Above photo: Center for Development in Central America.
We have had a good many people to write us and ask us what in the world is going on in Nicaragua as they read all the international reporting. This is our attempt at trying to put the recent arrests in a way that people living in the United States might better understand. We are finding that if we do comparisons, that other people can maybe get a feeling of what this little nation that we love so much is doing.
First let us explain some before we get to the comparisons between Nicaragua and the U.S.
- USAID and other U.S. government entities have sent astronomical sums of money to NGOs in Nicaragua, a poor country of only 6.5 million people. A comparison of the wealth of the two countries makes the figures even more outrageous. Nicaragua’s GDP is around $12 billion, while the GDP of the US is around $21 trillion—that makes the U.S. economy more than 1,750 times larger than Nicaragua’s. We multiplied the figures of money sent to Nicaragua by 1,750 to show what an equivalent sum would mean in the U.S. in the comparisons below.
- When we compare populations we have adjusted this way… Nicaragua has 6.5 million people, the U.S. has 331 million. Nicaragua’s population is only 1.9% of that of the U.S., so our numbers below have been adjusted proportionately. (Source: https://afgj.org/u-s-cries-foul-because-nicaragua-stops-it-from-buying-this-years-elections)
What if Russia sent $281 billion to U.S. non-governmental organizations?
That is the equivalent – adjusting for the country’s GDP – of what has happened in Nicaragua since 2015. USAID has sent $160,586,742 to Nicaraguan NGOs mainly for “independent media” and “democracy and citizenship training for youth.”
What if Russia put $17.5 billion into Fox News, Breitbart and Infowars?
That is the equivalent of what has happened in Nicaragua since 2009. USAID has spent at least $10 million on opposition media outlets for “media strengthening programs.” Many of these outlets are extremely well-funded fringe operations with no more journalistic integrity than Alex Jones.
What if, instead of just one day, the January 6th attack on the Capitol had stretched to months of daily violent protests, and the insurrectionists had set up road blocks effectively paralyzing the country, leading to the loss of 6.2 million jobs? What if we later found out the insurrectionists had been funded by China?
In 2018 Nicaragua went through a similar scenario when opposition protests turned violent, then armed groups set up roadblocks throughout the country that became epicenters of violence, including torture and murder. The roadblocks crippled the economy and caused the loss of 130,000 jobs, which was catastrophic for Nicaragua. The opposition and its media apparatus blamed the government for the violence but police and Sandinistas were targeted and attacked, and now investigations are showing who was funding this violence in Nicaragua – the U.S. government.
What if the Q-Anon Shaman were let out on a general amnesty for all those involved in the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol, then he declared he wanted to be President of the United States and travelled to China to openly lobby its government to put economic sanctions on the U.S. and was arrested for treason on his return? Would the headlines read “Biden Regime Arrests Presidential Candidate?”
This is essentially what is happening in Nicaragua. On June 8, Felix Maradiaga was charged with violating the laws against treason and arrested. “Maradiaga, a Harvard-educated Aspen Fellow who is a long-time recipient of NED funds through his own NGO, became notorious during the 2018 coup attempt as one of the masterminds of the violence. He benefited from the amnesty granted by the government in 2019 to all those involved in crimes related to the 2018 violence, and since then he has been traveling to the U.S. and international organizations, openly advocating for sanctions to be imposed on his country.” (Source: Rita Jill Clark-Gollub)
What if the Trump Foundation had received $12.3 billion from Russia?* What if, when asked how that money had been spent, Eric Trump refused to provide an accounting of the funds, announced the closure of the Foundation, transferred remaining Foundation funds into his personal bank account, declared he wanted to be President of the United States and when charged with money laundering, he disputed that by saying the Trump Foundation had already been audited by Russia and they found no malfeasance?
This is what has happened in Nicaragua. Cristiana Chamorro, daughter of former President Violeta Chamorro and Director of the Chamorro Foundation, has been charged with money laundering and placed under house arrest after refusing to account for the at least $7 million the Foundation received from U.S. government bodies in recent years which was allegedly channeled to opposition media outlets. Chamorro has been accused of transferring funds from the Foundation account into her personal bank account. She disputed the charges against her with this statement, “The US State Department rejected the charges of money laundering against the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation based on audits they conducted that did not find evidence of money laundering or diversion of funds.”
But what is the current situation really like for average Nicaraguans? Let’s keep the comparisons going for better understanding.
What if free health care were a right for every U.S. citizen? It is for every Nicaraguan, from general care, chronic and specialized care, medicines, exams, kidney dialysis and cancer treatment.
What if only 23,170 people in the U.S. had died from COVID? That’s 7 per 100,000 people, the number that have died in Nicaragua, according to a new study by U.S.-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation that calculates COVID deaths adjusting for “excess” deaths.
What if every U.S. citizen had the right to a free education from preschool all the way through college and graduate school? Every Nicaraguan has that right.
What if every U.S. worker was given one month’s paid vacation, 13 paid holidays, an extra month’s pay each year, and pregnant women were mandated two months of paid maternity leave? Every Nicaraguan worker has these rights.
What if 50% of all candidates for public office in the U.S. were women? Nicaraguan law requires it. In fact, Nicaragua ranks 5th overall in the world for gender equality, 1st in women heading government ministries, 3rd in the world for political participation of women, and first out of 153 countries for educational attainment and health and survival. (Source: World Economic Forum and UN Women)
What if the U.S. deeded all lands west of the Rockies to First Nations? In recent years the Nicaraguan government has titled a full one-third of its territory to 300 Indigenous communities to be communally owned and managed.
What if 80% of the US population received a government subsidy to cover 45% of their electrical bill? 80% of Nicaraguans do.
What if 84% of the electricity the U.S. produced were renewable? 84% of Nicaragua’s energy production is renewable.
What if 26.5 million U.S. citizens were given title to houses or land? In Nicaragua half a million people have been titled land or homes since 2007, either new to them or family land that had lacked legal title.
What if police forces in the U.S. were demilitarized and trained in a community policing model? Nicaragua’s largely unarmed police force works with young people to promote a culture of peace which includes home visits to at-risk youth, community counseling sessions, organizing and running sports programs, teaching vocational classes, technical training, GED programs and even financing start-up businesses together with at risk youth.
These phenomenal improvements to quality of life are the reasons that Nicaraguans support the government – a recent poll showed that 77% of the population believe the Sandinista government is working for the good of the general population of Nicaragua. But the U. S. government is committed to overthrowing the will of the people – as we know from a leaked U.S. State Department paper (RAIN), which laid out how the U. S. government would fund NGOs and opposition leaders to overthrow, how they would use gangs to disrupt the peace and safety of the citizenry, and how they would declare the election a fraud, among other distasteful actions.
The last 150 years of Nicaraguan history is filled with examples of the U. S. interfering in Nicaragua’s affairs. It continues.
We do not believe that the U. S. government would stand by and do nothing if it were Russia or China doing the same thing to them. Do you?