The International Committee of the National Lawyers Guild, the oldest and largest human rights bar association of the United States, makes the following statement condemning US continuing interference in Nicaragua and its democratic process. The Guild notes that this conduct by the United States is in clear and direct violation of international law, including but not limited to the jus cogens rights of the people of Nicaragua to self-determination and territorial integrity as guaranteed to them by customary international law, the Charter of the United Nations (1945), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) (ratified by the U.S.), and the Organization of American States Inter-American Democratic Charter (2001).
In June 2021 President Biden said: “How would it be if the United States were viewed by the rest of the world as interfering with the elections directly of other countries and everybody knew it? What would it be like if we engaged in activities that they engaged in? It diminishes the standing of a country.”
Thirty-five years ago, on June 27, 1986, the International Court of Justice ruled that the United States had violated international law by supporting the contras and mining Nicaragua´s harbors, in breach of our country´s international obligations “to not use force against another state, not to intervene in its affairs and not to violate its sovereignty”. The decision included the need to pay reparations, calculated at over $US 17 billion. The US refused to comply. Over 30,000 Nicaraguans died as a result of the war and their economy was totally destroyed by the time the war ended.
The US went on to interfere in the 1990 election, pouring in millions of dollars to create a candidate of choice and to threaten the people of Nicaragua with more war if they did not vote according to US dictates.
Following the Sandinistas’ return to power via elections in 2007, the US resumed efforts to undermine the Sandinista government, openly channeling over $200 million dollars through Nicaraguan non-profits and dozens of newly-created media outlets for regime change efforts. This culminated in a failed coup attempt that killed over 200 people in 2018.
In July 2020, a USAID document leaked from the US Embassy in Managua outlined an orchestrated plan, RAIN or Responsive Assistance in Nicaragua, financed by the United States to launch a government transition in Nicaragua over the next two years.
Right now, the Renacer Act is moving quickly through the US Congress with the explicit intent to interfere in Nicaragua elections, as stated in the title: Reinforcing Nicaragua’s Adherence to Conditions for Electoral Reform Act of 2021. The Renacer Act ramps up economic sanctions. It threatens Nicaraguan voters to vote for an opposition candidate if they do not want to suffer serious privation over coming years.
US regime change operations in Latin America have a long, sordid history and continue to do enormous harm in the many places where they are active today. US sanctions in support of regime change are devastating to the most vulnerable people, and they are illegal.
As elections approach in Nicaragua, the US is directly interfering and, everybody knows it. We call on the US to stop interfering; it diminishes the standing of our country, and the US globally.