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News ::
Powell and the Media Recreate Nicaraguan History (english)
05 Nov 2003
Colin Powell and the National Media continue the decades old campaign of distorting the truth in Nicaragua.
In an age when the nation's attention is fixated on the Middle East, terrorism, and a long presidential campaign, do Americans remember Nicaragua?
Colin Powell does.
And what he recently had to say might disturb people who were horrified by the aggressive war the U.S.waged on this tiny, impoverished nation during the 1980's.
A memo from the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua, however, revealed a more telling U.S. government vison of Nicaragua than anything Powell could say. Here's what Warren P. Strobel of the Knight Ridder New Service is reporting:
"The document, written in a disdainful tone, said most Nicaraguans had little interest in the world beyond their shores.
'Nicaragua crawls along as the second-poorest country in the hemishere after Haiti, battered by storms of nature and their own making, with little hope of changing things in the future," wrote the documents anonymous author."
Well, it's clear that the U.S. government blames the problems of Nicaragua on the people and natural disasters.
What the statement should also include, and lies much closer to the truth than "storms of nature and their own making," is that Nicaragua suffered through a brutal, decades long dictatorship, then faced a ten-year war against a U.S. funded mercenary army that murdered civilians and destroyed the country's developing infrastructure.
Following the end of the Contra War in 1990, the country has suffered enormous economic disadvantage in a region dominated by U.S. and foreign corporations.
The Nicaraguans have never really had a chance to rebuild their country.
Powell, a self-proclaimed proponent of human rights in Iraq, reportedly relished his role as supporter of the Nicaraguan counterrevolutionay forces known as the Contras.
The AFP headed its article on the internet, "Once at War in Central America, Powell Returns a Champion of Democracy." AFP quoted Powell in an article published today of his trip to Nicaragua:
"To stand there at attention, standing next to President Bolanos, and hearing the 'Star-Spangled Banner'drew a flashback to 1987," he said., recalling "fighting all night" every three months to keep these guys alive."
Of course, the Contras, based in Honduras, were notorious for their human rights violations and attacks upon civilians, agricultural cooperatives, schools, medical clinics and anything else that would help support the Sandinista revolution.
The U.S. supported the Contras with hundreds of millions of dollars, equipment and training, much of it illegally, sparking the Iran-Contra Affair in 1986.
I wonder if Mr. Powell ever thinks about the tens of thousands of people killed during the Contra War or of the destroyed infrastructure which has left Nicaragua the second-poorest country in the Hemisphere.
As the legendary Nicaraguan leader Augusto "Cesar" Sandino said, "The real bandits live in the caves in Washington D.C."
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