Say NO to US sanctions against Nicaragua

NSCAG News | on: Tuesday, 18 December 2018

The NSCAG expresses its utmost condemnation of the passing of the Nicaragua Investment Conditionality (NICA Act) by the US Congress on 11 December 2018. The Act now only needs Donald Trump’s signature before coming into force. This is a heinous attack by the United States on the sovereignty of Nicaragua and an attempt to undermine the self-determination and democratic will of the Nicaraguan people. It is ominously reminiscent of US acts of aggression against Nicaragua in the 1980s, when the United States administration waged a brutal war (known as the contra war) against Nicaragua.

"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. 1 MAY,1985"

"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. 27 NOVEMBER 2018"

It comes as no surprise that the passing of the Act follows on from the failure of the US-supported attempted coup which took place over recent months; having failed to oust Nicaragua’s democratically elected government by violent means, the US is now seeking to achieve its aims by imposing an economic stranglehold on Nicaragua by means of sanctions.

The passing of the NICA Act follows on from a speech by national security advisor John Bolton on 1 November when he denounced Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua as ‘the troika of tyranny’ responsible for ‘fostering communism in the region‘ and threatened that the Trump administration would take direct action against all three countries to ‘defend the rule of law, liberty, and basic human decency in our region.'

The main purpose of the original NICA Act bill was to direct US representatives to use their influence to block loans to Nicaragua through the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund but the provisions of the NICA Act have now been integrated into a broader, more draconian companion bill called The Nicaragua Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Act of 2018 (S. 3233).

Running at around US$200 million annually, loans from these multilateral organisations are being invested by the Nicaraguan government in education, social programmes, electrification, roads and other infrastructure initiatives.

"The NICA Act ensures that the U.S. continues to respond accordingly by cutting off Ortega’s access to money until much needed electoral and human rights reforms are implemented…….. As Ortega expands his cooperation with Venezuela, Cuba, Russia and other regimes, Nicaragua is both a security threat to the U.S. and an enemy to regional stability.” – Former Senator Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, long-time far right advocate of sanctions against Cuba.

This Act has little to do with US concern for human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Nicaragua and everything to do with escalating the Trump administration regime change agenda and its desire to assert its dominance over the whole region. It will put at risk a whole raft of social programmes implemented by the Nicaraguan government and is also highly likely to mean that limitations will need to be placed on the government’s investment in health, education and infrastructure.

The Act will deepen the poverty of the most vulnerable and impoverished in society, intensify polarisation in Nicaragua and impede the efforts of the Government to build peace and reconciliation following the failed attempted coup. It does not, as its proponents claim, target senior members of the Sandinista Government; instead it targets the Nicaraguan people.

2019 will mark the 40th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution. It is to be hoped that the New Year will bring peace to Nicaragua and that the Nicaraguan people will be left to determine their own future and to live their lives with dignity and freedom from US interference.

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