I recently ordered a collection of Roger Sanchez’s cartoons published by Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, a British solidarity organization. The cartoon above highlights Israel’s role in the conflict in Central America in the 1980s. Israel was one of the region’s largest arms providers, even giving substantial amounts of weapons, many seized from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, to the Contras. Between 1982 and 1984 the U.S. Congress attempted to limit the amount of U.S. weaponry going to the Contras, but the Reagan administration turned to Israel who acted as a middle man, allowing Reagan to sidestep the Boland Amendment and continue arming the Contras. A Honduran soldier is shown at the base of the tree because the Contras operated out of Honduras and much of the arms being used against Nicaragua moved through that small country.
Although international solidarity sought to strengthen and protect the Nicaraguan Revolution, there existed an international counterrevolutionary consensus bent on crushing it. The Reagan administration stood at the vanguard of this counterrevolutionary current, often aided by Israel, Honduras, and other proxies. However, that is not to say that both revolutionary solidarity and counterrevolutionary consensus were monolithic in nature: fissures existed within each.