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Jeb Bush Attacks Sandinista Ortega, Threatens Nicaragua in Full-Page Ad

Even Worse, the Ad in the Nicaraguan Newspaper La Prensa Is Designed to Make It Appear to Be From George Bush

October 30, 2001

In a full-page ad October 29 in the Nicaraguan national newspaper La Prensa, Governor Jeb Bush of Florida harshly attacked Sandinista candidate Daniel Ortega, endorsed his main opponent Enrique Bolaños, and made thinly veiled threats against Nicaragua should Ortega win.

According to the latest polls, Ortega and Bolaños are in a statistical dead heat, with the election less than a week away.

Here are some of the choice parts of the ad:

As I look at Latin America today, I'm reminded of the motto which is written above the entrance to the US National Archives: "The Past Is Prologue." The past is without doubt the key indicator of the future...

The past and present of Daniel Ortega clearly indicate that he neither understands nor accepts the basic principles of freedom, democracy and the free market...

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.

By contrast Enrique Bolaños is a man whose past promises a future of freedom...

Latin America needs leaders like Enrique Bolaños, people whose history shows a commitment to the construction of prosperous economies and solid democracies which are the necessary base for reinforcing bonds of brotherhood with Florida, just as with the whole United States of America. [more of the text]

The layout of the ad is as devious as the words.  Small blue letters above the headline read "The Brother of the President of the United States."  The massive headline, in blaring read, is "GEORGE W. BUSH SUPPORTS ENRIQUE BOLAÑOS."  All of this appears on a white background, and the whole page is bordered in red, white and blue.  The effect is to give the impression that the ad is an endorsement of Ortega's opponent by George Bush himself. 

Of course, even if seen as coming from the President's brother, that the warning is really from the U.S. government would by now be quite clear to Nicaraguan voters, given the repeated instances of U.S. interference in the Nicaraguan presidential election process.  Such an ad, coming from a country which organized, financed and directed a terrorist contra army against Nicaragua in the late 1980's, is designed to -- and may well indeed -- instill fear in Nicaraguan voters that if they elect Ortega, the United States will again attack Nicaragua, or at least make things very difficult for it.

How outrageous!  Remember when the Washington establishment went ballistic because the Chinese government made political contributions in our presidential election?  What would have happened had the brother of the Chinese president taken out a full page ad in The New York Times and stated that one candidate is an enemy of everything China represents, and then made not-so-subtle threats of dire consequences should that candidate be elected!

That the Bush administration would place this anti-Ortega, threatening ad shows the incredibly paternalistic -- indeed, downright racist -- attitude it has toward Latin America.  To the Bush administration, the countries "down there" are still seen as a bunch of banana republics "in our backyard" that need to be kept totally under U.S. control.

[Click here for information on how to protest this outrage]

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

More on U.S. Intervention in Nicaragua

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