Sunday, November 05, 2006

Speaking of Election Interference

From yesterday's Los Angeles Times:

" U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez and Paul Trivelli, the US Ambassador in Managua, have also both said that a [Daniel] Ortega victory could prompt cuts in aid from the United States, leading the Sandanistas and others here to denounce outside intereference in the Nicaraguan electoral process"

It was also reported that several GOP congressmen including U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) are asking Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to "prepare to block people in the U.S. from sending money to Nicaragua should Ortega be elected."

According to the LA Times, "one in five Nicaraguan families depends on money from relatives living abroad for a substantial chunk of income."

I guess threatening people with economic terrorism is one way to interfere with the electoral process of a sovereign nation.

Vote the way we want you to or else...

I wonder what Rep. Rohrabacher would say if an outside nation - one with the kind of economic leverage the U.S. has on Nicaragua - tried to do the same with us?

1 comment:

Chris Hartman said...

Couple of points here.

First, this talk of blocking remittance payments to Nicaragua should remind everyone that the elite-consensus mantra "Free Trade" is intoned only when it hurts the other guy. Otherwise, bring on the trade barriers!

Second, Nicaragua should say, fine, US, keep your international aid. Better to give up the aid than accept it with all the Washington Consensus strings.

PS, for this story I am jonesing to hear a BBC news reader pronounce it Nick-ar-ag-yu-uh. Leave that poseur Spanish accent in your "Harvard boutique," I say.