Nicaragua: Breaking Out of ‘Soft Coup’ Psychosis

Riot police officers travel past a burning car during clashes with the anti-government protesters in Managua, Nicaragua May 28, 2018.

Riot police officers travel past a burning car during clashes with the anti-government protesters in Managua, Nicaragua May 28, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

teleSUR by Tortilla con Sal, June 25, 2018 | “Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. …..It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

In his 2005 Nobel address, British playwright Harold Pinter wrote of U.S. foreign policy that the U.S. rarely invades its target countries, preferring to infect the country with “a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom.” Then, when its local allies succeed in taking power, the US president of the day goes on camera to declare “Democracy has prevailed.”

Talking about the last decades of the 20th century, Pinter went on to say of U.S. crimes during those years that, for Western public opinion, “Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. …..It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

U.S. policy remains unchanged, but tactics have moved on. In Latin America, first Venezuela and now Nicaragua have been proving grounds for a new variation on Pinter’s summary of U.S. intervention. Now it is of supreme importance for everyone to see that things do indeed happen, happen as they happen and really do matter a great deal. U.S. interventionist strategy has evolved now to accuse its victims of their own murders. Target governments are accused of destroying their own economies, attacking their own health systems and schools and burning down their own public offices. It is all savagely witty.

In Venezuela, those tactics, have been constant since 2014, but intensified even more from April to July 2017, in a campaign of vandalism and terror blamed by Western media on the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Opposition extremists set fire to over 20 people during that time, but the images were projected in Western media to falsely reflect government repression rather than the reality of barbaric opposition violence. In April 2017, despite having the support, tacit or explicit, of most member countries of the Organization of American States, Venezuela announced its withdrawal from that body after abuse of the OAS rules by Secretary General Luis Almagro. Almagro justified his attacks on Venezuela based on grossly biased reports from the Inter American Commission for Human Rights.

Last Friday, the OAS Permanent Council received an equally absurdly biased IACHR report on Nicaragua. The report consisted entirely of recycled false opposition propaganda, completely omitting the Nicaraguan government’s account of events. For the IACHR, the deaths of nine police officers and the wounding of over 200 more somehow resulted from police repression of peaceful protests.

Reporting on abuses by non-existent government paramilitaries and phantom “para-police”, the report completely omitted wholesale destruction by opposition paramilitaries and allied delinquents of public and private property, including ambulances and health infrastructure. The resolution approving the IACHR report was supported by the U.S. and its closest allies, just a third of the OAS member States.

On Saturday June 23rd, violent opposition gangs murdered a female municipal worker in Masaya and killed a one year old child in Managua. Both deaths resulted from attacks by opposition armed gangs on municipal workers clearing the gangs’ makeshift barricades to allow free circulation of traffic. Even those deaths the opposition media and NGOs are blaming on the government and the police. Commenting on this reversal of the facts, FSLN international relations representative, Carlos Fonseca Terán noted in a television interview, “Various elements make up this violent screenplay, but I’d summarize it like this: Sandinistas have neither the right to defend ourselves, nor the right to let ourselves be killed. Although it sounds absurd, if we defend ourselves they say we’re paramilitary gangs attacking peaceful protesters, but if we don’t defend ourselves and get killed, we become just one more in the list of their dead.”

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