Biden Amplifies Anti-Sandanista Propaganda

| Educate!

Above photo: Celebration of 40th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution. Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign.

A clever trick of propaganda is to introduce false information as a precept to an argument with what seems like a valid conclusion. Those who agree with the conclusion will likely accept the false precept without even questioning it.  This tactic was used for a recent series of articles in the Washington Post aiming to discredit the government of Nicaragua led by the Sandinista Party. The Post argued that since the ruthless dictator of Nicaragua was torturing its citizens, the US should give them refuge in the US, but instead they were deported by the Trump Administration.  Democratic members of Congress immediately signed a letter asking Trump to let the Nicaraguans take residence in the US, and Biden who seldom takes a side on any issue lately, released a statement on Twitter.  He chastised the Trump Administration for sending back Nicaraguan asylum seekers fleeing oppression from the tyrannical grip of Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua’s elected President) without a chance to pursue their claims.  Another trick of good propaganda is to state so many lies that the reader doesn’t have time to investigate all of them.

This tactic was designed for those observers who are sympathetic to the plight of immigrants but know very little about Nicaragua or other Central American countries.  Most Americans do not even know the intent of the argument, let alone know what is true or not.  It is difficult to know about all the countries in the world, and even more so considering the constant repetition of false information by the media and the censorship of accurate information from mainstream channels.

Do they think this story is about standing up to help immigrants? Do they think Biden or the Washington Post care if a few immigrants are given asylum in the US?

This story was constructed to convey false information and make people believe it without questioning. The story isn’t even about immigration at all.  People believe information that supports what they already believe, especially when they are emotionally connected. If you want people to be able to seek asylum to flee dictatorial regimes, you may believe that Nicaragua is a tyranny that is sending thousands of immigrants to the US. If you want to believe Biden would be more humane than Trump, you may remember that Biden stood up for those fleeing persecution in Nicaragua.  But what false information did you accept?

These stories make readers assume there are a lot of immigrants coming from Nicaragua. In fact, there is virtually no immigration from Nicaragua right now. There is a lot of immigration from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, which all have governments that many would call tyrannical.  The government of Honduras was put in power by a US-backed coup to overthrow the previous democratically-elected President. El Salvador and Guatemala have neo-liberal governments that promote small government and privatization, which happen to align well with US corporate and government interests.  All of these countries are rife with violence and poverty and political repression.  In contrast, there is no mass migration from Nicaragua despite cruel US economic sanctions and a recent US-backed coup attempt.  Immigration from Nicaragua remains low because the conditions for the poor are bearable with free public education, free healthcare, a growing economy, and the lowest violent crime rate in the region.

The stories of refugees coming from Nicaragua convey that Nicaragua is a tyrannical regime even though no evidence was provided. Those who believe immigrants should be allowed to migrate from any country in which they do not feel safe are sympathetic to those who say they are punished for their political activities. Those sympathies are manipulated by the press to make readers believe the Nicaraguan government punishes dissidents. Critical thinking is suspended.

There are people in Nicaragua who claim the government is a tyranny, but there are many who claim just the opposite. The US press only portrays the former, but when I traveled in Nicaragua I found many of the latter.  I can’t prove one way or the other that some people who claim to have been mistreated are telling the truth, but I can say there are many people who stand by the Nicaraguan government and who say that some of those accused of murder or arson in association with the 2018 coup attempt were rightfully tried and some were justifiably incarcerated.  I also observed a country where news media presented a very wide range of opinion including a lot of corporate media siding with the US government. In contrast, no corporate news outlet in the US would ever show the side of the Nicaraguan government or even the opinion of the civic leaders of unions, youth or women’s organizations, or solidarity organizations.  It seems unlikely that a country that allows opposition news outlets to operate openly is much of a tyranny, but I’m not so sure that the country that controls the narrative so tightly isn’t a tyranny.

Most of the immigrants coming from Central America are fleeing the governments the US has been supporting, and not the government the US has been trying to overthrow. Without giving the statistics, the news media tries to paint the opposite picture with the motive of justifying US intervention.  What these clever stories in the US press are really about is justification for a US foreign policy that props up governments that keep land and labor costs low for US corporations, and overthrows governments that serve the interests of their people over US corporate profit.  The fact that Biden and the Democrats are willing to participate in this deception also reveals that it’s really about how Biden will continue to support the same foreign policy in Central America. The corporate news media is planting the seeds for more US military intervention in Central America and Biden will be a willing commander.

  • tttbnr

    Most Americans should know they waged a terrorist war against the people of Nicaragua for democratically selecting a Sandinista led government in the 1980’s.

    Most progressives should know Biden is a proponent of neoconservative foreign policies that want to overthrow governments like Nicaragua’s, which seek to govern outside the Washington Consensus.

  • Michael Kurman

    My daughter was living in Nicaragua during the most recent demonstrations against Ortega a couple years ago. Her stories of government abuses of the demonstrators chilled me. She is now out of the country. This is another sad story of a great movement with a great leader who was a hero but has now become a zero. Ortega is a dictator…just not the U.S.’s dictator. He wants his wife to be the next President, by the way. Begone Manuel Ortega.

  • blessthebeasts

    His name is Daniel Ortega. You are obviously very confused and/or ignorant.

  • Michael Kurman

    Wrote it wrong. Daniel Ortega was what I was thinking. Easy to call someone ignorant, isn’t it. Why don’t you speak to my position?

  • daedalus43

    Michael,
    I, too, am tired of ‘arguments’ that include name-calling. They remind me of the taunts of schoolyard bullies.

    Could it be that the more authoritarian Ortega was necessary because of the ongoing effort by the US to get rid of him, one way or the other? Don’t forget, those ‘demonstrations’ were being stoked by the usual suspects here in the US.

  • Michael Kurman

    No, there was quiet in the country, until Ortega decided to cut social security benefits. Then it seemed like the whole country demonstrated against this, and Ortega pulled back. But the demonstrations did not stop, people were tired of him, the Ortega’s troops put down the demonstrations with a lot of force (like Trump’s goons did in Portland except more dead in Nicaragua). He is just a dictator who wants to stay in power and to be succeeded by his wife. The only support he has now are older folks who remembered him as the revolutionary that he once was and do not see him as the rich authoritarian he now is (he did take over Somoza’s mansion when the revolution was victorious, and did not divide it into apartments for the people).

  • LetJusticeRoll

    You have the facts very wrong indeed. Please check the information in the ebook I cited at the end of my earlier comment, which provides evidence that it was the *opposition* that was perpetrating the violence, and who did everything possible to make it appear that the government was doing it. But the people learned the truth, during the two-month-plus period in which the police were ordered to their barracks and the criminal gangs took over the roadblocks, torturing, raping and killing. After a couple of months of those experiences, the police were allowed to return and were welcomed by ordinary people as heroes.

  • Bill Rood

    Hmm. That seems to be Trump’s strategy as well.

  • Bill Rood

    Good point about slyly wrapping lies with what you know will probably be accepted without question.

  • Michael Kurman

    It is interesting that those who say they know the facts were actually not in Nicaragua at the time. My politically progressive daughter was, in 2018. And I got frequent reports.

    Let me ask a question:

    If once we hailed a revolutionary hero, does this hero get a pass for the rest of their life?

    Noriega does not, for me. I was extremely pro-Sandinista during the revolution. But when the revolution was successful, did Daniel, who then occupied Somoza’s mansion, divide it up and give it to the people as apartments? No, this did not happen. He lives there today.

    What happened after that? Noriega won the last election (some question as to whether it was free and fair). Then Noriega cut benefits for retirees. The people rise up in protest. Noriega backs down. But then many decide that four terms for Noriega is enough and he has to go. Protests were peaceful. They were met with violence and put down by Noriega thugs.

    How do I know this? I have a daughter, who I would characterize as politically progressive. She lived in Nica in 2018. She lived through these protests and government repression. Finally she went to another Latin American country. She would still go back to Nica if she could get a new job.

    But what is it like for the Nica people? They essentially are ruled by a dictator who decides who can run for election. Noriega wants his wife to succeed him. Do you think she won’t?

    The real question here is, once we have supported a revolution to eliminate a dictator, does that mean we continue to support this revolutionary for all time?

    In my view, if we analyze revolutions, I see that the revolutionaries have not, once in power, taken into consideration the will of the people. It is the Central Committee who makes the decisions. They ensconse themselves in power and accumulate wealth, which could have been distributed to the people. How can I support a Nicaraguan revolution that will not let the people decide through fair elections whom they want to govern them? Was it any different in Cuba? The Soviet Union? In all cases, the Central Committee decided the way forward, and fuck what the people may have wanted.
    All “socialist” revolutions have failed thus far. It is a mistake to support these revolutions when they have not given power to the workers and the people. They trade one dictator for another.

    I hold no truck with American interference in Latin America (and other countries). But by God, I would rather have a free and fair election in the U.S., in which everyone gets a chance to vote (which is off the table at this point), and if the majority of people want Trump or Biden, it is their choice. If you do not have democracy, you have a dictatorship.

    And if elections don’t turn out the way we would like, it is up to us to take actions aimed at making them more fair. Let’s improve schools so that American kids really get an education, in facts and values and ethics. We have generations of bigotry to overcome. Let’s get at it.

  • LetJusticeRoll

    Sorry, your analogy doesn’t work. The FSLN approach throughout has been to promote reconciliation, whereas Trump’s strategy promotes division. Ortega ordered the police temporarily to their barracks in order to reduce the bloodshed that would have occurred if they had engaged further. This approach also allowed the general public to see who was really perpetrating the violence; it wasn’t the police.

  • Michael Kurman

    Pointless. Believe what you believe.

  • blessthebeasts

    Noriega? Wrong again! I doubt your “politically progressive daughter” was there, if you even have one. Looks more like paid troll activity.

  • Michael Kurman

    New one on me to be called a troll. I am out of this disrespectful conversation. Hard to argue with people who will not consider other narratives than the ones they must follow to be sufficiently politically correct.

  • LetJusticeRoll

    Michael, I am not the person who called you a troll. While I profoundly disagree with you, I do respect you. I know you believe what you do because of everything you heard from your daughter in Nicaragua in 2018. She was apparently and most unfortunately influenced by the ton of trolling social media and other misinformation that took place in the early days of the attempted coup. (That is also covered in the ebook I recommended to you.) The person who called you a troll seems to be referring to your having referred to Daniel Ortega incorrectly by name, in two different places. You’re right, that was simply a mistake and does not address the points you were making. I have addressed some points and am respectfully closing this conversation with you now. I see that we share the same values, we just have different information in our possession. Be well.

  • Michael Kurman

    You too.

  • cechas vodobenikov

    u fascists fund the Nicaraguan opposition–too uncivilized to have a democracy and universal health care like Nicaragua, u always meddle in civilized peoples affairs–like u your daughter a fascist illiterate comprehends nothing

  • cechas vodobenikov

    u prefer corporate fascism to civilized communism in the USSR–knowing nothing u believe u know something—farcical

  • cechas vodobenikov

    backward amerikans have the audacity to believe that they can judge how civilized peoples govern themselves—despicable
    I have little sympathy for counter-revolutionary fake murikan “progressives”
    there are numerous US spies in Nicaragua, Colombia, Bolivia, Paraguay etc–they describe themselves as “journalists”etc

  • Michael Kurman

    Go to hell.