NicaNotes: Since when is dismantling a coup d’état “dismantling democracy”?

By Edwin Sánchez

(This article was originally published in Spanish by Nicaragua Sandino and can be read here: It was translated into English by Tortilla Con Sal.)

[Nicaragua journalist Edwin Sánchez writes a heartfelt comparison between what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, in the United States and the US-supported coup attempt of April to July 2018 in Nicaragua.]

Now that the AP reports that members of the House Committee investigating the assault on the US Capitol have “additional evidence to be exposed this week that shows that Donald Trump and his advisers conducted a ‘large-scale effort’ to spread disinformation and pressured the Justice Department to accept the then-president’s false assertions,” why does the White House not accept that Trump, at the head of the US Government, also made “large-scale efforts” to “spread disinformation” against the Constitutional Government of Nicaragua, and pressured his related agencies, human rights commissions, OAS, the media, think tanks, and other “institutes,” “foundations,” “commissions,” etc., subordinated under facades of “independent” bodies, to also accept the then president’s false assertions about Nicaragua?

Now that President Joe Biden has denounced that the shadow “forces” behind the assault on the Capitol in 2021 remain a threat to his country’s democracy, why is Nicaragua being harassed, accused, sanctioned and economically blockaded for dismantling the sinister plans of the “forces” that former President Donald Trump himself sponsored to attack peace, stability, development and democracy in Nicaragua?

Now that a special committee of the US Congress has concluded that the events on Capitol Hill, which lasted a few hours and not even the whole day, were a failed coup d’état, why is the armed and fascist barbarism of three long months in 2018, financed by the US against Nicaragua, being covered up at this point with the cynical narrative of “civic demonstrations?”

Now that the President of the United States is sounding the unanimous warning bells about the dangers to democracy in his country and, with one voice, Congress, the police and security organs, the judiciary, and the executive branch itself are coordinating to defend the voting results and the legitimacy of the Electoral College, and therefore its American democratic system, why is it that Nicaragua, while complying with the legal system of the Republic to defend democracy, the legitimacy of the Nicaraguan Supreme Electoral Council and the Constitution, is accused of “not having a division of powers?”

Now that Mr. Biden warns: “It is important for the American people to understand what really happened and to understand that the same forces that led [to the insurrection on Capitol Hill] on January 6th are still active today,” why is it difficult for Mr. Biden to understand what, with evidence in hand, Nicaragua has shown happened: that millions of dollars of the budget of the noble American people were squandered on the thwarted coup, and that the same forces that bled [the country with the attempted coup of April to July] 2018 are still active today, even demanding the expulsion of Nicaragua from the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)?

Now that President Biden dramatically states that “The insurrection of January 6th is one of the darkest chapters in the history of our nation. A brutal assault on our democracy, a brutal attack on law enforcement, with some losing their lives,” … why does the United States want the … the people of Nicaragua, and especially the families of the victims to glorify the atrocities committed by Trump’s coup plotters in 2018 as one of the brightest chapters in our nation’s history?

How will Washington dictate Nicaragua’s national sentiments and translate those months of savagery, mourning and pain provoked by demonic sociopaths in 2018 into “a cultured and pious defence of democracy?”

How is Nicaragua going to celebrate, praise and describe as “a Christian shelter of protection and mercy to the forces of law and order and overflowing love for the homeland,” the merciless onslaught against the authorities during the attempted 2018 coup, which resulted in the murder of 22 policemen, a considerable number of seriously wounded [more than 900 police wounded], harassment of defenceless relatives of officers, and the burning of many houses with children and elderly mothers inside?

Where in God’s name is humanism?

If January 6th was a terrible, dark and brutal chapter for the American Union…

Without an artillery barrage of gun-toting, heartless men or gleeful arsonists.

Without a single block of the District of Columbia taken.

Without drivers and truckloads of food and goods hijacked and held up at the gunpoint of violence along endless miles of highways.

Without a single metre of interstate highways obstructed.

Without a single TV channel stoking hatred and confrontation.

Without a literal medieval bonfire burning people alive, as in the sector of Mebasa, Masaya.

No “democratic” kidnappers and executioners.

Without a single American who lived through the horrendous torture of citizen Bismark Martínez, recorded on videotape by his captors, who later dismembered and murdered him at the roadblock of San José de Jinotepe, 45 kilometres south of Managua.

Without a prevaricating Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IACHR) at the service of “the Capitol insurrection.”

Without an Organization of American States appeasing the “peaceful demonstrators” of 6 January.

Without a single building set on fire and not a single state property destroyed outside the perimeter of Congress.

Without the Nicaraguan Embassy in Washington attacking the national security of the United States.

What does Mr. President think Nicaragua suffered with those abominable volumes of infamy, iniquity and unconscionable wickedness against human life?

Must we, because we are Nicaragua, endure interventions, occupations, interference, coups d’état, destabilisation, blockades, economic sanctions… and even “peaceful protests” not from admirers of Mahatma Gandhi, but from Heinrich Himmler, the maximum chief of the Schutzstaffel (SS), in charge of the Nazi concentration camps?

Is it our role in life to be the target of the smoking Knox Note 1909 calibre historical repeating rifle, loaded with incessant ammunition of pretexts, justifications and Manifest Destiny?

Now that Bennie Thompson, head of the legislative committee dedicated to investigating the events in Washington, has stated in no uncertain terms that ….

“Donald Trump was at the centre of this conspiracy,” why should the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua, why should the people, why should the bereaved of the mortal victims of the 2018 coup attempt say that it was angels, archangels and cherubim who were at the centre of the conspiracy against Nicaragua in 2018, and not who it really was?

Now that all the constitutional powers of the United States are going all out against the 6 January coup d’état, wouldn’t it be fair that the TV networks, written and electronic press, the OAS and Ms. Bachelet of the UN, the Human Rights organizations, etc., in every “fake news” launched as a news dispatch, in every “honourable” tribune, in every misguided pulpit, in every manipulation written as a “report”…, denigrate the United States and label it a “dictatorship”, which “violates democracy,” persecutes the “defenders of liberties” and holds as “political prisoners” the “patriots” who took over the Capitol?

Recall that the then US national security adviser John Bolton of the Trump era called Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua a “troika of tyranny”. What was the reason for these labels? Who gave Bolton and Co. the power to designate the status of nations?

It is in this context that Trump’s hands typed his lavishly paid narrative to overthrow a constitutional government, elected by the population of Nicaragua. And by population they mean real people, flesh and blood and Nicaraguan souls, not juridical ones, not empty acronyms; not uninhabited parties and boards of directors of foreign-born NGOs that no one elected and no one even remembers their names, let alone knows if they are solvent and honest representatives of anything but their own vested interests.

In the ecstasy of their fury, such “democrats,” masquerading as civil society organizations “committed to democracy, civil liberties, human rights,” etc., and bypassing the laws of the Republic, went so far as to demand “the surrender of the government.”  And, after prefabricating their “civic alliance,” a sector of the Catholic hierarchy delivered the “primer” on the outcome of the coup d’état, under the sibylline name of “road map.”

If January 6, 2021, the day of the assault on the Capitol, “is not in the past: it is present every day,” as The New York Times wrote on 5 January 2022, how much more so three months of cruelty and bloodshed inflicted on Nicaragua in 2018?

If it is not in the past, “It is in Donald Trump,” the paper asserted, “who continues to fan the flames of conflict with his rampant lies and whose distorted version of reality still dominates one of the nation’s two major political parties.”

The strange thing is that the former administration’s “rampant lies and distorted version of reality” are maintained against Nicaragua by President Joe Biden, who has been challenged by his predecessor for “illegitimately” occupying the White House.

What the NYT editorial illustrates and warns about their country also looms over Nicaragua: “Simply put, the republic [not just the US, we add Nicaragua as well] faces an existential threat from a movement that openly disdains democracy and has demonstrated its willingness to use violence to achieve its ends. No autonomous society can survive such a threat by denying that it exists. Rather, survival depends on looking to the past and to the future at the same time.”

The newspaper can give no better advice: “To truly face the looming threat means to fully understand the terror of that day a year ago.”

It is the obligation of a sovereign country. Nicaragua has done so.

To dismantle any threat to Democracy and Constitutional Order is also to fully understand the terror of three months, four years ago….

President Biden and members of Congress with democratic values should break once and for all with the Trump legacy, and open the way for dialogue and cooperation between the United States and Nicaragua.

To promote…

Relations of concord and understanding between two sovereign states and not between the Monroe Doctrine, its Roosevelt Corollary and the Big Stick versus the battered nation.

Friendly relations and not Metropolis to Subaltern.

Civilised relations between the Homeland of Walt Whitman and the Homeland of Rubén Darío.

Dignified and mutually beneficial relations between the Homeland of George Washington and the Homeland of Augusto César Sandino.

In short, moving from the senseless Monroe Doctrine to peace and reciprocal respect between the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean would give more meaning on Earth to Neil Armstrong’s stellar phrase than wasting it on the fathomless solitude of the Moon: “One small step for a man, but one giant leap for mankind”.

It would be to feel, at last, the first breezes of the Sea of Tranquillity in our Hemisphere.

By Nan McCurdy

June 26 Webinar with Sofia Clark
Please join us for this fascinating webinar: Nicaragua’s Mastery of International Law: Resisting Domination, Promoting Peaceful Progress 

12 noon Pacific / 1 PM Nicaragua / 3 PM Eastern / 8 PM Greenwich UK.
Register here.

 “One of the most enduring legacies of the Sandinista People’s Revolution is Nicaragua’s commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes and to honoring the rulings of the International Court of Justice. This commitment has acquired a truly national character.” – Sofia M. Clark

Sofia Clark is a Nicaraguan political researcher and analyst, currently at the Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann Center in Managua. She was Deputy Chief of Staff for her uncle, Fr. Miguel d’Escoto, when he presided over the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.  She also served in three UN field missions and three OAS conflict resolution programs. She will explain how Nicaragua uses its legal expertise to challenge the hegemonic designs of both a world superpower (the US) and a regional power (Colombia).  And she will describe Nicaragua’s contributions in various fields of international law, including:

  • Peaceful defense in cases against the US, Costa Rica, and Colombia
  • Participation in the Sixth (Legal) Committee of the UN General Assembly
  • Active involvement in UN Climate Change negotiations – arguing for binding measures, working to establish the Green Fund
  • Father Miguel d’Escoto’s proposal for reinventing the United Nations

Leon Commemorates 43rd Anniversary of Liberation 
Sandinista supporters in Leon are celebrating the 43rd anniversary of their historic liberation from the hands of the Somoza dictatorship, becoming the first liberated capital of the Revolution. By June 20 in 1979, the guerrilla columns of the Rigoberto López Pérez Western Front had taken control of all the positions of the Somocista National Guard in León, which was a heavy blow for the dictatorship. This year’s commemorative activities began on June 19th, with vigils in different neighborhoods and with music, songs, dances and traditional games. And at five o’clock in the morning of June 20, a caravan of vehicles and motorcycles carrying red and black flags went through the different streets of the city. See pictures: (Radio La Primerisima, 20 June 2022)

Nicaragua 3rd Highest in Vaccinated Population in Latin America
The United Kingdom Research Project “Our World in Data” reported that with 92% of the population having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Nicaragua is ranked third highest in vaccinated population in the Latin American region, surpassed only by Chile (94%) and Cuba (94%). (Nicaragua News, 15 June 2022)

Covid Vaccine Donation Received from Iran
A donation of 200,000 doses of COVIran Barekat vaccines were received from the Islamic Republic of Iran, to strengthen the fight against Covid-19. The Iranian Ambassador, Majid Salehi said that, on June 22, health sector specialists will arrive in Nicaragua to investigate other areas of health where Iran can be of assistance.
(Radio La Primerisima, 22 June 2022)

Covid Test No Longer Required to Enter Nicaragua
The Ministry of Health (MINSA) and the Nicaraguan Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC) announced that, as of June 16, 2022, the PCR test will be replaced by a vaccination requirement of two vaccines against covid-19. Anyone who wishes to enter through any of the border posts must present their vaccination card. This applies to entering the country through land, sea and air borders. (Radio La Primerisima, 16 June 2022)

8,000 New Free Trade Zone Jobs in 2022 
Some 8,000 new jobs have been generated in the first five months of 2022 in the Free Trade Zone sector while, of those, the textile and call center industries have employed the most Nicaraguans, according to Pedro Ortega, president of the Confederation of Free Trade Zone Workers. Ortega emphasized that for this year more than 10,000 new jobs are expected with the expansion of companies in Niquinohomo, Mateare, Diriamba and other towns that are hiring more personnel. Ortega said that call centers have grown the most so far this year. They presently employ more than 2,000 people, mostly young adults who are first entering the labor market. (Radio La Primerisima, 17 June 2022)

Nicaragua – Largest Textile Exporter from Central America to the US
The Office of Textiles and Apparel of the United States International Trade Administration reported on June 17 that in January 2022, the US imported US$161.7 million in textile products made in Nicaragua and that it continues to be the largest Central American textile exporter to the United States, followed by Guatemala with US$156 million dollars in sales. (Nicaragua News, 15 June 2022)

Best Sugar Harvest Ever
A total of 17.7 million quintals [hundred weights] were produced in Nicaragua’s sugar mills in the 2021-2022 harvest, reported Mario Amador, General Manager of the National Committee of Sugar Producers, the best sugar production figure of the last 130 years. In the last 30 years the sugar cane planting area has doubled, from 51,000 productive manzanas in 1994 to 104,000 manzanas in 2022 [1 manzana = 1.7 acres]. The sugar industry generates more than 30,000 direct jobs and around 150,000 indirect jobs, Amador said. Sugar mills generated 899 million kilowatts of renewable energy from cane bagasse during the 2021-2022 harvest. About 20% of the energy consumed nationwide is generated in the mills. (Radio La Primerisima, 22 June 2022)

Exports Beginning to China
During a television interview last Friday, the executive director of the Nicaraguan Agricultural Protection and Health Institute Ricardo Somarriba stated that “to date, Nicaragua has completed the technical and phytosanitary certification for 53 national companies, authorizing the export of products to the People’s Republic of China.” He added that “with the completed certifications, three sectors can now begin exporting their products.” He also noted that starting June 20, the audit process of the fishing, meat, dairy, cocoa, peanut, sesame seed and tobacco sectors will begin. The certification and registration of companies for the export of products is part of the “Early Harvest Agreement” signed between Nicaragua and China in January 2022. (Nicaragua News, 20 June 2020)

Agreement Between Nicaragua and El Salvador to Increase Food Security
The Nicaragua System of Production, Consumption and Commerce and the Ministry of Agriculture of El Salvador signed a memorandum of understanding in support of agricultural and livestock development through cooperation, research and technology transfer in laboratory diagnostics, health service, agricultural traceability and agri-food safety. The Minister of El Salvador Enrique Parada stated that “the memorandum seeks to promote actions and to exchange best practices between sister nations to strengthen and increase agricultural production and ensure the flow of food products to meet food security goals in times of global scarcity”. (Nicaragua News, 15 June 2022)

Agreement Signed with United Arab Emirates Company
The Investment and Export Promotion Agency (PRONICARAGUA) signed an agreement with the company AYA Investments LLC, Dubai Investment Company, of the United Arab Emirates on cooperation in the promotion of investment and trade. Jalima Gomez, executive director of PRONICARAGUA, explained that the signing of this memorandum, will allow the development of different investment promotion activities, such as seminars, missions, and events with which to highlight the benefits that Nicaragua has to offer in various sectors, such as the Government’s commitment to achieve economic and social development for the benefit of the population. (Radio La Primerisima, 21 June 2022)

5,880 Panel Solar Plant Receives License
The National Electricity Transmission Company and the Ministry of Energy and Mines announced yesterday that an operating license has been granted for La Trinidad Solar Plant in Diriamba Municipality, Carazo Department. The new US$12 million-dollar plant has 5,880 solar panels with the capacity to contribute 1,980 MWh to the National Interconnected System, benefiting more than 6,000 people. It will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions by more than 1.1 tons per year. (Nicaragua News, 17 June 2022)

52 Wells Improved in Managua
The Nicaraguan Water Company – ENACAL – carried out hydraulic improvement projects on 52 wells in Managua. This included acquisition and installation of flow meters and pressure gauges at each of the 52 wells which improves the control of the water pumped and thus optimizes the service to the population in different sectors of the capital. The project was financed with funds from the Government and the Inter-American Development Bank. (Radio La Primerisima, 15 June 2022)

Flooding Causes Damages around the Country
In most of Nicaragua there has been nearly three weeks of rain. SINAPRED reported on June 15 that 140 houses were flooded in 24 villages in the Municipality of Puerto Cabezas. In the city of Bilwi, 97 houses were flooded, 97 latrines were flooded and 97 wells were contaminated. Damage was felt in the municipalities of San Fernando, Nagarote, Chinandega, Dolores, Jinotepe, Nandaime, Niquinohomo, Masatepe, San Juan del Sur, and Potosí. (Radio La Primerisima, 15 June 2022)

93 Non-Profits Lose Legal Status after Breaking Laws
The National Assembly approved the cancellation of the legal personality of 93 organizations for not complying with the laws governing them, following a request made by the Department of Registration and Control of Non-Profit Associations of the Ministry of the Interior. Assembly Deputy Filiberto Rodríguez of the Peace, Defense, Governance and Human Rights Committee explained that these organizations did not submit financial reports and failed to comply with their duties and obligations established in the legislation that regulates them. He added that they did not promote transparency in the use of funds, and violated the law against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. See organizations:  (Radio La Primerisima, 15 June 2022