary electorate backed the US-favoured candidate, Violeta Chamorro, and Ortega surrendered power, the first such peaceful transition through the ballot box in the country's history.

Ortega's political career since then has disappointed many of his former supporters, not least because of the powerful allegations of sexual abuse by his step-daughter, Zoilamerica Narvaez. Few imagined he would ever again challenge seriously for the presidency. Then, earlier this summer, came the results of opinion polls in the local press: Ortega was running some six or seven percentage points ahead of his nearest rivals and might, it seemed, return to power.

The US dispatched a state department official who told the local chamber of commerce how damaging this would be to the country. Pressure was successfully put on the third party candidate, the Conservative Noel Vidaurre, to drop out in order to prevent the splitting of the anti-Ortega vote. The US ambassador, kitted out in a Liberal party baseball hat, embraced the Bolanos election campaign and invited the candidate to join him on an emergency food-aid distribution trip. (Think the US ambassador to the Court of St James dressed in Tory T-shirt, handing out free choc ices in Swansea or Sheffield shoulder to shoulder with Iain Duncan Smith.)

John Keane, the US's acting deputy assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs, said last month that the Sandinistas included people responsible for "abominations" of human and civil rights. Such has been the official US rhetoric that former president Jimmy Carter, in Nicaragua to oversee a fair election, was moved to say last week: "I personally disapprove of statements or actions by another country that might tend to influence the votes of people of another sovereign nation."

Jeb Bush, the US president's brother and governor of the state of Florida, home of the one of the dodgiest election results in recent history, wrote an article in the Miami Herald last month in which he attacked Ortega because he "neither understands nor embraces the basic concepts of freedom, democracy and free enterprise". Bush jnr added: "Daniel Ortega is an enemy of everything the United States represents. Further, he is a friend of our enemies. Ortega has a relationship of more than 30 years with states and individuals who shelter and condone international terrorism." The article was duly reprinted last week as an ad by the Liberal party in the Nicaraguan daily, La Prensa, under the headline "The brother of the president of the United States supports Enrique Bolanos". As satirist Tom Lehrer said on the occasion of Henry Kissinger winning the Nobel peace prize - who needs irony?

Then, last week, three US politicians: Jesse Helms, the North Carolina Republican, Bob Graham (Democrat, Florida) and Mike DeWine (Republican, Ohio) put a resolution to Congress calling on the president to re-evaluate his policy towards Nicaragua if the Sandinistas were to win - effectively suggesting the further impoverishment of an impoverished country if the wrong result came through. The resolution was duly reported in the Nicaraguan press.

In the meantime, two of the architects of the illegal contra war have returned from the elephants' graveyard. John Negroponte, who had not noticed anything untoward when atrocities were being committed in Honduras during the war, was confirmed as UN ambassador within days of September 11 when the nation's attention was elsewhere. Earlier, Elliott Abrams, who had pleaded guilty in 1981 to lying to Congress over the conduct of the war, was installed by the president to head his "office for democracy and human rights". See Tom Lehrer again. His criminal offence was described by White House spokesman Ari Fleischer as "a matter of the past".

Ortega, sadly, was no Nelson Mandela. Now that he has lost, some of the idealistic souls who once stood beside him in what was, by any standards, a brave revolution may now return to the political arena. Other younger, untainted politicians may emerge. But just at the moment when the US needs to be convincing the world that they do not impose their will to protect their commercial interests with little regard to local people's desires, the events of the past few weeks in Nicaragua will serve to create more cynicism.

The Sandinistas, a small, disorganised party in one of the world's poorest countries, posed no threat to the US. To link them to terrorism in the wake of September 11 was a cheap and dishonest shot. The next time Barbara Walters asks Karen Hughes why do they hate us, she can add one small but not insignificant cause.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Cybermonde, cyberguerre, cyberespace, cyberterrorisme S24 6:35AM

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy