Nicaragua poses ‘an extraordinary threat to the US’
News from Nicaragua | Monday, 2 December 2019 |
Ronald Regan, 1 May, 1985 stated: ‘I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, find that the policies and actions of the Government of Nicaragua constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.’
On 27 November, 2018 and 27 November, 2019 Donald Trump stated: ‘I, Donald Trump, find that the situation in Nicaragua...........constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.’
This kind of threats are in the same vein as the one issued by John Bolton, the now sacked Trump administration national security advisor who, on 1 November,2018 denounced Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua as ‘the troika of tyranny’ responsible for ‘fostering communism in the region.‘
Sanctions on Nicaragua through the NICA Act
The Nicaragua Investment Conditionality Act (NICA Act) was finally signed off by President Trump in December 2018. First introduced into Congress in 2015 but never signed off it resurfaced in more draconian form as the Nicaragua Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2018.
Under the Act, the US is using its influence to block further loans to Nicaragua through the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Running at US$200 million annually, these loans are being invested by the Nicaraguan government in education, social programmes, electrification, roads and other infrastructure initiatives, particularly in the most impoverished areas of the Caribbean Coast.
The Act also enables the US to impose sanctions on individuals through seizure assets of individuals and travel restrictions.
Nothing to do with human rights, everything to do with forcing regime change
The NICA Act has little to do with US concern for human rights, democracy and the rule of law but everything to do with escalating the Trump administration regime change agenda and the desire of the US to assert its political and economic dominance over the whole Central America region.
US threats and sanctions will not only deepen the poverty of those already impoverished but will also exacerbate the polarisation within Nicaragua, making it even more difficult to reach a political settlement to the crisis.
Trying to force regime change through strangling the economy was a key strategy of the Reagan administration during the 1980s contra war; thirty-three years on the Trump administration is pursuing the same strategy.