Nicaragua : whose side are we on?
Krogh, Peter F. (Peter Frederic)
Examines the nature of the Contra guerilla groups in Nicaragua fighting the leftist Sandinista government, as well as the congressional debate over U.S. assistance to the rebels.
In July 1979 the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional overthrew the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza Debayle, inaugurating a decade of oppressive rule in Nicaragua. Although the United States initially kept an open mind toward the Sandinista government, the leftist regime in Managua soon adopted a staunchly anti-American posture. The Sandinistas quickly clamped down on domestic dissenters and aggressively promoted communist causes in Central America, in effect becoming a surrogate state for the Soviet Union and Cuba. In 1982 the Reagan Administration revealed that the U.S., concerned about growing communist influence in the region, was backing a loose confederation of anti-Sandinista guerillas, collectively known as the Contras. Although the Sandinista regime was widely seen as repressive and almost universally opposed to American interests in the region, President Reagan’s support for the rebel groups launched a vigorous debate on Capitol Hill over whether the U.S. should be in the business of overthrowing foreign governments. In this episode of American Interests, Senator Paul Tsongas of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Charles Krauthammer, Senior Editor of The New Republic, join host Peter Krogh to discuss the question of American assistance to the Contras, the nature of the rebel groups fighting against the Sandinistas, and the political situation in Nicaragua.
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Counterrevolutionaries -- Nicaragua; United States -- Military relations -- Nicaragua; Nicaragua -- Military relations -- United States; Nicaragua -- Politics and government -- 1979-1990; United States -- Foreign relations -- Nicaragua; Nicaragua -- Foreign relations -- United States; Cold War; Conflict and War; United States Role in the World; Contras; Sandinistas; Ronald Reagan; United States Aid to the Contras;
Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean; Nicaragua;
Jefferson Communications Inc.Georgetown University. School of Foreign Service