Category: Nicaragua

The Grayzone news articles and reports on Nicaragua, the Sandinista movement (FSLN), President Daniel Ortega, the opposition, and US intervention.

‘US economic terrorism will backfire’: Iranian foreign minister calls for unity in Nicaragua

In Nicaragua, Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal asked Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif about US sanctions, Europe’s role in the nuclear deal, the Non-Aligned Movement meeting in Venezuela, and seizures of oil tankers.

Video by Ben Norton

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A year after Nicaragua coup attempt, the media’s regime-change deceptions are still unraveling

Corporate media outlets blamed Nicaragua’s government for a deadly arson attack during the 2018 coup attempt, but new information raises serious doubts about the official story, highlighting the campaign of regime-change misinformation.

By John Perry

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Every Single Member of US Congress Approved Crushing Sanctions on Nicaragua

After defeating a violent US-backed coup attempt, Nicaragua’s elected government faces the NICA Act. The bill aims to force the Sandinistas from power by ratcheting up economic despair.

By Ben Norton

Every single member in both chambers of the US Congress approved legislation that will impose sanctions and financial restrictions on Nicaragua in an explicit effort to weaken its government.

Known as the NICA Act, the bill is now on its way to the desk of President Donald Trump, who will almost certainly sign it into law. Its passage was spearheaded by neoconservative lawmakers centered around the Miami lobby of right-wing Latin American exiles dedicated to eradicating any iteration of socialism in the Western hemisphere.

The United States has spent decades trying to topple Nicaragua’s government, now led by the left-wing Sandinista movement. In April, US-backed opposition figures launched an unsuccessful and exceedingly violent coup attempt in the Central American country — one of the last bastions of leftist politics in an increasingly right-leaning Latin America.

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The Guardian Pushes More Lies on Nicaragua, Covering Up For Putschist Priests

The Guardian continues its relentless campaign of demonization against Nicaragua’s elected government with a falsehood-filled cover-up for the Catholic church leaders under fire for leading a violent coup.

By Nan McCurdy, Nora McCurdy and Kevin Zeese

 

A note from Kevin Zeese of Popular Resistance: The Guardian has been on a campaign of lies about Nicaragua. They have taken sides and are not honest reporters but advocates for the coup. Even though the falsity of their reporting has been repeatedly pointed out, they continue on their disgraceful campaign of reporting false stories on Nicaragua.

The article below focused on the church being a sanctuary for protesters and makes outlandish claims about incarceration of protesters. In fact, church leaders were part of the violent failed coup.  A clandestine recording, described in the article below, of a Catholic bishop shows him claiming credit for the failed coup. The  leaked audio recording of a meeting Silvio Báez, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua, is of a meeting held for the purpose of destabilizing the government of Nicaragua. The recordings show that Church leaders helped create the violent roadblocks, are plotting more violence and want Daniel Ortega executed. Báez, who has been unmasked as a principal conspirator in the violent coup attempt against the President Daniel Ortega’s government.

The Catholic Church has been denounced by Nicaraguans for their open complicity in the wave of violence that caused hundreds of deaths in Nicaragua. Members of the church have been denounced for their collaboration with the tortures and murders committed by the armed opposition “the Church was the center of torture,” says Madelein García, teleSUR correspondent in Nicaragua. In a video it is reported that Catholic Priest, Guillermo Barrios, helped torture Sandinista supporter, Sander Bonilla, in Leon.

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Una respuesta a la desinformación sobre Nicaragua: Fue un golpe, no una ‘masacre’

En Nicaragua, el golpe apoyado por EEUU fracasó, pero Mary Ellsberg y otros continúan intentando persuadir al resto del mundo de que la crisis está “lejos de haber terminado”.

Por Charles Redvers

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How Nicaragua’s ‘Left-Wing’ Opposition MRS Are NGO Opportunists Lobbying the West for Regime Change

The Sandinista Renovation Movement (Movimiento Renovador Sandinista – MRS) is the intellectual, left-sounding arm of reactionary politics in Nicaragua. Its popular base is minuscule, but it has been adept at courting Western support.

By Max Blumenthal and Nils McCune

On a recent episode of my Moderate Rebels podcast with Ben Norton, I asked Nils McCune about the role of the Sandinista Renovation Movement (Movimiento Renovador Sandinista – MRS) party in marketing the recent coup in Nicaragua as a progressive popular mobilization.

McCune, a longtime resident of the Nicaraguan city of Tipitapa, has worked closely with the country’s rural campesino movement and observed the coup from the ground. He is also an astute observer of the country’s politics and history.

Below is audio of our discussion and a transcript of McCune’s comments on the MRS, its collaboration with right-wing elements inside Nicaragua, and its importance in selling the coup to the Western liberal-left.

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A Response to Misinformation on Nicaragua: It Was a Coup, Not a ‘Massacre’

Mary Ellsberg’s latest is a collection of tropes and distortions with little connection to the current reality. A longtime resident of Nicaragua who witnessed the coup from the ground responds.

By Charles Redvers

For a summary of Mary Ellsberg’s history of work with the US government agencies actively promoting regime change in Nicaragua, and her involvement with toxic elements advocating a similar destabilization campaign against Syria, see the editor’s note that follows this piece.

There is so much misinformation in mainstream corporate media about recent events in Nicaragua that it is a pity that Mary Ellsberg’s article for Pulse has added to it with a seemingly leftish critique. Ellsberg claims that recent articles, including from this website, often “paint a picture of the crisis in Nicaragua that is dangerously misleading.”

Unfortunately, her own article does just that. It looks at the situation entirely from the perspective of those opposing Daniel Ortega’s government while whitewashing their malevolent behavior and downplaying the levels of US support they have relied on. Her piece is an incomplete depiction of what is happening on the ground, ignoring many salient facts that have come to light and which have been outdated by recent events.

The following is a brief response to Ellsberg’s main points from someone who lives in Nicaragua and has observed the situation directly and intimately.

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An Exclusive Interview with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega

Daniel Ortega claims his Sandinista government has just defeated a US-backed coup. In a candid and lengthy discussion with me in Managua, he discussed the violent unrest and the factors behind it.

By Max Blumenthal

Since the sudden outbreak of protests and violence last April, an uneasy calm had fallen over Nicaragua. President Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista government have claimed victory over what they call a coup attempt, but they now face condemnation from the US and its allies, who accuse them of unleashing lethal violence against peaceful protesters.

I spent much of July inside Nicaragua, speaking with supporters of the government and their opponents. I learned that Washington’s narrative of a despised dictator mowing down unarmed demonstrators wasn’t exactly accurate. Across the country, I observed widespread support for Ortega and the Sandinista movement. It also became apparent from the moment I arrived that Western media had covered up the brutality of the opposition, as well as its anti-democratic agenda.

In the midst of what seemed to be a misinformation campaign reinforced by right-wing members of Congress and the Organization of American States, I approached the Nicaraguan government for a chance to hear Ortega’s side of the story. He agreed, granting me one of his first interviews in eleven years.

Here are 13 takeaways from our wide-ranging discussion on July 25 in Managua:

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How Washington and Soft Power NGOs Manipulated Nicaragua’s Death Toll to Drive Regime Change and Sanctions

Did Nicaragua’s Sandinista government really kill 300+ peaceful protesters? A forensic analysis of the death toll exposes the claim as a dangerous lie.

By Max Blumenthal

A detailed study of the death toll that has been recorded in Nicaragua since a violent campaign to remove President Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista government shows that at least as many Sandinista supporters were killed as opposition members. The study, “Monopolizing Death,” demonstrates how partisan local NGOs conflated all deaths that occurred since April, including accidents and the murders of Sandinistas, with killings by government forces. Washington has seized on the bogus death count to drive the case for sanctions and intensify pressure for regime change.

The manipulated death toll was the centerpiece of a July 25 harangue by Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on the House floor. While drumming up support for a bipartisan resolution condemning Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega for supposedly ordering the massacre of demonstrators, Ros-Lehtinen declared, “Mr. Speaker, four hundred and fifty! That is how many Nicaraguans have been killed by the Ortega regime and its thugs since April of this year.”

The congresswoman’s portrayal of a dictatorial regime gunning down peaceful protesters like helpless quails in a canned hunt was designed to generate pressure for an attack on the Nicaraguan economy in the form of sanctions packages like the Nica Act. Her narrative was reinforced by Vice President Mike Pence, who condemned Nicaragua’s government for “350+ dead at the hands of the regime,” and by Ken Roth, the long-serving executive director of Human Rights Watch, who also suggested that Ortega had personally ordered the killing of “300 demonstrators against his corrupt and repressive rule.”

Throughout the past two weeks, I have been in Nicaragua interviewing scores of victims of the US-backed Nicaraguan opposition. I have met police officials who saw their colleagues gunned down by well armed elements while being ordered to stay in their stations, Sandinista union leaders whose homes were burned down, and average citizens who were kidnapped at tranque roadblocks and pulled out of their homes to be beaten and tortured, sometimes with the assent of Catholic priests. It was clear to me that the Nicaraguan opposition was anything peaceful in its bid for regime change.

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An Open Letter To The Guardian On Its Wildly Inaccurate Coverage of Nicaragua

This Guardian’s editor-in-chief received the following letter but has refused to publish it, even in shorter form.

For the past three months, there has been a political crisis in Nicaragua, with opposing forces not only confronting each other in the streets but fighting a media war. The Guardian should be at the forefront of balanced and well-informed reporting of these events. Instead, despite plentiful evidence of opposition violence, almost all your 17 reports since mid-April blame Daniel Ortega’s government for the majority of deaths that have occurred. One of your most recent articles (“The Nicaraguan students who became reluctant rebels”, July 10) leaves unchallenged an opposition claim that theirs is “a totally peaceful struggle.” Only one article (July 4) gives significant space to the government version of events.

While most of the recent violence is associated with opposition barricades erected across the country, you still refer to a “wave of violence and repression by the government” (June 24). Not once do you refer to the numerous deaths of government supporters or the 21 deaths and hundreds of injuries suffered by the police, including the killing of four policemen observing a “peace” demonstration on July 12. Nor did you report the only attack on a member of the “national dialogue” set up to try resolve the crisis, when student leader Leonel Morales was shot and left for dead on June 12; he is a government supporter. Your report from Masaya (June 12) failed to mention that the protestors had burnt down public buildings, ransacked shops and destroyed the homes of government officials. Nor did you record the kidnapping of hundreds of long-distance lorries and drivers, who spent a month in effective captivity despite efforts by their ambassadors and international mediators to secure their release (eventually achieved by the government on July 8). Your report of the shooting of a one year-old boy in “the latest round of government repression” (June 25) does not mention video evidence that he was killed by opposition youths.

The author of several articles, Carl David Goette-Luciak, openly associates with opposition figures. On July 5 he blamed the police for the terrible house fire in Managua three weeks earlier, relying largely on assertions from government opponents. Yet videos appearing to show police presence were actually taken on April 21, before barricades were erected to prevent police entering the area.

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