Thursday, June 10, 2004

Reagan and Central America

The Sandanistas

Interesting article on Reagan's affect on Central America, a continuing controversial subject.


Gerson Martinez, a rebel leader in the 1980s, remembers Ronald Reagan as the man who funneled $1 million a day to a repressive and often brutal Salvadoran government whose thugs and death squads killed thousands of people, including the mother of his two children.

Ricardo Valdivieso, a businessman and a founder of El Salvador's main conservative political party, said Reagan "saved Central America" and was "a great ray of light and hope for civilization and liberty in a dark hour for our country."

The memory of the 40th U.S. president, who served from 1981 to 1989, is still strong in the region, and the contrasting views are passionate and polarizing.

The United States was heavily involved in wars in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala in the 1980s in what Reagan described as an effort to stem Soviet influence in the hemisphere. The United States spent more than $4 billion on economic and military aid during El Salvador's civil war, in which more than 75,000 people were killed, many of them civilians caught in the crossfire.

The United States also organized Nicaragua's contra guerrillas, who fought that country's revolutionary Sandinista government. Reagan referred to contras as "the moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers" and the United States spent $1 billion on them; the fighting in Nicaragua killed as many as 50,000 people. Honduras was a staging ground for U.S. Nicaraguan operations.

Reagan also supported the repressive military dictatorship of Guatemala, where more than 200,000 people, mostly indigenous peasants, died over 36 years of civil strife.

Contra rebels

Check out this timeline for Nicrauga.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:50 PM

    I am totally against the fact that Reagan contributed in a positive way to the war in Central America. I have relatives who formed part in the guerrilla party. I still up to this day am scared to talk about my family members involvement with the guerrilla party back in our native country. All Reagan did was supply the currupt government with weapons to slaughter our own people. He is a thug as well because he contributed to such an unjustified cause in supplying the death squads. Thanks to him my people comitted genocide, he supplied the enemy, a currupt government system who abused our rights. He made the monster more powerful him being a monster himself. Some ignorant white people might say "be thankful for all the refugees that he gave refuge to." I respond "BULLSHIT and FUCK YOU" Nobody had the right to force us out of our own country. He only intensified it and established a war that would last 12 years with massive genocide of thousands of Salvadorans. Many up to this day do not speak of the Death Squads and the currupt government because of fear that their life will be in danger. There have been cases decades after the war that Salvadorans that were invovled with the guerilla movement have been tracked down and murded by members of the Death Squads. And their murders are down because they have such gruesome execution styles of murdering people. The death squads were formed by one of the presidents who served his term while Reagan was president. Reagan knowing what was occuring in El Salvador, helped supply the currupt government's death squad. How is that humanized? He supplied terrorists, which makes Reagan a terrorits in our eyes. So now that Reagan has passed away, I can only say I hope God forgives him for contributing to such a plague that cost many people's lives. Nobody has the right to play with people's lives...Nobody...