History, Truth and Humility

Tortilla con Sal

The 2011 NATO onslaught against the Libyan Jamahiriya confirmed the redundancy of fundamental conventions of evidence and proof for Western media, corporate and alternative alike. 2011 was a vintage year for the varieties of moral and intellectual atrophy that characterize Western public policy discussions. From Libya to Venezuela, Syria to Zimbabwe or Ivory Coast to Nicaragua, Western intellectual production confirmed its categorical shift into demented psychological warfare.


Daniel Ortega, Muammar Gaddafi and Fidel Castro

It is worth remembering that events and the evidence for them are determinate, even if our knowledge of them may be incomplete. Beyond that truism, a true and fair view of given events depends on our ability to put relevant, appropriate questions enabling an understanding of the processes of which those events may be a part. That understanding generates arguments that can be disproved if they are wrong.

In the Western Bloc of NATO countries and their Pacific allies, those kinds of questions and arguments faded into the realm of nostalgia during the brutal, mindless capitalist euphoria of the 1990s. Driven by elite corporate mendacity on both domestic affairs and on foreign policy, that process accelerated after 2001. Western populations colluded in their governments’ overseas crimes of aggression while at the same time surrendering historically hard-won social and economic rights to multinational financial corporations.

Outside the West, people see its deepening moral and intellectual debacle as inextricable from its relative economic and military decline. There is a sense in which the endless falsehoods retailed in Western corporate and alternative media are becoming progressively more irrelevant. But always there remains the continuing risk of yet one more vicious military campaign by the sick, old, psychotic West along with ever more desperate allies like, say, Israel or Saudi Arabia. Equally desperate, in Latin America, are the West’s allies among the region’s latent fascist oligarchies.

The main countries of the Bolivarian Alliance of the AmericaBolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela – are constant targets of Western governments aided by their corporate and alternative media. Those media endlessly recycle long disproved falsehoods and purposefully omit contrary evidence.

In Nicaragua’s case, Western media across the political spectrum have been made to look completely ridiculous by the indisputable success of Sandinista government policies, despite a hostile international economic and political framework built to serve multinational corporate power.

Apart from the long discredited right wing varieties, among the pseudo-leftist falsehoods used to smear both President Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista government, is the lie that the FSLN supported the legislation on the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) at the end of 2005. In fact the FSLN deputies voted unanimously as a united bloc against that treaty. Another example is the lie that President Ortega’s government stripped the social democrat Movimiento Renovador Sandinista (MRS) of its legal personality prior to the 2008 municipal elections.

In fact, it was the fellow opposition Constitutional Liberal Party (PLC) that sought a review of the MRS party by the independent electoral authority. The MRS failed to meet the relevant criteria to satisfy that review. They did so clearly on purpose, ensuring a united opposition vote in Managua’s municipal election. In that electoral campaign, MRS leaders canvassed openly for extreme right wing candidate Eduardo Montealegre in a cynical alliance with the same PLC that initiated the review to strip the MRS party of its legality.

Constant repetition of obsolete false shibboleths works in all the ALBA countries as a kind of background propaganda chirruping by frantic opposition cicadas awaiting their next electoral demise. In Nicaragua, the combined right wing opposition parties command less than 10% electoral loyalty. The social democrat MRS enjoys less than 1%. Microscopic, anti-democratic pseudo-left groupings have even less support. One would never realize these facts from international news coverage in the Western corporate and alternative media whose neocolonial mindset renders them unable to face facts.

That is equally true of supposedly prestigious right-wing media outlets like the Economist or allegedly influential left-wing media outlets like Rebelión. Neither are capable of the basic humility necessary to acknowledge mistakes clearly evident from even a cursory review of available sources.

That is why people in North America and Europe interested in Latin America and the Caribbean find themselves consistently bewildered by events in Nicaragua. The Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional and the Nicaraguan people have left behind the failed political and economic models currently rotting away in the West and no one here is looking back.