If the filibuster William Walker (1824-1860) wrote the prologue to the almost bicentennial history of the US attempts to dominate Nicaragua, the current administration of Joe Biden already has in black and white the new chapter for the control of a geostrategic enclave vital for its aspirations of hemispheric supremacy.
This is what Manuel Espinoza, director of the Regional Center for International Studies (CREI), a political scientist who graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) in the late 1980s told Sputnik.
Nicaragua is part, together with Cuba and Venezuela, of what Espinoza defines as the Latin American anti-hegemonic bloc.
“At the Latin American level, the recently presented interim national security strategy has a very clear reading in terms of the use of the actions of political and clandestine interventionism that the Americans have been employing in the region for many decades,” commented the political analyst in contextualizing the design of the State Department’s policy for Nicaragua in the four-year period (2021-2025).
The Central American agenda of the Biden-Blinken tandem
Migration, corruption, organized crime, abuses of power, domestic politics, elections, and COVID-19 dominate the Central American agenda of the team led by Antony John Blinken, the first chief diplomat under the Biden administration.
The National Security Strategy designed for the region by the Donald Trump administration since 2017 involves increasing the work of the US intelligence community in the area and that front will continue, Espinoza explained.
On March 13, the majority of the more than six million Nicaraguans felt plundered, not in the classic form of Washington-branded spoils, but in such a noble subject as sports.
The four-time world boxing champion and the country’s main sports idol, Román Chocolatito González, was robbed of the victory that his fists forged in the ring against the Mexican Juan Francisco El Gallo Estrada.
The worst part of the decision, described as scandalous by the world boxing elite and the main media that covered the event staged in Houston (southern United States) was the out-of-manual and against all logic vote (117-111) of Carlos Sucre, a Venezuelan referee of recognized anti-Chavez militancy, who the following day was suspended by the World Boxing Association.
In the (anti) sports event that could be unrelated to politics, Espinoza sees the hand of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The fact is that Chocolatito is a well-known militant of the ruling party, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional), and an admirer of President Daniel Ortega.
As if that were not enough, El Gallo Estrada posed for the cameras with the Nicaraguan flag turned upside down, as did the protagonists of the violence and hate crimes of April 2018, which the Nicaraguan Executive described as a failed coup attempt (soft, in the manner designed by US political scientist Gene Sharp, 1928-2018).
Nicaragua under Washington’s magnifying glass
Unlike other nations of the subcontinent where the United States does the unspeakable to counter China’s growing influence, Nicaragua is a special case, since its relations are with Taiwan, not with the Asian giant.
In the Nicaraguan case, Washington’s magnifying glass scrutinizes what are considered strategic relations with Russia and Cuba, which it identifies as a threat to its national security.
“On March 16, Craig S. Faller, head of the U.S. Army’s Southern Command, accused Managua of maintaining close ties with Moscow, whose security assistance to Nicaragua is centered on professional military personnel. He also assured, in an appearance before the Senate, that Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are a direct threat to U.S. territory”, quoted the Nicaraguan political scientist.
“They are a daunting challenge that we cannot face (alone) on our own. The only way to counter these threats is to strengthen our partners in the region,” Faller added, referring essentially to Colombia and Brazil.
Consequently, Espinoza foresees that the primary emphasis of the U.S. strategy toward Nicaragua will be to create and consolidate a political opposition that can consistently challenge the Sandinista government.
“Creating greater rapprochement between the private sector and civil society while reducing the capacity of certain political parties; and promoting the destabilization of the government of President Daniel Ortega, especially in this electoral year, with the elections or by means of a soft coup”, is another of the assumptions that the social scientist foresees.
Espinoza identified the main goals of such a strategy as cutting off greater access to the region for Russia and Cuba in geopolitical terms, which according to Washington’s think tanks would threaten their national security and, in addition, weaken the regional anti-hegemonic bloc.
“To meet this objective there is a whole staging of accumulated experiences, which they already implement, both publicly and clandestinely,” he warned.
Another maneuver to try to remove Managua from the aforementioned bloc and make it orbit around the agenda of the White House would be, in his opinion, a package of economic-financial, trade and investment proposals to the government of the Sandinista Front.
A variant diametrically opposed to the previous one would be to increase the sanctions war (in practice since 2018), on a par with permanent international pressure until achieving a Venezuelan-style isolation and weakening of Nicaragua.
Recently, on March 24, Ryan C. Berg, representing a think tank such as the American Enterprise Institute, appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with a presentation on the activities of China and Russia in the hemisphere, plus the “dictatorships” in the countries of the so-called Troika of Evil.
Espinoza recalled that for years Berg has been an expert in “academic” attacks against Nicaragua and Venezuela and consequently it is to be expected that his recommendations to the Foreign Relations Committee of the Upper House of Congress will be followed to the letter.