Thursday, June 14, 2018

LASA Resolution on Nicaragua

I know, I know, organization resolutions don't "matter" in a policy way. But I still like having the key organization for Latin American Studies get things right. For a long time it was a muddled morass.

Here is its statement on Nicaragua. For example:

As academics who have spent our careers researching Central America and working with the people of Nicaragua, we want to express our profound concern for the extreme violations of basic human rights that have occurred in Nicaragua. No government should violently repress its own citizens for expressing their opinions, nor should it try to prevent the press from covering such protests.

Nice, clear, declarative. In the past, condemnations of government wrongdoing got all tangled with ideology--you can't really criticize Venezuela because of the 2002 coup, blah blah blah. This statement includes the proper caveat about U.S. policy.

We hasten to add that these measures should be carried out at the initiative of the Nicaraguan people and their constituted representatives. Given the long and tragic history of US imperialism in Central America, and the many regional problems that have their roots in foreign interventions, we are well aware of the need to respect Nicaragua’s sovereignty. That, however, does not preclude criticism of government-condoned violence against unarmed protesters.

Good. U.S. policy has done terrible damage to Nicaragua in its history but that should not give its governments a pass when they're killing their own citizens. And no one wants to give the impression they're asking for U.S. meddling.

Here's one of the worse resolutions, from five years ago.


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