Friday, March 04, 2011

U.S. policy toward Nicaragua

Thanks to Boz for pointing out this speech from the U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, Robert Callahan.  It is an apologia for U.S. policy, and really a doozy.  He goes all the way back to William Walker.

Walker was clearly crazed, a true megalomaniac, and he caused death and destruction wherever he pitched up.  But he was acting on his own and received no support from the American government.

Then it gets worse.  Much worse.

Another renowned Nicaraguan figure to emerge from this period was Anastasio Somoza Garcia.  As history would prove, Americans erred in selecting him to lead the newly created and non-partisan National Guard, which was to replace a politicized army, but it would have been impossible to know Somoza's intentions at the time.  He seemed bright and well intentioned and he spoke English.  He talked of democracy.  He extolled freedom.  He promised elections.  He charmed us, and many others.
Yes, we supported him and his sons for years, tolerating them in the name of national security.  But at the end, admittedly late in the game, we abandoned him.  Many contributed to the defeat of Somoza, but we did play a modest, if belated, role. 

This is just embarrassing.  We thought Somoza was a great guy and he tricked us!  But then, after over 40 years of brutal repression we stopped supporting his son just when he was about to be overthrown anyway.  So we're the good guys.  Why can't you Nicaraguans understand that?

I will just provide one more example.

But there are many other, much less visible, ways that America and Americans contribute to Nicaragua's economic and social development.  Take, for example, remittances.  Although we have no exact figures, we estimate conservatively that Nicaraguans receive at least a half a billion dollars annually from workers and residents in the United States.  The United States has welcomed these workers, many of whom are immigrants, and has never interfered with their desire to send money home.

It is strange that anyone today could say that the U.S. welcomes Latin American workers.  Even setting that aside, it is bizarre that "never interfering" with remittances is equated with actively contributing to Nicaragua's "economic and social development."

There is more, but I won't subject you to it.


Alfredo 11:08 PM  

The "ugly american" is alive and well folks.

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