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US Intervention in Nicaragua Election: Threats, Intimidation and Bribes PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Sunday, 29 October 2006 02:19
US Intervention in Nicaragua Election: Threats, Intimidation and Bribes

PEJ News - Joan Russow - The impact of the continual and constant US intervention in the democratic elections in Nicaragua must not be minimized. The years of US military and economic intervention in Nicaragua along with US government intimidation, blatant threats, and with the US funded ?humanitarian? organizations? intrusion into various stages of the electoral process has to be addressed by the global community.


US intervention in Nicaragua election: threats, intimidation and bribes

Joan Russow

PEJ News
October 29, 2006

In the current lead up to the election, Bush bribed Nicaragua with a grant for ?social programs? co-incidently on the same day that the Nicaraguan government was pressured into ratifying CAFTA. Subsequently on June 29 the US Controlled World Bank announced ?Nicaragua to Receive Debt Relief Totaling ...US$37 Billion in Debt Cancellation?. In Aug 24, 2006, US- controlled World Bank approved US$17 Million Nicaragua loan from the ?World Bank for Competitiveness? fund. In the Press release this loan was connected to CAFTA: ?With DR-CAFTA in place, it is essential to support the institutions that will help the private sector grow, modernize and become more productive as a way to increase investment and exports,? (Jane Armitage, World Bank Director for Central America).

On October 3, in Managua, Rumsfeld presided over the Defense Ministers of the Americas conference. At this conference Rumsfeld made veiled threats which, because of past US military attacks on Nicaragua, were intended to impact on the upcoming election. While raising concerns about Venezuela and the supposed build up of arms, he began to enter into bilateral agreements with the various Latin American countries that provide arms on condition that US military will be exempt from prosecution under the International Criminal Court.

The infamous School of the Americas has be renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation and linked with International Military Education & Training (IMET) for allied and friendly nations?. This program exposes students ?to the U.S. professional military establishment and the American way of life? and provides human rights face-lift Including courses demonstrating the ?U.S. regard for democratic values, respect for individual and human rights and belief in the rule of law?.

The Presidential race is based on the ?First Past the Post System? which is plagued with the spectre of ?vote splitting?. To counter the right wing vote- splitting. On Monday, April 17, Paul Trivelli, the US Ambassador in Nicaragua met with right wing parties in the country to discuss and opposition strategy against Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega in the November 5 presidential elections. He urged the right wing to rally around Eduardo Montealegre, the Presidential candidate from the Alianza Liberal. Years early, the US had encouraged the vote splitting in the Frente Sandinista Liberation National. Herty Lewittes, recently deceased, led the break away group (MRS) Movimiento de Renovaci?n Sandinista. The US contributed a few million dollars to create the bizarre Tarzan style park called ?Hertlandia?.

Even the Organization of American states has criticized the US direct intervention by Ambassador Paulo Trivelli U.S. congressman Daniel Burton, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, and US Commerce Secretary, Carlos Gutierria. Ambassador Trivelli signaled that ?Washington would review its aid for Nicaragua if Mr. Ortega wins the election?. Congressman Daniel Burton, and Robert Zoellick, former Secretary of state threatened to pull the 175 million dollar loan from Millennium Challenge Corporation which is headed by Condolezza Rice .Carlos Gutierria declared that ?an Ortega victory would scare off foreign investors. Daniel Burton also warned the Nicaraguans of dire consequences ? it?s important that the people know what can happen if the government returns to the kind of government there was in the 1980s.? Burton similarly ?threatened Nicaraguans with the loss of remittances, thus taking advantage of Nicaraguans? economic desperation to bribe them into voting against Ortega?. (Common Dreams)

US rights wing ?Think tanks? have hosted a reception for Montealegre whose speech was web cast . Other US private citizens and corporations, are using a loop hole in the Nicaraguan constitution to send funds to Montealegre. In Virginia an organization called Applied Government Strategies organized a Montealegre fund-raising event purporting to be ?In defense of Freedom and Democracy in Nicaragua?.This fund raising campaign has been endorsed by Jeane Kirkpatrick Former Ambassador to the United Nations, who emplores US citizens ? Your help is needed to stop Daniel Ortega and Hugo Chavez from winning in Central America. Patrick Anderson, President of Applied Government Strategies, the event organizer stated a fundraiser was also held in Miami. When asked if foreign corporate donations were possible under the Nicaraguan Constitution, he claimed that they were and that he had received a legal opinion that corporate donations were possible if used for educational purposes but then assured me that leaflets etc would qualify (personal communication).

For years, so-called US ?humanitarian groups? with altruistic and euphemistic names, while claiming to be ?independent? of US Government policy, have impacted on all aspects of Nicaraguan society in attempting to promote US government policy. Influence has come from the National Foundation for Democracy first formed under Reagan, through the International Republican Institute for International Affairs, the Center for Democracy, the Center for international Private Enterprise, the global development alliance, the American Nicaraguan Chamber of Commerce, the Academy for Educational Development, Freedom House etc to the PRODEMCA (Friends of the Democratic Center in Central America) and the Committee for the Free World (CFW).

The US is doing all it can through all these various channels to prevent the election of Daniel Ortega but currently Through these various channels the US is misrepresenting the strength of the right wing parties by claiming that Ortega is ahead in the polls because the right wing is split. It would be more accurate to state that Ortega would easily win if Joaquim and Pastora who have split from the FSLN would forget their differences and support Ortega. Nicaragua has for too long been controlled by US interests. If they united around Daniel Ortega he would definitely win.

Joan Russow PhD

From January ?April, 2006 Joan Russow along with her late husband David White, volunteered at the Museum honouring the Nicaraguan revolution, and video interviewed Nicaraguans on the revolution and the upcoming election for a forthcoming film.US intervention in Nicaragua election: threats, intimidation and bribes

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 October 2006 02:19

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