The webinar “Nicaragua: A Leftist Perspective” is one more example of US regime change propaganda against countries the US corporate national security state considers a challenge to its world rule.
William Robinson, in the guise of an objective and serious scholar holding respectable US ruling class academic credentials, introduced this webinar that virulently attacked Daniel Ortega. (To bolster his sham left credentials, a poster of Che can be seen on the wall next to Robinson as he speaks.)
The webinar title is merely a cover to conceal the speakers’ allegiance to the US national security state operation to destroy the last 14 years of social and economic accomplishments by the Nicaraguan people. Robinson claims the webinar presents a leftist perspective in opposition to the dominant “rightwing discourse which is exercising hegemony internationally.” However, their leftist perspective is nothing but a flimsy repackaging of this very rightwing “discourse.”
Their “left” view is a carbon copy of previous “left” ones we have seen on Libya, Syria, Hong Kong, Iran, Ukraine, Venezuela, Xinjiang, etc. Stories of mass rapes by a Libyan dictator’s troops, of chemical weapons attacks by a Syrian dictator’s forces, of peaceful freedom loving Hong Kong students, of genocide against Xinjiang Muslims, stories fabricated likely with the help of the CIA, have been picked up and resold by those on the gringo “left.” These stories or “narratives” (a more cultivated term for plain bull) are as true as Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction story spun by the US national security state.
The webinar speakers repeatedly pointed out their views were “leftist,” in a futile effort to disguise the unmistakable conformity of their propaganda to that of corporate media and US government spokespeople.
The featured speaker was Luis Carrion Cruz, former leader in the 1980s Sandinista government. His talk rapidly degenerated into an over-the-top Cuban gusano style rant against Daniel Ortega. He denied the US has interest in fomenting a coup against the Sandinista government, or that it had any relation to the 2018 coup attempt. Carrion even declared he would prefer a “democratic” rightwing government to the FSLN government. This was his “leftist perspective.”
None of the speakers condemned US sanctions on Nicaragua. Luis Carrion even denies US “sanctions affected the Nicaraguan people in any significant way,” “didn’t have any negative effect on the Nicaraguan people,” and “are not directed to an overthrow of the Nicaraguan government.”
Margaret Randall disgraced herself once again, and not merely by advocating for pro-imperialist regime change against the Nicaraguan people. She also deliberately lied in her presentation – as some others did also. Only those who do not find their own views plausible feel the need to sink to that level. She claimed that “Daniel Ortega’s repressive forces” killed some 200-300 Nicaraguans in 2018. These webinar speakers are well-aware, as are US government representatives, that this is false.
Randall refers to the US propaganda tools, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as legitimate human rights organizations and defends the contents of their attacks on Nicaragua as based on “indisputable facts.” Since all webinar speakers were at pains to emphasize the need for the US “left” to defend “human rights,” we thank Randall for revealing which human rights disinformation organizations she thinks we should look to for guidance.
None of the speakers presented a “leftist perspective” on building a Nicaraguan revolution beyond the same old US yakety-yak about “democracy,” “free and fair elections,” and “human rights.” Our recent delegation to Nicaragua did meet with the political representative at the US Embassy. He spoke this same language, which must mean, for our distinguished webinar presenters, that the US Embassy position on Nicaragua is to the left of the FSLN.
Leonor Zuniga was one of the producers of the film Las Sandinistas, a slick anti-Sandinista film that came out in 2018 in conjunction with their failed counter-revolutionary coup. She wants us to buy that the US has “a very stable relationship with Ortega.” As if a US State Department spokesperson, she informs us “Nothing [in the 2018 coup attempt] is related at all with any influence of the US in Nicaragua.” That is her leftist perspective.
She claims the FSLN regards as its main enemies the feminist movement and farmers movement. Evidently the Sandinista government has focused on improving the lives of women and farmers over the last 14 years because it hates them so.
Alejandro Velasco, executive director of NACLA, played the role of spinning audience questions. NACLA, once a respected source of alternative news on Latin America, has long since been hijacked by pro-imperialist academics operating as ruling class gatekeepers who set the boundaries on what is considered the “respectable,” “liberal” perspective.
To his credit Robinson does mention that the NED funded the opposition, but oddly, discounts this since the NED grants more money to Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala. Robinson belittles an article detailing US involvement in the 2018 coup attempt by calling it “crudest propaganda that is passed off as journalism.” The article was written by a professor who Robinson criticizes both for not being a US government official and for not publishing it in a US government website but in an online journal.
Possibly some reader can explain why it is ok for the Nicaraguan opposition to take NED money so long as Colombia does, or why a journalist’s article should be rejected because it is published in a journal not on a US government website. I cannot.
People like Margaret Randall actually do embody too common a current among progressive US forces. They project onto any revolution, be it Nicaragua, Cuba, China, Venezuela, their own dreams of what the “real”, “true” revolution should be. Their interest in the social changes achieved in these revolutions often become secondary to what these gringo leftists consider the revolutions should have achieved.
Instead of concentrating on their own internationalist duties, building a movement at home to combat US interference, they demand some revolution abroad meet their own First World standards of approval. Some, like Margaret Randall and William Robinson, even become so disenchanted with a progressive process which does not meet their dreams that they end up siding with imperialism in its well-crafted propaganda against these countries.
If our perspective focuses on supporting the gains of an oppressed peoples of any land have made to improve their lives, then we would unhesitatingly defend these against any attempts of the US imperial government to destroy them. That is the perspective of any humanitarian. That perspective is alien to the speakers in this webinar, who have allied themselves with the US goal of turning Nicaragua into a neo-colony once again.