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US ‘journalist’ deported for aiding and abetting violence

News from Nicaragua | Thursday, 11 October 2018 |

'Journalist' Carl David Goette-Lucik posing with armed opposition member

'Journalist' Carl David Goette-Lucik posing with armed opposition member

On 3 October US/Austrian journalist Carl David Goette-Luciak was deported from Nicaragua – an event that sparked outrage from The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/02/nicaragua-deports-reporter-who-covered-anti-ortega-protests   and the National Union of Journalists. https://www.nuj.org.uk/news/nuj-condemns-deportation-of-freelance-journalist-from-nicaragua/

However, what the Guardian and the NUJ fail to mention is that neither Goette – Luciak nor any other journalist have been deported for exercising their right to freedom of expression. He was deported because actions, in violation of any code of journalistic conduct, aided and abetted violence by opposition groups.

The condemnation of the Nicaragua ignores both the context in which this deportation took place - the attempted violent overthrow of a democratically elected government – and the specific actions of Goette-Luciak.

Tragically over 200 people lost their lives in Nicaragua over the period April-July; this included government employees, Sandinista supporters, trade unionists, police officers and innocent bystanders, as well as protesters.

Any responsible journalist would be examining the causes of this violence, not simply repeating the line of the opposition protesters that all the deaths resulted from government repression. Goette-Luciak never did this, because he was a committed supporter of the opposition, not an independent witness.

Wyatt Reid, who lived and worked in Nicaragua with Goette-Luciak testified to his real motivations: ‘we were open about our plan to use our friendships with Nicaraguan opposition figures to push for the end of the Sandinista government and create careers for ourselves as journalists or consultants in the process. We were not CIA—but we were in many ways serving its same historical purpose.’ https://walesnicaragua.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/the-people-you-meet-in-nicaragua/

Furthermore, there is evidence that the activities of Carl David Goette-Luciak were of a criminal nature under Nicaragua law, as reported by journalist Max Blumental https://www.mintpressnews.com/how-an-american-anthropologist-tied-to-us-regime-change-proxies-became-the-msms-man-in-nicaragua/249868/

There are three keys reasons why Goette-Luciak was deported from Nicaragua:

Firstly, he actively participated in the attempted overthrow of the government.

Secondly, he filmed a video and took photos of a Sandinista Party member being tortured and posted them on social media.

Thirdly, he failed to report these criminal activities to the authorities as he is obliged to do according to Nicaraguan law.

The Nicaraguan laws that apply to criminal activities such as those carried out by Carl David Goette-Luciak are similar to those in the UK where failing to report a crime is a serious offence, and the crime of sedition can lead to 10 to 20 years imprisonment in the UK under the Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act 1919. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo5/9-10/92 In the US the law relating to seditious conspiracy would apply. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2384

In addition, Carl David Goette-Luciak was not accredited as a journalist by the relevant Nicaraguan authorities and his deportation was in line with measures taken by other countries when unaccredited journalists enter without the correct documentation, as happened in the case of British journalist Elena Lappin, expelled from the United States in 2004.

It is misleading to insinuate as the international media does frequently that there is a lack of press freedom in Nicaragua: in fact the overwhelming majority of the media (TV, radio, newspapers and especially social media) is controlled by the Nicaraguan opposition. They have carried highly critical and often inaccurate or exaggerated reports throughout the crisis, making no attempt at balanced reporting.

In supporting Goette–Luciak the Guardian and NUJ are, in effect, condoning the use of the title ‘journalist’ to undertake political activities and encourage violence, which is surely against the interests of genuine and accredited foreign journalists in Nicaragua, of which there have been many (including from the Guardian) over the past six months.

It should also be highlighted that neither Goette-Luciak, other Guardian reporters, nor the NUJ have expressed concern for the violence against journalists by armed protesters.

For example, Radio Ya, a radio station sympathetic to the government, was attacked and burnt down by armed groups on May 28; twenty-two journalists and other workers narrowly escaped with their lives, while their rescuers (police and firefighters) came under fire. These journalists have been traumatised by this horrific event.