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….