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Guardian Continues Shameless Misinformation Campaign Against Nicaragua

Camilo E. Mejía

Sandinista Nicaraguans march for Peace and Justice for their dead, wounded, and disappeared. Managua, September 8, 2018.

In its September 7 article, the once progressive newspaper reports that Nicaragua was brought to a standstill by a general strike called by the Civic Alliance, one of the main opposition coalitions behind the attempted soft-coup, citing how banks and upscale shopping malls in Managua are all closed in support of the strike.

What The Guardian fails to mention is that those upscale businesses only represent a small portion within the Nicaraguan sector, which is mostly driven by micro, small, and mid-size businesses that are part of the country’s popular market economy, which in turn employs about 90 percent of the country’s workers. In truth, commerce was business as usual throughout Nicaragua, as these images show.

The paper then quotes Ana Margarita Vigil, calling her the “national director of the outlawed Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS).” What they omit is that the MRS was not arbitrarily “outlawed,” it simply lacks the legal status of a political party because its leaders have not been able to obtain more than 1.3 percent of the popular vote, which isn’t enough to qualify them to run in elections.

“With 200 political prisoners and [new] murders every day,” Vigil is quoted, “this strike is just one more sign that nothing is normal here in Nicaragua.” Here, again, The Guardian leaves out vital information.

First, since the roadblocks were removed, the only people who have died as a result of political turmoil have been Sandinistas, including Lenin Mendiola, who died as a result of gunshots fired directly  from an opposition march in Matagalpa on August 11 of this year.

Another Sandinista,  Bismarck Martinez Sanchez, is presumed dead after video evidence of his capture and torture was found on the cell phones of opposition operatives; he was kidnapped at a tranque (or roadblock) on June 29 of this year. Several of the perpetrators of these crimes have been arrested. They are the kind of criminals being called “political prisoners,” by people in the opposition, such as Vigil.

“Last week, Ortega expelled a UN human rights mission after it published a report denouncing government repression and describing a “climate of fear” in the Central American country,”continues the article, giving the impression the Nicaraguan government punished the UN for publishing its report.

In reality, it was the Nicaraguan government that invited the UN mission, at a time when political violence still prevailed in many parts of the country, but that violence has largely ended, and since the UN already conducted its investigation and issued its report, there was no longer a need for their continued presence.

The team was not ‘expelled’ from Nicaragua, as was the case in Guatemala, where President Jimmy Morales, with police and military leaders in tow, asked the UN mission to initiate its transfer out of the country.

The paper portrays the opposition as a strong and unified movement that represents the sentiment and interest of the Nicaraguan people against a repressive dictatorship, but the reality is almost the exact opposite. For starters, the opposition not only lacks a well-defined and unified leadership, but the different actors within it are constantly at odds with one another.

On the day the Civic Alliance issued its call for a national strike, a leader from the so-called Azul y Blanco Movement asked its members not to follow the Alliance on social media, and continued to promote a change.org petition asking the Alliance to become more belligerent.

Differences also exist between pro-choice civil society organizations and the fervidly pro-life, homophobic, and deeply misogynist Catholic Church, which has perhaps been the strongest pillar in the anti-Sandinista charge, a role the church has played historically.

Other differences exist between student groups that have openly advocated for a prolonged general strike, and wealthy business groups who would lose a lot of money from such a measure. Lastly, there are those within the opposition who consider themselves leftists, and those who have traveled to the US, where they have met with extreme right wing republicans who are co-sponsors of the NICA Act in the US Congress, a measure that would effectively amount to an economic embargo.

Nicaraguan students meet with right-wing Republican lawmakers Marco Rubio and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to seek their help.

In the case of Vigil and other MRS leaders, they have met with Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is trying to re-arm the contras.

In contrast to everything The Guardian would have its readers believe, and with the disarticulation in leadership of the right-wing opposition, the Sandinista government and its base are stronger than ever.

Despite western media claims that protests have continued, the only significant marches taking place in Nicaragua are led by pro-government people, clamoring for justice for those who were wounded, tortured, disappeared, killed, burned, and for those who are still being persecuted and hunted, for the simple crime of being Sandinista.


27 Comments

  1. China ascending, U$A descending, Israel remembering it has roots in China. Jewish press clippings posted by Fog of War BTL SyrPer:

    – Revealed: In 1939, China Planned to Settle Persecuted European Jews in Remote Part of Country –
    https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/asia-and-australia/revealed-in-1939-china-planned-to-settle-persecuted-jews-1.5439757

    – Mao’s Jews –
    http://jewishjournal.com/news/world/179731/

    – Famous Jews of Tianjin –
    https://www.coursera.org/lecture/jews-in-china/famous-jews-of-tianjin-DSIcR

    – Shanghai is One of the Greatest Jewish Cities Ever Constructed –
    https://newrepublic.com/article/118477/shanghai-one-greatest-jewish-cities-ever-constructed

  2. vexarb says

    China moves into Uncle $cam’s Head Office.The Israelis hand over control of one of their main ports to the Chinese.
    Analysis by Muslim Dude BTL SyrPer:

    “This is indicative of the rise of China which by default means the weakening of the US.

    This quote is from Israel’s Haaretz nespaper:

    “One of the senior American figures at the conference raised the question of whether the U.S. Sixth Fleet can see Haifa as a home port. In light of the Chinese takeover, the question is no longer on the agenda.”

    MD writes: This means Uncle Sam is being weakened in the Middle East, the same US that under Trump moved its embassy to Jerusalem is now being elbowed out ] Haifa.

    ” The Americans who were at the conference think Israel lost its mind when it gave the Chinese the keys to Haifa Port. Once China is in the picture, they said, the Israel Navy will not be able to count on maintaining the close relations it has had with the Sixth Fleet. ”

    MD: Even the Israelis who regularly go to Moscow seeking an audience with Putin and imploring him to do certain things which won’t hurt their interests, are getting more buddy buddy with the Chinese, which in itself contributes to the decline of the US and ‘Pax Americana’.

    Chinese increase in influence in Israel is a stabilizing and moderating factor as China is mainly about peace between nations and optimizing trade. In the future China may act amongst other players to restrain Israel in the middle east.

      • So now China is helping both Nicaragua and Venezuela; so both rearming the Contras and a war against Venezuela are “on the table” says Uncle $cam. So let’s read some more about China, from Saker Vineyard BTL:

        The fallacy of western economics II; China Breaks the mould
        3688 Views September 15, 2018 33 Comments

        by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

        The economic rise of China is perhaps the best example that challenges the basic foundations of the “science” of economics and demonstrates the invalidity of many of its theories.
        ….
        The failure of western economics is the result of a decades long effort by a limited number of (extremely wealthy) elites to convert the science economics into a propaganda service. This propaganda service is used to justify the imposition an effective dictatorship, of these elites, over western societies, (and, through their project of global governance, to the world as a whole).
        …..
        “When economic actors make the rules, the always act in their own interest. In fact they are required by the rules to act in their own interests.”

        Just what is ‘in one’s own interest’??? The Chicago school wants it to mean one narrow set of things, while the Chinese are doing something else that the Chicago school does not want.

        …..
        The policy makers of China, Iran, and some other places are economic agents, controlling actors, that do not follow the Chicago school.
        …..
        During Maoist rule in China, you had Government ownership of manufacturing. Nixon pays a visit to China, and China opens up to the West. It’s industry improves. Private enterprise is again introduced, while State owned institutions are kept by the State. As far as I can see, we now have a partnership in China, where state owned and privately owned institutions are working together, which no doubt brings stability to the country.

        We have exact situation in Russia. After the fall of communism, Yeltsin foolishly introduces liberal capitalism in Russia, _leading to the closure of 70.000 factories_. Putin replaces Yeltsin and starts reopening the closed manufacturing plants. In Russia we also have a partnership between State owned and privately owned enterprises. Russia’s chief advantage are its natural resources, such as oil and gas, which have been kept under Government control, and wisely so.

        ….
        In the US 70.000 factories have also been closed. I always found this to be a very strange coincidence, that 70.000 manufacturing plants are closed both in Russia and in the US. Did this happen by accident, or by intent ? Well, 70.000 factories were closed down in Russia with the intent to weaken it. And in the US ? Why the same thing ?
        ….
        . What country voluntarily closes down 70.000 manufacturing plants, hoping to prosper ? You don’t have to be an economist to guess what would happen. We now have 1/3 of the US labor force “out of work”….

        We now have a Russian-Chinese economic partnership. Did the West anticipate this, or did this come as a shock ? Trump is now quarreling with both Moscow and Beijing, extending his quarrel to the EU as well…

        [and now The Man from Uncle is extending his quarrel to Nicaragua and other Latin Americans!]

        ….
        Well, there are a lot of US policies that make no sense to me, but they never ask me! Perhaps the policy makers are aiming for a complete military centered economy, with military manufacturing, but no civilian manufacturing? With conquest regions paying the bills? Who knows? They won’t tell what they are up to.
        ….
        “The West” now has a totally …. cynical abuse and destruction of Life. Certain methods of rearing, and bringing into line a socalled “intellectual elite” are: a superior conceited pride through illusion of knowledge and power; promise of riches and the flattery of high position; unrestrained and justified hatred of all inferior and lesser peons. …. In principle, because “the West” today has no truth, no argument can stand. Any argument is both true and false, only those who are empowered to judge correctness are esteemed to be valid, and only for as long as it is convenient…

        The total Chinese debt is… (Total = Government + Financial/Banking + Non-Bank Business + Household) at 282% of GDP is slightly higher than the USA at 269%. This is what the asymmetric warfare planners in the US are counting on in the U$D’s last stand. That the “real” Chinese economy will be harmed more by the trade war than the USA’s.
        ….
        Our media present China’s debt as an undifferentiated lump, like Greece’s or Argentina’s debt, but it’s not. Mao developed China faster and further than Germany during her takeoff, or the US, Japan or Korea during theirs. China could have continued growing at Mao’s average 7.25% but chose to bump it to 10% using capitalism. The borrowing–like all responsible borrowing–anticipated repaying the debt from the additional growth, which it is doing.
        ….
        China’s agenda for 2021: By July 1, 2021, every Chinese will have a home, a job, plenty of food, education, safe streets, health and old age care. On that day there will be more poor, hungry and imprisoned people in America than in China. Not relatively or per capita, but in absolute numbers. 450,000,000 urban Chinese will be worth more and have higher disposable incomes than the average American, their mothers and infants will be less likely to die in childbirth, their children will graduate from high school three years ahead of ours–and outlive ours)…. China piled on high quality debt to bring forward some planned investments–most of which are paying off in spades.

        90% of China’s debt is domestic and, of that, 60% is between government departments; the debt-to-asset coverage is 1:4 and consumer debt is negligible. Wages are doubling every decade like clockwork and 2021 is back on schedule.


        “…every citizen will have a home, a job, plenty of food, education, safe streets, health and old age care.”

        Wall Street bankers have nightmares about such a world. They wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night and call the General that they met at a seminar in Aspen and seek reassurance that they really can nuke everyone and prevent such a horror from ever coming to pass. And they certainly have no problem ordering the deaths of millions of us to prevent such a thing from ever happening.

        …. [even in the time of Marie Antoinette] They’d say “Let them eat cake.”, but now the capitalists just want all the cake for themselves.
        …..
        Just happens that I was reading Marx and Engels before I came here.

        “The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors,” and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment.” It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

        The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage-labourers.

        The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.” — The Communist Manifesto.
        —————-
        Now tell me that those words that are well over a hundred years old don’t still describe so perfectly the world of the 21st Century Capitalist!

        [ Vexarb adds: Just doing my bit to answer the request for some background to the Gaurdian’s present disinformation campaign against Nicaragua]

  3. Misinformation on Nicaragua, Venezuela and Latin America in general is an increasingly urgent problem: the USA still regards the Monroe Doctrine as the cornerstone of its foreign policy and, as Asia becomes less and less hospitable it is driven back to re-asserting its hegemony close to home.
    It is in the former Manchester Guardian’s DNA to side with southern slaveowners and their mestizo equivalents in Latin America where both Indians and blacks have been either real or virtual slaves since Cortez ‘the killer’ conquered Mexico. It is an old story and the basic plot is simple: to obtain cheap raw materials and tropical imports, in order to keep the ‘Civilised’ world in the style to which it has grown accustomed it is necessary to work the poor to death. And to ensure that they have no access to land, for subsistence, except on the feudal basis of enjoying it instead of wages..
    For centuries Latin America has furnished the most scandalous examples of injustice in the world-and that is saying much. It has also furnished the most dramatic examples of human self sacrifice and heroism in struggling for justice- persistent struggle against brutal exploiters with a lock on state power, ideologies of fascistic racism and the unfailing assistance of the ruling class in the United States and the Anglo world generally.
    All of which is known to everyone, one is tempted to think; forgetting that in contemporary politics many of those inclined to anti-imperialism and scepticism of their governments’ honesty came to their positions from the far right. For these people, who tend to be younger, there is no contradiction between opposition to the Empire and its sponsors in business and a touching faith in the ultimate beneficence of the “Free Market.” Thus it is that, for large numbers who think ‘with us’ on Syria, for example, one of the attractions of Russia is that it is fiercely capitalist and the problem with Venezuela and Nicaragua is that socialism can never work, being a defiance off economic gravity and human nature- all the old Cold War ideological themes are preserved in aspic and taken as axiomatic.
    Add to this the growing sense, among alienated youngsters, betrayed by the neo-liberal policies of a generation which has pulled up the ladder, secure in its fastness, as the deluge inundates society, that the blame for their predicament lies not with capitalism but with a ‘left’ obsessed with race, gender and other inherited markers. This ‘left’ loves to battle with windmills and not least because they are rapidly falling to pieces, decaying in a world whose rulers no longer needs sexism and racism to sustain an ideology which simply worships power.
    And there are those who, as the maritime Empire seems to be losing its hegemonic power find switching to opposition effortless- the worship of power necessarily involves contempt for power in decline- the Empire- without espousing the cause of its victims and justifying either or all of equality, fraternity or liberty, except, possibly, in very narrow senses.
    As to The Guardian, which now advertises itself as The World’s Newspaper, there is still a surprising power in the association, which years of journalism from decent, honest reporters, such as Richard Gott in Cuba, and its coverage of the contra war in the 1980s, and its current role as an outlet for the views of the CIA- Old readers have to shake their heads,, grit their teeth and arm themselves against the clever mendacity, the crocodile teats and the hypocritical pretense of concern with the fate of the poor and disenfranchised.
    No doubt the ground is being prepared for the next big push: How Jeremy Corbyn supports ‘dictators’ in Venezuela, and Nicaragua, whose regimes provide a glimpse of what the UK will look like under Corbyn’s socialism. One sincerely hopes that the Labour Party is better prepared to face that than they were to fend off the ludicrous charges of anti-semitism.

    17
    • vexarb says

      Bevin, I hope JC supports the socialist ‘dictators’ in Ven & Nic a damn sight better than he has supported the socialist ‘dictator’ in Syria.

  4. I am divided over the Guardian. It has some excellent and thought provoking articles into which there appear some editorial pieces designed to back up the scripted agenda.

    OffGuardian does an excellent job bringing these to people’s attention.

    Knowing nothing about Nicaragua, I would need to do some background research to find out what is going on. Is it yet more regime change?

      • vexarb says

        Amanda: “How was China?”

        Elliott: “Very big”.

        — Noel Coward, Private Lives.

      • I think this is probably because China plans to build a second Panama Canal through Nicaragua that is bigger and better than the original. The United Snakes has been trying to wreck this project since it was first mooted.

        3
        1
        • vexarb says

          BTL from Pepe’s “wow!” article in link above:

          “Just three months ago, the first high speed train from China to Iran made its maiden voyage. China, with Russia, will rebuild Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and a host of war torn nations left like carcasses by the voracious West”

          “Don’t worry about the Chinese. They’re doing fine. On July 1, 2021, every Chinese will have a home, a job, plenty of food, education, safe streets, health and old age care. On that day there will be more poor, hungry and imprisoned people in America than in China. Not relatively, not per capita, but in absolute numbers.”

          • vexarb says

            Babushka in Oz on September 13, 2018 · at 9:17 am EST/EDT
            Greetings from China.

            Currently in Zhengzhou,(population 10 million) Henan province (100 million) in central China. Agricultural and factory hub. Here the Vivo factory employs 500,000 and assembles 80% of IPhones.
            I was going to drop in on President Xi for a green tea but he was havng blini with President Putin.
            Shanghai is beyond description- what you see has been in the last 24 years. The skyscrapers are incredibly beautiful by night. The Maglev train (magnetic levitation) zooms at 431 km hr. The roads and railway infrastructure is amazing and built in record time with round the clock work.
            Will ask the guide tomorrow if they have a govt approved script.

            Google Facebook etc blocked here and WhatsApp only sends text and blocks photos. So an interesting country.

            • vexarb says

              “The Right Stuff” — in Chinese. Re-posted from Milosevic BTL Russian Technology thread; this is Chinese air / sea defense capability — and China is negotiating a big deal with Nicaragua. So, will Uncle $cam again be despatching Lootenant Pinkerton with the White Fleet and Major Smedley with the marines, like in the good old days? Or will Uncle $cam these days have to content himself with this verbal barrage from the Fraudian?

              https://youtu.be/crQDcCJpKPQ

      • There is an awful lot of history to learn regarding the relationship between the United States and Nicaragua.

        “History: The Occupation of Nicaragua”
        http://www.nicaragua.com/blog/history-the-occupation-of-nicaragua

        “During a period of conflict between the United States and several Central American countries that came to be known as the Banana Wars, the US invaded and occupied Nicaragua in 1912 – although a number of other operations were carried out prior to this. The start of the Great Depression and the activities of the guerilla army led by Augusto Cesar Sandino were contributing factors to the withdrawal of US troops from Nicaragua in 1933.

        Military presence in Nicaragua was almost non-existent, but President Jose Santos Zelaya was staring down a rebellion led by Juan Jose Estrada. After two American mercenaries were executed by the men of Zelaya, the United States began to get involved. With the US navy patrolling the Bluefields coastline, they were basically supporting Estrada’s uprising. By 1909, approximately two hundred and fifty marines arrived on the Nicaraguan coast under the command of Corps Major Smedley Butler …”

        That’s just the first two paragraphs.

        ‘Murkans just never learn, do they?

        • vexarb says

          Jen, but young major Smedley Butler learned. And bequeathed us his hard-earned wisdom in a book which is still being quoted a century later — perhaps even more than in the century it was written.

          “Praise be to Zeus who writes this law in His sky / That mankind must learn the hard way” — Aeschyles
          [if we are determined to learn no other way]

  5. Thomas Prentice says

    Those Nicaraguan students remind me of the well-dressed khaki slacks clad riot mob — all flown in to FLorida from D.C. Republican offices — that protested demanding an END to the RECOUNT of a DEMOCRATIC election in the leading DEMOCRACY of the world in 2000. Too bad Gore didn’t have any balls.

  6. Yr Hen Gof says

    Post Snowden The Guardian is more firmly than ever in the grip of MI6, now as worthless as any of the other neoliberal mouthpieces. Despite their readership and revenue falling off a cliff, it’ll be kept afloat for what it’s ‘owners’ consider to be its propaganda value.
    I doubt it has many left leaning readers left amongst its subscribers.

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    • It will probably get state funding soon like the state controlled BBC (£3,700 million a year.) MPs are now openly discussing the bankrolling of tame media hacks in the Guardian and elsewhere so long as they keep to the script and sing from the same hymn sheet. Hence the frantic efforts to censor and suppress real news in alternative media.

    • There had been talk of The Guardian and The New York Times merging.

      Eeyew … just imagine, the Bayer / Monsanto merger stinking up the planet with genetically engineered Franken-vegetables and the Fraudian / New Porkie Times merger smelling even more with modified Franken-news.

  7. vexarb says

    I remember students in England posting, Drink to Nicaragua with Niguaraguan coffee. That was in the days of Regan, Iran and Ollie North arms scandal. Good to see Nicaragua still resisting the Great Satan, despite the spite of Soros-funded Gender-tender Mass-murder-cheering Guardian.

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    • George Cornell says

      The effrontery! It is neck and neck between the outrageous censorship on CiF and the sheer cheek to beg its readers for money to continue its anti democratic campaigns. Subversion of democracy by the Democratic National Committee to force feed Clinton to their membership? No problem. Invasion of Iraq, laying waste to Syria, pillaging of Libya? Gimme dat! The doctrines they espouse mutually exclude the majority of its former readers, forced to choose between figurative pokes in the eye with a sharp stick and kicks in the backside with a frozen boot, then finally realizing they can get along just fine without reading Cohen cheerlead invasions and Freedland shilling for Israel.

      15
      • The Empire seems to be ratcheting up the pressure on the free nations of Latin America. Trump has backtracked on the limited contacts to Cuba (probably just to spite Obama) and is now ratcheting up sanctions and regime change efforts. There was the Clinton coup in Honduras, with similar “constitutional coups” like the one to unseat and replace the Brazilian president with a CIA asset. Judith Kirchner in Argentina has been replaced with a neoliberal hack kowtowing to the US vulture funds and the IMF. There is the pressure on Ecuador, with Rafael Correa being replaced by a US toady offering to hand over Assange. Venezuela, with the largest oil reserves in the world, is clearly in the neocon crosshairs.

        All of this, of course, being cheered on by our very own Faux Left Guardian and similar organs, like Goodman at the Soros funded Real News.

        • Whoa, Nellie! I think you meant to type “Amy Goodman at the Soros-funded Democracy NOW,” not the Real News Network, where I haven’t spotted any obvious signs that Paul Jay, Aaron Maté, and the rest of the crew might be on a covert corporate/billionaire payroll. And while I know that Soros made at least one major donation to Democracy NOW in the past, I don’t know that he’s funding them currently. Still, from their coverage of Syria, Assad, and the White Helmets — maybe a year ago (?), before I stopped watching/listening to Democracy NOW entirely — it sure seemed like they were at least angling for some more sweet, sweet Soros-sugar-daddy cash…

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