by Stephen Sefton, published on Tortilla Con Sal, March 27, 2023
Abuse and weaponization of the United Nations system by the United States and its vassal governments to both mislead and intimidate the rest of the world have been a feature of international relations since the very founding of the United Nations and the time of the Korean War. In recent years, that reality has deteriorated to a point where aggressive demented false beliefs promoted by the US and its allies have made the UN system complicit in outright terrorism. Various UN institutions have been abused in this way.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has produced false reports masking the complicity of the US and its allies in extremist terrorism against Syria’s government and people. The International Atomic Energy Agency has covered up the Ukrainian army’s shelling of the Zaporozhe nuclear power station. Practically the entire UN human rights system is consistently abused to supply pretexts for economic and even military aggression against one country after another.
That system depends substantially on reporting by partisan Western government and corporate funded nongovernmental organizations, abusing their nonprofit status so as to serve as political opposition to their respective governments, often in support of opposition violence and terrorism. That has been the case in countries from Serbia to Haiti, from Venezuela to Thailand, from Bolivia to Iran and even of great powers like the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation. This too is the context and pattern of the violent 2018 coup attempt aimed at overthrowing Nicaragua’s Sandinista government.
Now, five years on, the UN Council for Human Rights has facilitated what is being designated as an expert group report, whitewashing the terrorist opposition campaign between April 18th and July 17th 2018 to overthrow Nicaragua’s elected government. The Nicaragua Solidarity Coalition has produced a systematic rebuttal of the UN report which exposes the bad faith methodology and incompetent research of the expert group and its secretariat. The Nicaragua Solidarity Coalition document explains that the UN report was produced by an anonymous secretariat of nine individuals, raising serious doubts about the integrity of the claim by the report’s ostensible authors to offer an expert account of the events they purport to cover.
The Nicaragua Solidarity Coalition rebuttal argues that the expert group failed to comply with its mandate to investigate exhaustively all human rights violations in Nicaragua after April 2018. For example, testimony was excluded from the innumerable victims of opposition terrorism and intimidation, and thus the group failed to gather and analyse essential information to be able to offer a true and fair view of what happened. Thus, the expert group’s claim is nonsense that their investigation used a victim centered approach.
Similarly, the Nicaragua Solidarity Coalition material notes how the expert group deny that the opposition protests sought to overthrow the government, despite Nicaragua’s opposition leaders themselves stating this as their aim from the earliest days of the failed coup attempt. The report offers many readily refuted claims and assertions, in particular the plainly false claim that the 2018 protests in Nicaragua were overwhelmingly peaceful. The expert group also exceeds its ostensible mandate by calling in their report’s conclusion for more coercive measures against Nicaragua’s government.
The report shares with other institutions in the UN system, like the OPCW and the IAEA, what in effect amounts to a cancel culture regarding any information that contradicts their prejudices and presuppositions. By excluding sources which contradict them and expose their assumptions as incorrect, they lock their research and investigation into the kind of infinite disinformation loop sometimes referred to as false collateral. This renders the expert group’s report on Nicaragua not just categorically specious, but also irredeemably anti-democratic, denying world opinion readily available as well as highly relevant facts.
For example, as the Nicaragua Solidarity Coalition material demonstrates, the UN report completely excludes the following local news sources despite the fact that they all published a large amount of highly relevant material and reports on specific incidents during the period in question: Juventud Presidente, Nueva Radio Ya, Canal TN8 news, Canal 6 news, Canal 2 news, Canal 13 Viva Nicaragua, Informe Pastrán, Radio La Primerísima and Tortilla con Sal. Likewise, the report makes no mention of the horrifying and very well documented cases of violence and abuse by Nicaragua’s opposition which indicate the scale and intensity of the Nicaraguan opposition’s overall terror offensive against the country’s population and authorities.
In particular, the Coalition rebuttal points out, there is no reporting of the following cases:
- attempted murder of Leonel Morales
- arson attack destroying Nueva Radio Ya
- torture and murder of Bismarck Martinez
- disabling torture of Reynaldo Urbina
- murders of father and son, Roberto and Christopher Castillo
- attacks on the police stations of Masaya, Jinotepe, Nagarote, Morrito, Mulukuku, El Cuapa, El Coral and Puerto Príncipe among others
- illegal detention of 400 truck drivers south of Diriamba for a month
- torture of Sander Bonilla
- numerous other cases of torture and abuse
The expert group report does acknowledge opposition violence against police officers (22 killed and over 400 wounded by gunfire) but offers the wholly implausible explanation that this scale of violence was in self-defense. The report suppresses documented evidence of the extensive opposition damage to government infrastructure, vehicles and equipment. The Nicaragua Solidarity Coalition also notes that the expert group excludes hundreds of other relevant reports on the events it does cover, as well as documents readily available on-line. These include Nicaragua 2018 – Dismissing the Truth, Nicaragua 2018 – Uncensoring the Truth, and this “Open Letter to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.”
The UN expert group argue they were unable to visit Nicaragua and thus could not engage with the Nicaraguan government authorities. But the expert group themselves in their report dismiss as unreliable material from the Nicaraguan authorities, such as police press releases. Furthermore, as the Nicaragua Solidarity Coalition explains, since April 2018 the Nicaraguan government has repeatedly submitted material to both the Organization of American States and to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which presumably was available to the UN expert group.
The UN report on Nicaragua is irremediably vitiated by this distinctly anti-government bias and repeats this pattern of bad faith reporting throughout. Its egregious prejudice is self-evident, given the complete exclusion of abundant documental and audiovisual material confirming the systematic opposition terrorist violence in 2018 and exposing the opposition leaders’ clear and stated objective of overthrowing Nicaragua’s elected government.
*Featured Image: src ~The Grayzone
Stephen Sefton has lived in Nicaragua for many years, and is the author/editor of Tortilla Con Sal where he blogs in issues related to Latin America.
This article is based on an article by Stephen Sefton, published on The Grayzone, March 24, 2023.