After presiding over a far-right coup in Bolivia, the US dubbed Nicaragua a “national security threat” and announced new sanctions, while Trump designated drug cartels in Mexico as “terrorists” and refused to rule out military intervention.
One successful coup against a democratically elected socialist president is not enough, it seems.
Immediately after overseeing a far-right military coup in Bolivia on November 10, the Trump administration set its sights once again on Nicaragua, whose democratically elected Sandinista government defeated a violent right-wing coup attempt in 2018.
Washington dubbed Nicaragua a threat to US national security, and announced that it will be expanding its suffocating sanctions on the tiny Central American nation.
Trump is also turning up the heat on Mexico, baselessly linking the country to terrorism and even hinting at potential military intervention. The moves come as the country’s left-leaning President Andrés Manuel López Obrador warns of right-wing attempts at a coup.
As Washington’s rightist allies in Colombia, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador are desperately beating back massive grassroots uprisings against neoliberal austerity policies and yawning inequality gaps, the United States is ramping up its aggression against the region’s few remaining progressive governments.
These moves have led left-wing forces in Latin America to warn of a 21st-century revival of Operation Condor, the Cold War era campaign of violent subterfuge and US support for right-wing dictatorships across the region.
Trump admin declares Nicaragua a ‘national security threat’
A day after the US-backed far-right coup in Bolivia, the White House released a statement applauding the military putsch and making it clear that two countries were next on Washington’s target list: “These events send a strong signal to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua,” Trump declared.
On November 25, the Trump White House then quietly issued a statement characterizing Nicaragua as an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”
This prolonged for an additional year an executive order Trump had signed in 2018 declaring a state of “national emergency” on the Central American country.
Trump’s 2018 declaration came after a failed violent right-wing coup attempt in Nicaragua. The US government has funded and supported many of the opposition groups that sought to topple elected Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, and cheered them on as they sought to overthrow him.
The 2018 national security threat designation was quickly followed by economic warfare. In December the US Congress approved the NICA Act without any opposition. This legislation gave Trump the authority to impose sanctions on Nicaragua, and prevents international financial institutions from doing business with Managua.
Trump’s new 2019 statement spewed outlandish propaganda against Nicaragua, referring to its democratically elected government — which for decades has been targeted for overthrow by Washington — as a supposedly violent and corrupt “regime.”
This executive order is similar to one made by President Barack Obama in 2015, which designated Venezuela as a threat to US national security.
Both orders were used to justify the unilateral imposition of suffocating economic sanctions. And Trump’s renewal of the order paves the way for an escalated economic attack on Nicaragua….
I have been researching human exposure to aluminium for over thirty-five years (https://www.keele.ac.uk/aluminium/). I am (sometimes affectionately) known as Mr Aluminium. About ten years ago, I became interested in aluminium adjuvants and specifically how they help to potentiate the immune response in vaccination. Funded initially by the Medical Research Council (Nanotoxicity of Aluminium Adjuvants) we set about testing dogma associated with their mechanism of action in vaccines. We have recently reviewed this subject including our own research in the field (https://aacijournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13223-018-0305-2). There are, of course, more questions remaining than answers obtained but we do now have a nascent understanding of the mode of action of aluminium adjuvants. It is clear that a vaccine including an aluminium adjuvant is an acute exposure to aluminium (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0946672X19304201). The aluminium adjuvant initiates an inflammatory response in the immediate vicinity of the injection site. Myriad infiltrating cells flood the damaged area and responding to the inflammation take up adjuvant and antigen into their cytoplasm (https://www.nature.com/articles/srep06287) though not necessarily as an adjuvant-antigen complex (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-20845-9). Adjuvant is transported to lymph glands (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0300985818809142) and may also be carried in macrophages (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0162013419305719) and other histiocytes throughout the body including into the brain (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0946672X17308763). The latter, though demonstrated in an animal model (https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-11-99) remains to be proven in humans. Vaccines that include an aluminium adjuvant are a source of aluminium to the rest of the body and this should be a concern.
This important and up to date information on aluminium adjuvants is missing from a vaccine safety information website hosted by the NHS (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/why-vaccination-is-safe-and-important/). Perhaps of equal importance is that the information given there is, at best, incorrect.
Example 1. ‘Adjuvants are added to vaccines in very small amounts, which have been shown to be safe.’
There have not been any clinical trials designed and carried out to test the safety of aluminium adjuvants. Not a single clinical safety trial for any vaccine that includes an aluminium adjuvant. Vaccine manufacturers are not obliged to demonstrate the safety of aluminium adjuvants. Indeed vaccine manufacturers invariably use aluminium adjuvants as placebos in vaccine efficacy trials (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X11013089?via%3Dihub).
Example 2. ‘There’s no evidence that the levels of aluminium we come across every day increase the risk of conditions like dementia or autism.’
There may not be consensus that aluminium increases the risk of dementia but there is burgeoning scientific evidence that this is the case. Recent research on aluminium in brain tissue in familial Alzheimer’s disease (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0946672X16303777) left very little doubt that aluminium, an accepted neurotoxin, contributes towards Alzheimer’s disease (https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease-reports/adr170010). The advice given by the NHS is at best incorrect and at worst misinformation. While the evidence linking aluminium with autism remains preliminary the high content of aluminium in brain tissue in autism (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0946672X17308763) should not be so easily, perhaps conveniently, discarded.
Example 3. ‘The amount of aluminium used in killed vaccines is very, very small. No harmful effects have been seen with vaccines that contain an aluminium-based adjuvant.’
The myth that the aluminium content of a vaccine is miniscule has now been comprehensively refuted in the peer-reviewed scientific literature (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0946672X19304201) and this misleading information needs to be removed from all advice given to paediatricians and parents alike. Similarly, the patient information leaflet provided with every vaccine lists all of the known harmful effects recorded for that vaccine. Those responsible for administering vaccines are required by law to ask the recipient or recipient’s guardian to read the patient information leaflet so that they are aware of the possible harmful effects. It is outrageous and wrong for NHS advice to be so misleading to those they are charged with protecting.
I have spent all of my academic career trying to understand how human exposure to aluminium impacts upon our health. Everything that I have learned about aluminium points towards it being a major health issue, today and if we carry on being complacent about our exposure, in the future. We need to ensure that the information made available about the possible toxicity of aluminium in humans is wholly science based and as up to date as is possible. We live in the ‘Aluminium Age’ (https://www.hippocraticpost.com/mens-health/the-aluminium-age/) and the modern world would be a lesser place without aluminium. However, it is time that we accept that aluminium is inimical to living processes and that we must only continue to use it when it has been proven to be both effective and safe. This must include its complacent and misunderstood use in vaccines.