Tag Archives: Contra

Israel, Palestine, and Nicaragua

The above video is a talk given by Dr. Les Field, a professor of anthropology at the Univeristy of New Mexico. In the video he discusses connections between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Israel, and Nicaragua that he gave at the American University of Beirut in 2012. ┬áHe makes the point that PLO weaponry captured by the Israelis during their 1982 invasion of Lebanon were given to the Contras. Although I have found similar claims made by those on the left (I have examined many of the sames sources cited by Dr. Field), I have not found any concrete evidence to suggest that the Israelis provided captured weaponry to the Contras. However, if Dr. Field’s claims are true it would prove that the Israelis were arming the Contras prior to the Iran-Contra scandal, significantly altering the our perception of the event.

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Merry Christmas from Nicaragua via Great Britain

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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.

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Merry Christmas from Nicaragua via Deutscheland

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Nicaragua‘s resistance of U.S. imperialism in Central America, as well as its call for international solidarity, took many forms. In the 1980s Roger Sanchez‘s political cartoons challenged the United States, drawing international attention to the increasingly bloody situation in Nicaragua. Sanchez was the official cartoonist of Barricada, the daily newspaper of the Sanidinistas. He satirized the United States, often depicting the U.S. as a meddling and ill-willed Uncle Sam intent on killing Nicaraguans and overthrowing the FSLN. Solidarity organizations from Europe and North America published collections of Sanchez’s cartoons to raise funds for those affected by the U.S. embargo and the war against the Contras. The cartoon above is from a collection published by the German solidarity group Informationsburo Nicaragua, which published many documents about the plight of Nicaragua. Solidarity groups in the United States and Great Britain also published similar collections.

Although he worked at the official Sandinista newspaper, Sanchez called attention to the failures of the FSLN government. For example, Sanchez highlighted the overwhelming political influence of the Sandinistas in a cartoon featuring an enormous runner with FSLN on his jersey preparing to run against three much smaller runners representing the nation’s opposition parties. Sanchez also commented on Nicaraguan social inequality, represented in the cartoon above. Whether he spoke out against the United States, the FSLN, or poverty in Nicaragua, Sanchez proved to be one of the most influential voices to come out of the Nicaraguan Revolution.

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