Monday, July 27, 2009

Dissenting Opinion by Readership on COHA's Piece "Deja Vu in Central America: Iran's Recent Push into Nicaragua"

I am very sorry to read a bit of irresponsible reporting by COHA, which I had admired over the years. It is hard to know how to address the many factual errors in this, but let’s start with the Iranian Embassy being “the largest” etc. There is no embassy in Nicaragua to compare with the huge, huge US Embassy. “You can imagine what that’s for.”
It is true that Hilary made the quoted remark, but she was flat out wrong and the author of this piece should have done some fact-checking of her resources before incoporating it into this piece.

The alleged voter fraud of last November has never passed the “ällegged” stage. The opposition groups, who started claiming fraud in the middle of the afternoon of November 9, while the polls were still open, have never presented any evidence. When challenged on this detail, their response is “what good would it do?” Well, it might give some credibility to the fraud claims. All the fraud claims appear to be coming from the US Embassy and orchestrated by the USIS. There was no evidence presented until some pictures recently appeared on the internet, allegedly of ballot boxes that were thrown in the rive in Leon. But the pictures could have been of anywhere and any time.

For the US to withhold promised aid on the basis of alleged fraud is so similar to the ploy used against Aristide in Haiti in 2004 that it had to come from the same playbook. And the fact that the current US Ambassador to Honduras, who was a party to the plot to kidnap and remove President Zelaya last month (”but I tried to get them to stop their plot” he said shyly) was the orchestra leader of the coup against Aristide in 2004 when that president was kidnapped at gunpoint and shipped off to Africa stinks to high heaven.

Ambassador Callahan (in Nicaragua) was a longtime aid to then-Ambassador Negropointe in Honduras during the infamous period when Negropointe was covering up the death-squad activity of the Honduran military and has been active in Nicaragua since his arrival only to undermine the Sandinista government. He has admitted meeting weekly with opposition political leaders in the Embassy, certainly not a normal activity for an Ambassador.

COHA produces very reliable material on Latin America, but its recent coverage of Nicaragua and now Honduras could very well have originated in the same US Embassy.

Fred Morris

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