Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Roger Harris — U.S. Foments Regime Change in Nicaragua

In Noam Chomsky’s words, Nicaragua poses a threat of a good example to the US empire. Since Ortega’s return election victory in 2006, Nicaragua had achieved the following, according to NSCAG, despite being the second poorest country in the hemisphere:
  • Second highest economic growth rates and most stable economy in Central America.
  • Only country in the region producing 90% of the food it consumes.
  • Poverty and extreme poverty halved; country with the greatest reduction of extreme poverty.
  • Reaching the UN Millennium Development Goal of cutting malnutrition by half.
  • Free basic healthcare and education.
  • Illiteracy virtually eliminated, down from 36% in 2006.
  • Average economic growth of 5.2% for the past 5 years (IMF and the World Bank).
  • Safest country in Central America (UN Development Program) with one of the lowest crime rates in Latin America.
  • Highest level of gender equality in the Americas (World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2017).
  • Did not contribute to the migrant exodus to the US, unlike neighbouring Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
  • Unlike its neighbours, kept out the drug cartels and pioneered community policing. 
The World Bank, IMF, and EU countries have certified Nicaragua for its effective use of international loans and grants. Funds were spent for the purposes they were given, not syphoned off into corruption....
Can't have that, can we.

True Publica (UK)
U.S. Foments Regime Change in Nicaragua
Roger Harris, board member of the Task Force on the Americas, a 32-year-old anti-imperialist human rights organization


Noah Way said...

Free health care? Send in Strategic Air Command.

Konrad said...

“According to the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group, Nicaragua has the Second highest economic growth rates and most stable economy in Central America.”

FALSE. Nicaragua’s economy is in severe trouble. Here’s why…

Nicaragua has had a huge trade deficit for over a decade. This would not be a problem if Nicaraguan córdobas were accepted worldwide like the U.S. dollar. But they aren’t.

Each and every month for the last three years, an average of USD $72 million more wealth has flowed out of Nicaragua than into it. Nicaragua is being sucked dry, with or without U.S. meddling.

In order to keep buying imports, Nicaragua has had to take loans, which come with a debt load, which in turn worsen the trade deficit and the foreign debt. IMF loans come with dictates (e.g. mass privatization and mass austerity). It was these dictates that sparked the current protests. The riots are not stage-managed from Washington. They arose from below against “reforms” demanded by the IMF.

And so, here is the formula once again…

[1] If your nation’s currency is not accepted outside your nation’s borders

And / or

[2] If your national government cannot create its spending money out of thin air


[3] If your nation has a trade deficit


Your nation is screwed, with or without U.S. meddling.

If Nicaragua became more self-sufficient, then Nicaragua would not have a huge trade deficit, with all the problems that come with it.

Therefore I mostly blame Nicaragua’s problems on mismanagement by the Ortega government. During the 1980s the Sandinistas gloriously defeated the Empire, but this was only half of the battle. The other half is economic. Here the FSLN (i.e. Sandinistas) have failed. Ortega conceals his failure beneath the symbols and rhetoric of the Sandinista victory of forty years ago. He conceals his failure by blaming everything on the Empire.

It is true that the Empire wants to destroy Ortega and his administration, because of Ortega’s independent foreign policy. Ortega will not participate in the Empire’s wars or its sanctions, nor grovel to Israel.

It is true that Nicaragua belongs to ALBA, and has close ties to the Venezuela government. Nicaragua has also sought to build an inter-oceanic canal with Chinese financing. [This will be an alternative to the canal in U.S.-allied Panama.]

It is true that Nicaragua has CIA-funded “human rights groups” who serve the neoliberal Empire (which opposes human rights).

It is true that all the corporate media outlets call Ortega an “evil dictator.”

Nonetheless it is erroneous to blame all of Nicaragua’s problems on the Empire. Nicaragua is self-destructing on its own. The Empire just wants to hurry it along.

GLH said...

Thanks Konrad for that dose of reality but according to MMT shouldn't Nicaragua be benefiting from all of those imports since they are a benefit?

Konrad said...

@ GLH:

Yes, I mentioned these same factors when I commented here on a different post. I attacked the silly claim that imports are always a benefit.

Imports are always disastrous when either of the following two conditions occur...

[1] A nation has a trade deficit, and its government cannot create its spending money out of thin air. (Example: Greece)

[2] A nation has a trade deficit, and its government can create its spending money out of thin air, but the money is not accepted outside the nation's borders. It cannot be used to buy imports. (Example: Nicaragua)

Either condition is economically catastrophic.

The USA has a trade deficit (the world's largest), but this is not disastrous, since the U.S. government creates its spending money out of thin air, and the money is accepted worldwide.

GLH said...

Konrad: Again I agree.