Thursday, July 23, 2015

Viva La Revolution

Central American farmers and students got caught between two super powers fighting for world dominance. Stalin's ridiculously paranoid forced Socialism by Proxy was on one side, and the fantabulist Milton Friedman inspired Capitalist Utopia was on the other side. They both, unfortunately, required massive repression and genocide in order to properly establish the groundwork for the future utopia. You can spot a dictator in training by how many body bags he orders as part of a plan to make the world perfect. So, the Friedman lunatics convinced Eisenhower and Kennedy and Nixon to defend free market exploitation of fruit farmers AT ALL COSTS, and Stalin and Khrushchev made lots of promises to student rebellions. The lies and deception on both sides was epic. Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama...they are all battlegrounds between two ideologies that actually had no direct interests here, besides cheap bananas, so it was a perfect situation for them. Families in Kansas or Kiev, for example, would never feel the effects of thousands of land mines planted randomly in the jungle, so if that's part of the plan, then fuck it, go ahead. Let the Nicaraguans suffer the consequences. Oh, but that's delusional thinking, isolationist fantasy, the world is round and every evil deed has its day in court eventually. Eisenhower and Stalin set in motion a ripple effect that is still washing blood on our ankles today. The crime is that those responsible are usually dead and buried (sometimes honored as heroes) by the time everyone realizes they should be punished as villains.

I arrived in Nicaragua 36 years to the day Somoza was exiled after a few decades of indiscriminate destruction funded by American military. They celebrated with reenactments in Leon where the "students" demonstrated and the "soldiers" attempted to disperse unlawful assemblies. Fireworks replaced real guns. The actual tank that was involved in the resulting insurrection is still here in Leon, rusting in an open air museum with photos of the insurgents following the tank down main street next to Shell gas stations, Somoza's pawns fleeing like rats to their Florida mansions.

This seems noble on paper but I met a guy last night who was exactly the right age to have been involved in that insurgency and, indeed, he explained that he had fought for the FSLN and had the scars to prove it. One scar was obvious since his nose was missing the bridge. And his top front teeth were gone. His name was Adolpho...and his Spanish was so slurred because his nose and teeth were gone that I could barely understand anything he said...maybe one word in ten, they were all mumbles and accents, but he didn't really care since I think Veterans may simply want to talk, and the hearing part is secondary. He had bullet wounds in his arm...actually cried speaking about a woman who he had either lost track of during the Contra war or else she had been killed by Reagan's "Morning in America" militants. Maybe he had been tortured. If I could've understood him a little better he would've told me a good story. His drinking buddy actually stabbed me, but that's another topic.
Is "wedding shaming" a thing yet?
My point is that the wounds of war are of the flesh and bone variety, not ideological. So, 20 years of brutal dictatorship, followed by another ten years of Contra war, 30 years. Consider that the American Civil War was only 4 years long...and the effects are still obvious in the division between North and South. Now make that civil war 26 years longer with modern weapons and you get an idea of what Nicaragua has to recover from. I read a statistic that 1 in 5 El Salvadorians had to flee El Salvador because the deported El Salvadorians were running wild. I guess Kennedy could pour support into Somoza's corrupt regime but Obama can't reinforce the El Salvadorian police force. And Honduras has something like 14,000 police and neighboring Guatemala has 85,000 gang members which is part of the reason Honduras leads the world in homicide rates. There were supposed to be 14 military and police checkpoints between El Salvador and Nicaragua...and I counted 1, that was manned by two teenagers sitting in the shade with rifles. U.S. border enforcement cost about $18 Billion in 2012, which is like putting a 40 amp fuse in a fuse box when the 20 amp fuse keeps blowing up and then patting yourself on the back when your new fuse doesn't blow up.
I'd never seen these social art pieces before but a guy here said they are famous. I can't read the artist signature.

I guess Central America is like Haiti, failed social engineering experiments where two super powers with more ego than brains used farmers and students and soldiers as pawns to fight their dirty wars. But crimes like that never go unpunished and the $18 Billion price tag on border enforcement is the price of exploiting Central American farmers so you can get cheap mango juice at the Whole Food fruit section. In the long run it's a question of how deep in debt a country can go before it collapses like Greece. I see America as the dying Bison on the plain with vultures simply waiting for it to collapse into the grass. But the vultures will have big time competition with those refugees from Central America coming with home made potato guns to assault rifles to claim territory. Give me 85,000 organized Guatemalan gang members and I will hand you the keys to Los Angeles or Mexico City. Entropy tends toward chaos and it can be postponed but eventually the bill is due and the puppet masters will run for the hills with their loot. Somoza basically used counterfeit money to pay mercenaries to kill students...and the Contras used Ghetto Cocaine profits to kill FSLN leftists, who were using seized Ukrainian blood money to arm themselves. The details get real ugly and that man was trying to find some sympathy for what he knew he had lost and that he was not entirely sure he had accomplished anything. I said his sacrifice was for the future, maybe not today but I was ashamed that I could not fully appreciate what he was talking about. Che Guevara is a role model here because what he and Castro accomplished in Cuba was supposed to be the program in Nicaragua, but Che got assassinated in Bolivia and the FSLN picked the wrong year to oust Somoza because in 1980 Reagan thought he was staring in some war movie. So, now we have Che posters next to blind legless beggars outside trendy juice cafes where gringos wipe sweat from their aging cheeks and wait for the tour director to guide them to the next historic selfie photo op.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.