Bush Interferes in Latin American Politics

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Here’s an interesting power play: The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick threatened the business community in Nicaragua on Wednesday. Who was that? Yes, you read it right: the business community in Nicaragua was threatened by the U.S. State Department.

Zoellick offered an ultimatum: either stop supporting political parties we don’t like, or else the United States will cease to do business with you. The ultimatum came on the second day of Zoellick’s trip in which he said, gathered before a group of business men and women, “Your opportunities will be lost.”

In particular, Zoellick opposes (on behalf of the United States) a coalition that has emerged between political parties on the left and the right who have come together for the joint purpose of unseating Nicaragua’s President before the 2006 elections.

Surprise, surprise. Zoellick claims he is justified in interfering in Nicaragua’s affairs because the Bush administration wants to “preserve democracy.”

But it gets even better. Nicaragua has still not ratified CAFTA – that pernicious piece of neoliberal investor rights protection that has masqueraded as a so-called “free-trade agreement”. Although opposition to CAFTA has waned somewhat in recent months, Nicaragua’s National Assembly remains nonetheless unable to come to an agreement. Thus enter Zoellick, dispatched by his boss to Nicaragua to champion the cause of democracy by casually dropping threats. Indeed, Zoellick even said that if Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega is elected in the presidential election next year that the U.S. would reduce its economic aid. Hence: the U.S. is really concerned with democracy as long as it goes our way.

[Cross posted at Freiheit und Wissen]

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

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