One day it’s Venezuela, the next it’s Brazil and then Nicaragua. Or else their presidents or former presidents are the target … provided they are progressive. US America’s strategy is obvious and dates back. Its objective the same as always: to destabilize and divide nations.
Masaya, Managua, Estelí and other cities in Nicaragua have, since the middle of April, been facing an escalation in violence which very much bears the hallmarks of destabilizing tactics, orchestrated from abroad and already used in other countries, such as Venezuela.
‘Soft coup’ is the name given this strategy for overthrowing democratic governments, not with conventional weapons, but by waging a media war and by creating social unrest, promoting chaos and anarchy.
What started with protests against government reforms of social security (that were later repealed) turned into riots including attacks and arson on public buildings, markets, schools and health centres as well as road blocks and other acts of vandalism resulting in a toll of more than 250 dead.
For the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, it is a repeat of the script used by the right and the United States in Venezuela.
“Both countries are the victims of an attack by ‘the empire’ which is sponsoring and orchestrating a fourth-generation war in collaboration with local oligarchies,” Evo wrote on his Twitter account.
Between April and July 2017, armed gangs, financed by radical sectors of the Venezuelan right, destroyed businesses and public facilities, and murdered dozens of people, some of whom were burned alive.
Known as guarimbas, these violent protests left more than 100 dead, some 1,400 injured and millions of pounds’ worth of damage to public and private property.
According to the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, there is similarity between what happened in his country and the situation facing Nicaragua today.
“‘I have been in constant communication with President Daniel Ortega. They have been ambushed as was the case with Venezuela. They will triumph though, “said Maduro.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza warned about the similarities between the biased editorial line of Western media outlets and agencies on the violence in Nicaragua and the distorted narrative used in Venezuela in 2017.
They classify as ‘citizen protest’ the involvement of violent groups in burning state institutions and looting and attacking law enforcement facilities, he said.
In Nicaragua, up to June, the damage caused to public property alone as a result of acts of vandalism came to 182 million dollars, according to figures from the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit.
In the tourism industry, between forty and fifty thousand jobs were lost, which will have a tremendous impact on the economy, said Ivan Acosta who is in charge of the sector.
Although over the last five years the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by around five percent, the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN) has now reduced its forecast of the increase in GDP to one percent.
The BCN estimates losses of 238 million dollars in foreign investment, 440 million in exports and 465 million in imports.
“The destruction they have wrought is not easily reversed and the loss of human life is irreparable,” said the Secretary of International Relations of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), Jacinto Suárez.
In his opinion, the destabilizing activity of the last three months corresponds to a “soft coup” orchestrated from abroad which is similar to that used in Venezuela and which seeks the resignation of the president, Daniel Ortega, and foreign intervention.
This strategy is not new. It was used before in Bolivia in 2008 when a coup took place on the civic committees and prefectures in the so-called Media Luna (East) that is to say Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni and Pando. Violent riots erupted in these departments, with the occupation and looting of public offices, the seizure of an airport and an attempted attack on a gas pipeline intended for exports to Brazil.
The aim of this “atypical” coup was to divide the country and make an attempt on the life of President Evo Morales, who two years beforehand had nationalized the oil, gas and other important companies.
According to documents leaked by Wikileaks, the United States financed the separatists and, through the International Development Agency (USAID), gave at least four million dollars to these groups.
Several speakers at the forum also supported the former presidents of Brazil (Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva), Argentina (Cristina Fernández) and of Ecuador (Rafael Correa): victims of the political persecution and counter-offensive waged against progressive leaders and governments. (PL)
(Translated by Nigel Conibear) – Photos: Pixabay