Nicaragua’s Protestors: “Peaceful Students” or Enemy Combatants?

As a United States citizen, confirmed Catholic and liberal, I want to believe the prevailing news media’s glowing narrative about Nicaragua’s protestors – since this narrative has garnered support from the stalwart Catholic Church as well as “liberal” news media outlets such as the Guardian and Democracy Now. Essentially, I want to believe all Nicaragua’s protestors are “peaceful students” and that the Ortega Administration is just another “repressive and violent dictatorship.”

Only, I’m having a problem with this story line since it is contradicted by facts, history and accompanying photos that blatantly expose it to be a bold faced lie. Simply put: photos of flaming-mortar-wielding enemy combatants shown firing upon Nicaragua’s police do not look like “peaceful student protestors”. Perhaps the news media should suppress the circulation of these contradictory images that are cluttering up my news feed or consider writing the truth about a socialist country for a change.

Let’s just admit it’s the 1980’s all over again. With Venezuela, a key supporter of Nicaragua, destabilized, the United States sees Nicaragua as low hanging fruit when it comes to regime change, and it’s turning up the heat every which way on the Ortega Administration. This time around its trained and funded mercenary forces have just swapped their battle fatigues for civilian clothes, and guns for mortars. It doesn’t matter if the mortars are creatively painted; they still are deadly weapons. But the strategic naming of things to support the prevailing narrative in the news media is everything. As long as armed, violent and dangerous men are dressed like civilians and called “student protestors” by the complicit news media,  no one is the wiser that they are in fact and deed,  enemy combatants.

Lauren Smith
Internationalist 360°

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