5 Jul 2011
Ray-gun killer statue shames London
A Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Briefing 4 July 2011
According to Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, whose statue was unveiled outside the US Embassy in London today, was responsible for ‘winning the Cold War without firing a shot.’
However, behind the cosy facade of the great statesman and communicator who ended the Cold War was a man whose ideologically-driven foreign policy, uncluttered by facts and complexities, led to the deaths of 30,000 Nicaraguans in the 1980s.
In 1981, Ronald Reagan set about destroying the Sandinistas - who came to power in a popular insurrection to oust a US-backed dictator – by unleashing a war on all fronts: paramilitary, political, diplomatic, ideological, economic and psychological. This included arming, funding and training a mercenary force known as the ‘contras.’ For Reagan, the means - however illegal, murky and morally reprehensible - justified the ends. Former CIA director, Stansfield Turner testified to Congress that the actions of the contras ‘have to be classified as terrorism, State sponsored terrorism. ‘
In 1986 the Iran-contra scandal erupted: the Reagan administration illegally sold arms to Iran and used the proceeds to illegally fund the contras during a period from 1984-6 when Congress had imposed a ban.
Later in 1986 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found the US guilty of breaches of international law including arming and training of an illegal paramilitary organisation, mining Nicaragua's harbours and imposing a trade embargo. The US refused to accept the jurisdiction of the ICJ or to pay the estimated US$17 billion damage to the country’s infrastructure.
As celebrations take place in London and elsewhere to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Reagan’s birth, our thoughts are with the tens of thousands of Nicaraguans who suffered the consequences of his murderous foreign policies.
Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign
86 Durham Rd, London N7 7DT, 020 7561 4836
AND CAMPAIGN FOR THE REMOVAL OF HIS STATUTE HERE