NicaNotes: Bolivian Coup, Imperialist Inquisition, and Briefs

On Sunday of this publication week, the Empire succeeded in Bolivia, where it has failed in Nicaragua and Venezuela, to foment a coup against democratically-elected President Evo Morales. Morales resigned in an effort to avert further bloodshed and has been granted political asylum in Mexico. There are reports coming out of Bolivia of continued violence against indigenous communities and members of the MAS political party, but there are also reports that communities are beginning to resist the coup, expelling police and setting up their own self-defense units while demanding a return to constitutional government. This story is not over. Below is the statement issued on Sunday by the Nicaraguan Government in Spanish and English: 


Nicaragua Condemns the Coup D’état Against Bolivian President Evo Morales

The Government of Reconciliation and National Unity, on behalf of the Nicaraguan People, denounces and firmly condemns the coup d’etat that was consumed today November 10 in our Sister Nation the Plurinational Republic of Bolivia, imposing the resignation of the Constitutional President, Comrade Evo Morales Ayma, and Vice-President, Doctor Álvaro García Linera. 

We express our rejection and repudiation of the fascist practices that ignore the Constitution, Laws and Institutions that govern the Democratic Life of the Peoples. In Nicaragua, we have experienced in the flesh, these practices and crimes of hate, the violence that violates Human Rights, and imposes racism, terrorism, cruelty, humiliation, burgeoning and degrading treatment, as part of an uncivilized and destructive script that Empires use against Governments and Progressive Processes, in tandem with their Organizations and local hitmen.

The Bolivian People, Families, Women, Young People, have known 13 years of Stability, Peace, Good Government and Decisive Advancement against Poverty. President Evo Morales, being forced to leave the Bolivian State Headquarters and Government, has affirmed that he will continue, together with his People, fighting for these Advances to persist, and that he will remain united with all the American and Caribbean Peoples, in brotherhood, as we are, in the struggles for Victories.

We recognize the Dignity and Courage of President Evo, Comrade Álvaro, and the majority of the Bolivian People. From Nicaragua, Blessed and Always Free, we accompany and support you in solidarity, demanding respect for your Freedom, Integrity and Life. The struggle continues! We are certain that each day we will be millions more, we will remain, as we are, at the forefront of our demands for Respect of our Sovereignty, Rights, Cultures and Identities, in this Proud Great Motherland, of Hard Working and Free Peoples.

Managua, November 10, 2019
Government of Reconciliation
and National Unity



Free speech, Latin America and the imperialist Inquisition

By Stephen Sefton

Reprinted from Tortilla con Sal, November 2, 2019

More clearly than ever, addressing Western liberal imperialism in its several varieties as a rationality than can be persuaded or changed by challenging its contradictions is a fundamental error. Those contradictions are essential to ensure the various imperial needs of the Western ruling elites, especially submission to their phony moral authority, are met. Claiming to promote justice, freedom and prosperity, they and their political servants inflict savage injustice and brutal repression, systematically immiserate their victims and loot their wealth. They forcibly legitimize their imperialism by means of an omnipresent but unacknowledged Inquisition, entrenched in structures of national and international governance.

People who effectively report this reality are rare exceptions. In practice, all faithful reporting on imperialist military or economic aggression ends up expressing solidarity with that aggression’s victims. People producing such genuine reports who refuse to assimilate are shoved to the margins and excluded and if they successfully overcome that exclusion they are ruthlessly repressed. The imperialist Inquisition authorities stigmatize successful exponents of genuine reporting as accursed individuals they can legitimately persecute torture or kill. The notorious continuing torture of Julian Assange or the recent intimidation of Max Blumenthal recall the ordeal of Gary Webb who exposed US government involvement in narcotics related to the Iran-Contra scandal.

The relatively high profile cases of Assange and Blumenthal serve to emphasize the daily routine savagery endured by the innumerable nameless victims of imperialism and what that barbarism means in terms of domestic politics. In a recent example from Europe, the Spanish authorities’ declined to prosecute police officers who fired plastic bullets at African migrants trying to swim ashore to Spanish territory, causing 15 of the migrants to drown. The incident confirms that migrants to Europe or North America are regarded as just so many accursed individuals whose lives are effectively forfeit. In relation to that crime, Agustín Velloso recently pointed out, “Fascism changed its name under democracy and lives on as neofascism… the difference between fascism and neofascism is resignation to it, its acceptance or even its celebration among the population, depending on their political opinion.”

This reality clearly applies to both the European Union countries and to the US and Canada. Nor is it by accident that right wing Latin American politicians have facilitated the sadistic persecution of Julian Assange and the thuggish harassment of Max Blumenthal. The Western imperialist elites and their local allies face widespread mass resistance in Latin America, challenging precisely the kind of neofascist policies, marrying corporate and political power, now regarded as normal in North America and Europe. Penitent Inquisition collaborator, center-right Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno, betrayed Julian Assange to the British authorities currently torturing Assange to death. Venezuela’s neofascist opposition facilitated the Inquisition’s attack on free speech targeting Max Blumenthal.  

Blumenthal and his Gray Zone colleagues have successfully exposed Venezuela’s political opposition as larcenous paid stooges of the US government. Like Blumenthal, solidarity activists Ben Rubinstein, Margaret Flowers, David Paul, Adrienne Pine and Kevin Zeese are all targeted by lawfare abuse of the US legal system for their role in defending the integrity of Venezuela’s embassy in Washington earlier this year. Zeese and Flowers produce the highly regarded Popular Resistance web site and related media, consistently challenging the crimes of US and allied imperialism around the world. But apart from their challenge to imperialism, Assange, Blumenthal and the others are also targets of the imperialist Inquisition because they expose the falsity of the Inquisition’s news media and NGOs

Western NGOs or news media in no way at all set out to report foreign affairs truthfully. That is not their role. Rather their role is to serve as the Inquisition’s clerks. They set down and lay out the charges against the recalcitrant accused. They justify the exonerations, pardons and waivers for penitents, collaborators and supergrass witnesses. With a straight face, they duly present the scandalously unfair bogus evidence against the accused which transmogrifies almost  instantly into the imperialist Inquisition’s sentence. Finally, they report the punishments, generally extolling the Inquisition’s just, beneficent intentions with occasional admonitions about some occasional excess of genocidal zealotry or the need to tweak some minor injustice within the overall horror.

Writers like Assange and Blumenthal have exposed this sinister media theater for what it is, namely a neofascist system fusing political and corporate power to impose anti-democratic disinformation and downright lies. They and other writers, like Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett on Syria, have demonstrated the mendacity of reports by, for example, the Organization of American States or by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights or the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and by related, self-serving NGOs. They have shown how the US and its allies induce compromised, dishonest reports from those organizations so as to affirm the judgments, sentences and punishments prescribed by their imperialist Inquisition.

Clear examples of this reality have been the Inquisition’s treatment of October’s uprisings in the streets of Chile and Ecuador against neoliberal austerity and the electoral defeat of the Western elites’ local allies in Bolivia and Argentina. These categorical setbacks for Western imperialism throw into relief and to some extent explain the desperation of the failed right wing coup attempts by US proxies in Nicaragua in 2018 and in Venezuela earlier this year. In both Nicaragua and Venezuela, US payrolled right-wing stooges tried to seize power seeking to impose the very same neoliberal policies that have provoked widespread protests recently against US allied governments throughout Latin America.

The Inquisition’s institutions and media played down, attacked or deprecated the genuine popular uprisings in Ecuador and Chile and their electoral equivalents in Bolivia and Argentina. By contrast, they openly supported and encouraged the failed right-wing coup attempts in Nicaragua and Venezuela. Genuine reporting by the Gray Zone team and Max Blumenthal and by other determined reporters like Dick and Miriam Emanuelsson have used first-hand interviews and on-the-scene reporting to expose this double standard. Their work shows up practically all mainstream and much alternative media reporting as sinister false propaganda.

In both Nicaragua and Venezuela the main false accusation propagated by the Inquisition, as also in 2011 in Libya and Syria, is the cynical lie that these countries’ governments used murderous repression against peaceful opposition demonstrators. To support this lie, Inquisition institutions like the OAS and the UNHCHR and auxiliaries like Amnesty International, accept false witness testimony from the murderous opposition and exclude the testimony of their victims. They feign cross-checking and verification, only among sources that confirm the version they want to hear. Inquisition stenographers in the Western news media then recycle the false testimony comprising the prosecution case which doubles as a guilty verdict justifying punitive sanctions.

In the case of genuine murderous repression by right wing governments in Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, for example, the process is reversed. In these cases, the Inquisition avails of the Pinter principle, the crimes of the US and its allies never happened even as they were happening, or if they happened, they don’t matter. Only a very few authentic independent reporters have dared to expose this insidious process. That is why Max Blumenthal and his colleagues are under attack. That is why the Inquisition authorities in Britain are putting Julian Assange to death.



By Nan McCurdy

Nicaragua Elected to International Bodies
Nicaragua’s international standing was reaffirmed by its election to a three-year term as president of the South Korea-Latin America Cooperation Initiative for Food and Agriculture (KoLFACI) at a general assembly held in Guatemala, and its election for a four-year term to the Conference of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) on November 7 in Mexico. The KolFACI Initiative has increased productivity in the agricultural sectors of the region, contributing to the efforts of member countries to guarantee food security and eradicate poverty. South Korean Ambassador to Guatemala, Seok-Hwa Hong said, “Nicaragua is an example in the region for successful execution of productive development projects. In the last twelve years, national agricultural production has increased by 86% and livestock production grew 65%, contributing to the fight against poverty and strengthening food security in the country.” OPANAL promotes education for disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Americas. Nicaragua News (11/8/19, 11/10/19)


Standard and Poors: Economic Outlook is Stable
The economic rating agency Standard and Poors Global Ratings announced November 8 that the economic outlook for Nicaragua is stable, meaning the economic system of the country is recovering. This positive economic outlook is due to the macroeconomic policy implemented in the country stabilizing liquidity conditions. Standard and Poor Global Ratings highlighted the recent measure implemented by the Nicaragua Central Bank that reduced the currency devaluation from 5% to 3%, thereby improving the purchasing power of Nicaraguans. President of the BCN, Ovidio Reyes explained that “the financial system reflected a prudent stance resulting in an increase in liquidity in both domestic and foreign currency. The stability of the exchange market was maintained, reflecting the lowest exchange rate gap of 2019.”  (Nicaragua News, 11/10/19)


Nicaraguans Remember Father of the Revolution Carlos Fonseca Amador
It seemed that all of Nicaragua took part in commemorative events on the forty-third anniversary of the death in battle of Carlos Fonseca Amador, November 8, 1976. Fonseca is widely loved and respected as the father of the Sandinista Front for National Liberation. President Ortega and Doris Tijerino spoke to a large crowd in Managua. Tijerino was a close friend of Fonseca, co-combatant against the Somoza dictatorship and first head of the Sandinista Police. In Ocotal, Dayán Zeledón said that “as Sandinistas we commemorate with commitment the immortality of a great human being, an example for all Nicaraguans, who gave his life to guarantee peace, education, health, and the healthy recreation that the children of today have. We have a commitment to follow the revolutionary project, accompanying our president Daniel Ortega as the greatest example of that legacy and who we continue to support for the good of Nicaragua.”  (Canal 8, Canal 2, 11/9/19)


Nicaragua Will Build 15 More Hospitals for a Total of 33
On November 6 the presidential health advisor, Dr. Sonia Castro announced that the government plans to build 15 new hospitals in the coming years throughout the country, of which six are already in the process of construction. At this point there are already 18 hospitals, 15 primary hospitals, one departmental and two national hospitals. “From 2007 to 2019 we have built 18 hospitals to serve the people for free and with the best specialists,” said the presidential advisor. She said that the Bilwi Hospital will be the first modern center on the Caribbean Coast. On November 12 the Primary Hospital of El Cuá, in Jinotega, was inaugurated with a large health fair. The new hospital will treat more than 60,000 people from Cuá, Rancho Grande, San José de Bocay, Pantasma and Wiwilí, Jinotega.  (Radiolaprimerisima 11/7/19, 11/12/19)


Promoting Economic Power for Rural Women
The Deputy Secretary for National Policies, Marta Ruiz Sevilla, is representing Nicaragua at the Technical Meeting of Progress Mechanisms for Rural Women of Central America and the Dominican Republic, being held in El Salvador on November 7 and 8. The aim of the meeting is to establish an agenda for the economic empowerment of women living in rural areas of the region. During the meeting Nicaragua will present the results of the “Zero Hunger” Program that the Ministry of Family Economy (MEFCCA) is implementing, to encourage the economic participation of women from in the national agricultural sector. (Nicaragua News 11/8/19)


Nicaraguan Women Recognized by UN-Habitat for Solar Oven Project
The Nicaragua Government reported that last Friday the “Golden Adobe” Award honored the Nicaragua Women’s Solar Project Foundation (FRUPOSOMUNIC) with first place in the “Urban Innovation” category for the Solar Oven project in Catarina, Masaya department. The United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat); selected projects that promote innovative, socially and environmentally sustainable strategies. (Nicaragua News 11/5/19)


Crab Processing Plant Generates Jobs on the Atlantic Coast
A type of crab found in abundance in the waters of Nicaragua’s southern Caribbean has been used for decades as a purely coastal food and usually in soup cooked with coconut milk. Henry Myer, general manager of the Bluefields-based company, Caribbean Blue, currently generates 150 direct jobs at the processing plant in Bluefields, of which 80% of the workplaces are coastal women. This company in its first months of operation in 2018 generated US$829,500, of which almost US$300,000 was spent in the city of Bluefields. Myer said the goal for next year is a second plant in Bluefields to perform the process of pasteurization and canning, generating 200 more jobs. (Informe Pastran, 11/6/19)


97% Electricity Coverage with 62% Green by End of 2019
The General Director Shu-Yan Delgado, head of Electricity and Natural Resources Department of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, participated in the First Meeting of the Energy Efficiency Technical Group held November 5 and 6 in El Salvador. Delgado said, “Nicaragua will be closing 2019 with 97% electricity coverage [of households] and the national energy grid has been transformed from 26% renewable energy use in 2007 to 62% in 2019.” The event was convened by the Central American Council of Energy Ministers, with the support of the Organization of American States Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI). (Nicaragua News, 11/7/19)


More Loans for Women
The government’s Zero Usury Program has provided additional loans to 2,153 women organized in 64 municipalities, for the expansion of small businesses. The financing is part of the Plan to Strengthen Productive and Organizational Capabilities under the National Creative Economy Model that the government is promoting. (Nicaragua News, 11/7/19)


Nicaraguan Army Protects Sea Turtles
During October, 2019, in compliance with the Plan for the Protection of Natural Resources and Protected Areas, 160 military personnel from the 4th Regional Military Command located at the La Flor Military Post, provided protection and security for the arrival of 61,751 sea turtles to lay their eggs and the release of 77, 688 baby turtles into the sea at the La Flor Wildlife Refuge, located 20 kilometers south of the municipality of San Juan del Sur, department of Rivas. (El19Digital, 11/6/19)


National Plan for Culture of Dignity, Respect, Nonviolence, Reconciliation and Peace
Municipal and national government functionaries attended a meeting to discuss The National Plan for Culture of Dignity, Respect, Nonviolence, Reconciliation and Peace.

The Plan’s objective is to generate awareness in each Nicaraguan about the importance of living in harmony. The plan seeks to put into practice a culture of dignity, respect, non-violence, reconciliation and peace, with the government being the first link through the institutions to take the message to every Nicaraguan home. Parts of the plan have been implemented already with laws, policies and programs throughout the country. Managua mayor Reyna Rueda said the strategy will “improve the conditions of non-violence, it is a strategy to bring peace and dignity to all.” (El19Digital, 11/7/19)


Nicaragua in Solidarity with Cuba at UN General Assembly
On November 6 at the United Nations General Assembly, Nicaragua condemned the new coercive measures imposed by the United States on Cuba. The General Assembly voted 187-3 with two abstentions to condemn the US blockade. The Nicaraguan representative to the UN, Jaime Hermida, noted that the US blockade has caused losses to Cuba in the order of US$4.3 billion, directly affecting sensitive sectors, such as health, education, sports, among others. He declared “such unilateral restrictive measures have a serious impact on the human rights of peoples as a whole. We are convinced that no state has the right to dictate its will to others through unilateral coercive economic measures that violate international law and the Charter of the United Nations. This practice is illegitimate, illegal and devalues the advances made in global economic governance.” Brazil this year joined Israel and the US in support of the Cuba blockade. The Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the countries of the African continent and others reiterated their solidarity with Cuba and called for an immediate end to this blockade. (Radiolaprimerisima, 11/6/19)


Justice System Praised by US court
The U.S. press praised the performance of Nicaraguan justice system after Judge Fabiola Betancourt convicted Nicaraguan Orlando Tercero on November 1 of the August 2018 femicide of US citizen Haley Anderson in New York City. Media such as The Washington Post, Associated Press and others, highlighted the decision of Betancourt, first judge of the Managua Criminal District Specialized in Violence. After the end of the trial the victim’s parents and U.S. District Attorney Steve Cornwell declared themselves satisfied with the way justice was done in Nicaragua. Prosecutor Cornwell, district attorney for Broome County, New York, said, “We wanted to prosecute him in the US, but [after he fled to Nicaragua] we saw justice done in a court on an international stage.” The trial was videoconferenced, which Nicaragua has been able to do for the past three years as part of the introduction of modern technologies to the administration of justice. Other similar trials have been conducted with countries such as England and Costa Rica. (Radio Ya, 11/7/19)