USAID Details its Regime Change Plan for Nicaragua

Wiston López

An orchestrated plan financed by the United States to launch a coup d’état in Nicaragua over the next two years was leaked in a document from the US embassy and presented July 31, 2020 by Nicaraguan journalist William Grigsby on his political analysis program “Sin Fronteras”, on Radio La Primerísima.

Text of the document here (PDF -161Kb)

Grigsby says the new coup plan is in response to the fact that the US realizes President Daniel Ortega will win the November 2021 elections. The 18 page document is RFTOP No: 72052420R00004, with the title RAIN or Responsive Assistance in Nicaragua.

The document is one of “Terms of Reference” used to contract a US company to take charge of carrying out the coup. The company will head the plan to try to destroy public order and do other violent actions before, during and/or after the 2021 elections.

The funds to implement this plan are or have been allocated through the International Development Agency (AID) which is also the US institution that has provided the most money openly in recent years to the Nicaraguan opposition for coup activities.

The document establishes three scenarios that they call “democratic transition in Nicaragua:”

“RAIN will pursue these activities against a variety of scenarios generally falling under three categories:

1. Free, fair and transparent elections lead to an orderly transition” [i.e.the US candidate wins]

“2. A sudden political transition occurs following a crisis” [i.e. a coup leads to a US backed government]

“3. Transition does not happen in an orderly and timely manner. The regime remains resilient in the face of domestic and international pressure. It is also possible that the regime may remain in power following electoral reforms and a fair election, but without changes to the rule of law or democratic governance.” [i.e. without changes that benefit US corporations]

It is of some importance that through the document it is clear that the U.S. government realizes it is a good possibility that the FSLN party will win the 2021 elections in a transparent manner that receives international approval.

The document says that the purpose of hiring the company is to create the conditions for a coup d’état in Nicaragua involving the media, businessmen, nongovernmental organizations and students, just like the 2018 failed coup attempt.

Another section states that if the opposition were to win the elections the new government must immediately submit to the policies and guidelines established by the United States. This scenario includes persecution of Sandinistas, dissolving the National Police and the Army, among other institutions.

The document calls on its actors to try to deepen political and economic problems as well as the health crisis, taking into account the context of the Covid-19.

Despite the amount of money that the opposition has received from the United States, more than 31 million dollars between the end of 2017 and May 1, 2020, the document states that the opposition is not unified around a political party or candidate. And the plan contemplates abrupt changes and the ability to respond quickly to “install a new government.” The document also states that “conflicts often arise between peasant groups and the rest of the opposition, and students often distrust business leaders.”

Confident that there will be a coup d’état in Nicaragua, USAID writes that the best option may be to have the opposition refuse to participate in elections [which is what happened in 1984 because of the US]. They write various times that it is possible that the government will win the elections even after electoral reforms, and that the elections could be seen as fair internationally.

Under this type of situation, the company hired by USAID must be prepared to respond immediately in directing civil society to implement actions that destabilize the country.

USAID will fund activities to destabilize the country, using local partners, public opinion analysis, and social network monitoring to create false news.

The document also details the participation of the United States Embassy in Managua, which will be in charge of executing a series of diplomatic actions such as the creation of a commission to legitimize a new government imposed by a coup d’état.

As it is clear that to the US that in 2021 the FSLN will be victorious, USAID proposes a “delayed or unforeseen transition of government” where it seeks to create a political and economic crisis.

The document was written in March or April and it is clear they thought the Covid Pandemic would cause great stress on the Nicaraguan health system and that this would be one way to bring about a “crisis” and exert “pressure.” “Once a great health, political and economic crisis is created in Nicaragua,” USAID intensifies its new programmatic strategy, which will lead to destabilizing the country. In other words their plan counted on the development of “unrest” in the population from Covid-19 that could be utilized.

In the plan they create a series of assumptions before the coup d’état, which are the ones that the company hired by the United States will put into action together with civil society to succeed; so it calls on the opposition and the exiles to carry out actions of interference in a unified way.

Finally, the document makes it clear that the people of Nicaragua will be left without basic services as a result of the coup d’état orchestrated and financed by the United States, while they plan for organized crime to increase.