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Document exposes new US plot to overthrow Nicaragua’s elected socialist gov’t

A disturbing new document outlines plans for a US regime-change scheme against Nicaragua’s elected leftist government, overseen by USAID, to bring about a “market economy” and a purge of Sandinistas.

by Ben Norton

Part 4 - USAID’s regime-change plot to “transition” Nicaragua to a “market economy”

USAID’s Responsive Assistance in Nicaragua (RAIN) plan makes it clear that it is just a “short term bridge” to bring about regime change in the country, adding, “It is USAID’s intent to follow RAIN with longer-term programs, which will be determined as the crisis evolves.”

The regime-change plot outlined a “Mission Goal 2” in which “Nicaragua provides basis for future economic growth and increased trade through transition to a rules-based market economy based on transparent and accountable regulatory institutions, fiscal and monetary stability, respect for the rule-of-law and protection of private property rights.

A supplementary “mission objective” emphasized USAID’s desire for a new neoliberal regime in Nicaragua that “works with the private sector to rebuild institutionality and an efficient and fair administrative bureaucracy” – in other words, mass privatization.

(Among the supposed crimes committed by the Nicaraguan “regime,” USAID lists “confiscation of properties.”)

The USAID document outlined further US priorities for Nicaragua following a successful regime-change operation.

USAID’s “Mission Goal 3” would be “Security reform and rebuilding institutions” to “reestablish independent and professional security forces.” This is clearly a call for purging the police and military of Sandinista loyalists and bring in US trainers to establish a neocolonial-style security force, much like General Keith Dayton did in the occupied West Bank after Palestinian resistance was extinguished following the Second Intifada.

The “new government must act quickly to dismantle parallel institutions,” USAID adds. This is an indirect hint that Washington seeks to destroy the Sandinista Front, the Sandinista Youth, and other grassroots institutions that work with but are independent of the current socialist government. At its most severe, such a proposal could amount to an Augusto Pinochet-style purge of the left in Nicaragua.

Additionally, it will need to implement transitional justice measures,” the USAID document added. This language, which has also been used in the proxy war on Syria, suggests the new neoliberal Nicaraguan government would be compelled to prosecute Sandinista Front officials, echoing the strategy the US-backed right-wing regimes in Bolivia and Ecuador have used to criminalize the left-wing parties that previously ruled those countries, hunt down former leftist leaders, and throw opposition officials in prison on dubious charges.

Another important part of the RAIN job would include recruiting native coup coordinators to help carry out the regime-change plot. USAID described this responsibility as follows: “Identification of potential Nicaraguan partners for rapid impact Grants Under Task Order to promote transition-related activities.

The initiative allotted $540,000 in grants to entice Nicaraguan opposition groups into assisting the regime-change effort. (In the second-poorest country in the Western hemisphere, where the minimum wage is between $200 and $300 per month, half a million dollars is no petty sum.)

These funds would compliment the millions of dollars that USAID and the NED provide to right-wing Nicaraguan organizations every year.

The USAID document insisted that “Nicaragua’s immediate future remains highly uncertain.” Yet it acknowledged that the right-wing opposition is divided and unpopular, admitting that its leadership has not “coalesced around a party or candidate.

Taking into account the weakness of the opposition heading into the 2021 national elections, the USAID plan outlines three scenarios for the overthrow of the socialist government and a “transition” to a US-friendly neoliberal regime.

The first is an “Orderly Transition scenario,” a far-fetched situation in which an unpopular US-backed opposition group somehow manages to win the election.

The second potential regime-change scenario is described as a “Sudden, Unanticipated Transition,” in “which one or more political crises, such as a snap or failed election, a presidential resignation, a major health crisis, a major natural disaster, or internal conflicts, lead to sudden regime crisis and transition either to an interim government or a new government.” This is the coup option, and USAID makes it clear that it would be more than happy with such a situation, and wants its RAIN liaison to prepare for it.

The third is a “Delayed Transition scenario,” in which the Sandinista government remains in power. In this case, USAID says that RAIN would help it destabilize the government in other ways and lead to future regime change.

But USAID didn’t want readers to get the wrong impression. It stressed in the document that its coup would be “gender sensitive in compliance” and based on “gender-informed analytical work.” (Although the women who make up the bulk of the Sandinista base would have to be excluded from Washington’s woke political “transition”).

The USAID document balanced its liberal language on gender with neoconservative rhetoric claiming, “Malign foreign influences, principally Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia, will continue to attempt to strengthen the corrupt autocratic Ortega regime.

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