TransAfrica Forum Issue Brief
(Vol. 2, No. 9)
by TransAfrica Forum
Washington, DC, United States
Contents: WASHINGTON'S WAR WITH NICARAGUA • THE KISSINGER COMMISSION • THE CONTADORA GROUP • THE U.S. AND NICARAGUA: "AFTER 126 YEARS THE ENEMY IS THE SAME" • PROFILE: NICARAGUA'S ATLANTIC COAST • This ISSUE BRIEF presents the views of Dr. Antonio Jarquin, Nicaragua's Ambassador to the U.S.; describes the current situation in Nicaragua; analyzes Reagan administration policy; and examines alternatives to current U.S. policies. Since the 1979 overthrow of the regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), Nicaraguans have been confronted by a fierce U.S.-led destabilization campaign. The Reagan administration justifies this policy by claiming that the Sandinista government is a Soviet-Cuban puppet that threatens the stability of the Hemisphere and the security of the U.S. While there has been no direct U.S. military intervention of Nicaragua, the U.S. has organized, financed, supplied, and directed a proxy-war fought by former members of the National Guard, the hated police and military force used by the Somoza dynasty to repress the Nicaraguan population for more than 40 years. The U.S. claims that it is backing these "freedom fighters" only as a means of ending Sandinista support for and supply of arms to rebels in El Salvador. But the Salvadorian guerrillas have had easy access to arms from a range of sources and they have not been critically dependent on supplies that might have reached them from Nicaragua. In the face of the growing tension that Washington's war with Nicaragua brings to Latin America, the governments of Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and Venezuela have formed a regional negotiating body called the CONTADORA Group, but the U.S. response to their initiatives have been lukewarm. Instead, the Reagan administration has created a National Bipartisan Commission on Central America, chaired by Henry Kissinger, in an effort to dispel growing opposition of U.S. policy in Central America. The newsletter mentions San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros, indigenous people, the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), and TransAfrica Forum staff Cherri D. Waters and Menda Ahart.
Used by permission of TransAfrica Forum.
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers