The Acts of the Democracies




USA and Nicaragua

The USA legislature refuse funding for the Contras (anti-Nicaragua mercenaries set up and trained by the USA).

President Reagan secretly approves arms sales to Iran in contradiction to official USA policy. The money from these sales is diverted to the Contras. The purpose is to destabilise the Sandinista government of Daniel Ortega.

Colonel Oliver North sets up centers in Colombia where cocaine dealing obtains more money to buy arms for the Contras. The drugs trade leads to a crack cocaine epidemic in Western countries.

The USA's policies inflict more than 50,000 casualties in Nicaragua. This includes nearly 3,500 children killed and over 6,000 children orphaned. The USA made film Under Fire covers this period.

The USA is criticised by the World Court for its undercover action against the democratically elected government of Nicaragua. The Court orders the USA to pay reparations of $ 17,000 million which the USA refuses to abide by.

The USA vetoes a United Nations resolution calling on all governments to observe international law.

Alan Tonelson writes in USA magazine New Republic that USA policy in Nicaragua "involves handling the Sandistas and other threats in Central America the way that great powers have always dealt with pesty, puny neighbours: by laying down the law unilaterally and enforcing our will through intimidation and direct uses of military force. If the intimidation is successful - as it easily could be - the actual use of force would be unnecessary". He continues that "Americans should be able to bring Nicaragua to heel without slogging through its jungles - especially if it is clear that good behaviour will bring a postponement of the regime's rendevous with the ash heap of history".

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