Anyone old enough to remember
-- or savvy enough to have learned about -- the fierce battles over U.S. aid
to the Contras will have to feel a queasy sense of déjà vu: the diplomatic
personnel are being assembled, and the funds allocated, for new U.S.
intervention in Nicaragua.
Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs, Elliott Abrams, has
been appointed to the staff of the National Security Council, a position
for which he does not need Senate confirmation. Abrams has the blood of more innocent
children, women, and men on his hands than any Balkan war criminal. He has
also grown rich in Central American business schemes since his departure
--Otto Reich, who Bush is
planning to nominate for Abrams' old job, was in charge of psychological
operations under Reagan and Bush, a position from which he spread
disinformation to the press...
--John Negroponte, who as
Ambassador to Honduras during the 80's helped run the contra war and
covered up Honduran army atrocities, is Bush's shameful choice for
Ambassador to the UN.... In 1988, after Nicaragua was devastated by
Hurricane Joan, Negroponte was overheard to say, "We need to treat
this as if it were a successful contra attack." This is a chillingly
[Excerpts from a letter (full text here) sent out by
the Nicaragua Network, a
long-established advocacy group opposing U.S. intervention in Nicaragua
and elsewhere in Central America.]
Greg Thome, Desk Officer for
Nicaragua at the U.S. State Department, told me today that $5.6 million has
been allocated for U.S. "monitoring" and other "help" in
the upcoming Nicaraguan presidential elections. (There are likely similar
allocations in other U.S. government departments and agencies about which
we're still unaware. And of course, as we know from experience,
whatever amount of money they admit to is always multiplied several times
over in covert funding.)
Even that $5.6 million is
huge. Nicaragua has a population of 4.4 million, the U.S. about 280
million. So the $5.6 million is the equivalent of a foreign country
spending over $356 million to "assist" in a U.S. presidential
election. I somehow think the powers that be in this country might
object to that. [When I pointed how to Desk Officer Thome how
relatively massive this amount of money was for a country of Nicaragua's
population, he said "You're right. Fair enough."]
From the same letter as
All of this makes me so
angry that it is difficult to even find the words to express my outrage.
For more than a century, my country has killed Nicaragua's children,
destroyed its economy, wiped out every social advance of the Sandinista
Revolution, and raped the environment.
My sentiments exactly.
My blood literally boils over.