by Jeremy Kuzmarov, Covert Action Magazine:
When CIA-trained terrorists tried to overthrow the Sandinista government in the 1980s, the left erupted in protest. Now the left is cheering for the CIA.
During the 1980s, the American left was mobilized in opposition to the Reagan administration policy of arming the Nicaraguan Contras—counter-revolutionaries, whose primary purpose was to destabilize the left-wing Sandinista government.
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The Sandinistas had led a 1979 revolution against the corrupt Somoza dynasty that had long been backed by the U.S. and won fair elections in 1984 that the U.S. had tried to sabotage.
Idealistic young people during the 1980s protested against U.S. policy and traveled on peace delegations to Nicaragua that displayed solidarity with the Sandinistas who were trying to uplift the Nicaraguan population and build a better society.
Four decades later, the Sandinistas are starting to make good on their pledge. Since they regained power in 2007, they have reduced poverty considerably, ensured Nicaragua’s food sovereignty, cut down illiteracy, and advanced women’s rights.
Much vilified in the U.S., Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega was imprisoned for seven years in the 1970s, during the Sandinistas’ struggle against the Somoza dictatorship, and has popularity ratings that are at least double those of U.S. President Joe Biden.
The New York Times acknowledged that Ortega was especially popular among Nicaragua’s poor who, under his rule “receive housing and other government benefits.”
In the summer of 2018, however, when they were faced with a violent right-wing uprising reminiscent of the Contras, much of the American left sided against Ortega and with the insurrectionists.
They bought into the official U.S. government narrative depicting Ortega as a tyrant equivalent to Somoza and the golpistas as idealists bent on democratizing Nicaragua.
Taking a page out of the CIA playbook, the protesters who helped launch the coup plot set up roadblocks from which they carried out violent attacks on police and black-flag provocations that were designed to precipitate a cycle of violence that would culminate in Ortega’s ouster.
Curiously, the protests were led initially by students when they were supposedly triggered by Ortega’s announcement of modest changes to social security in which employers would have to pay slightly more in order to sustain promised payouts.
Why would students be so worked up by changes to benefits which they did not stand to receive until decades later or to a small increase in employer contributions? The protests intensified further after Ortega announced, very swiftly after the protests began, that he would not go forward with the announced social security changes.
With time it became clear that behind the protests were professional right-wing agitators and violent provocateurs, numbers of whom belonged to organizations that had received funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA offshoot that spent $4.1 million in Nicaragua on 54 different projects between 2014 and 2018.