Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Nicaragua Update and Parallels

Journalist Carrie Kahn reports on legal measures that Nicaragua's increasingly authoritarian president has recently implemented to restrict dissent. In the guise of fighting terrorism, new laws appear to make free expression and free assembly even more difficult.

Ortega signals a willingness to continue ignoring human-rights organizations, the international community, the Catholic Church and to embolden a violent minority of Nicaraguans to commit atrocities in support of his regime.

For more details of how such a beautiful country arrived at such a terrible impasse so quickly, please see my #SOSnicaragua (May) and Nicaragua's Kent State (July) posts, as well as journalist Jon Lee Anderson's Fake News article, appearing in the current issue of the New Yorker. He describes Ortega's application of lessons learned from autocrates abroad.

Parallel

Just as Ortega is intensifying his attacks on dissidence by branding protestors as terrorists, parallel strategies are emerging in the United States. While largely ignoring frequently violent white supremacists and allied fascist organizations, U.S. security forces are labeling their "antifa" opponents as terrorists.

It seems ludicrous to suggest that the United States could fall into a vortex such as the one that has engulfed Nicaragua, but the U.S. government is not currently signaling any contrary intent.

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