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Each of the bracelets I wear is from a long trip I've taken. One is from Nicaragua. One is from Nepal. One is from Guatemala. One is from Laos. They don't come off. I walk into a lot of very high-level boardrooms now, and I present to distinguished conferences, but these bracelets remind me of the places I've been and the people I've met.
Nicaragua is a World Bank and International Monetary Fund designated 'heavily indebted poor country,' with little legal ability to control its economic future: Everything is for sale. And once Nicaraguans decide to cash in and sell their houses or farms, they have to look far inland for anything affordable.
I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
Violence has been Nicaragua's most important export to the world.
In the early days of the military Arpanet, my daughter was studying in Nicaragua. Because the U.S. was essentially at war with them, contact was difficult. I managed to use MIT's Arpanet connection, and she found one, so we could communicate thanks to the Pentagon!
Nicaragua dealt with the problem of terrorism in exactly the right way. It followed international law and treaty obligations. It collected evidence, brought the evidence to the highest existing tribunal, the International Court of Justice, and received a verdict - which, of course, the U.S. dismissed with contempt.
There isn't any way for the people of Nicaragua to find out what's going on in Nicaragua.
The two largest oil-producing countries in Latin America, Mexico and Venezuela, sold petroleum to Nicaragua at concessional rates for several years beginning in 1980. The program was curtailed because Nicaragua could not make even reduced payments.
By the late 1970s, repression and economic chaos were causing increasing unrest throughout Latin America. Army strongmen were forced to cede power in Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
I am still profoundly troubled by the war in Nicaragua. The United States launched a covert war against another nation in violation of international law, a war that was wrong and immoral.
I think the difference between El Salvador and Nicaragua is that in Nicaragua you had a popular insurrection, and in El Salvador you had a revolution.
The CIA created, armed and financed the Contras. My father backed them with everything he had. It was my father's war, and almost everyone in Nicaragua has lost somebody as a result of it. I couldn't go down there, being his daughter, and expect not to feel those people's wrath.
I think there, there also had been just before I got to Honduras a rather spectacular capture of an arms shipment that from Nicaragua across Honduran test, territory destined for El Salvador and I think that some of that equipment had been also to Cuba and the Soviet bloc.
It seems to be that when these communist regimes take over - if you look at the example of Vietnam or Cambodia or Nicaragua - that even in conditions of peace they don't seem to be able to figure out how to support their people, and the human suffering is enormous.
There was the situation in Nicaragua where the Sandinistas had taken over a couple of years earlier. There was a civil war going on in El Salvador and there was a similar situation in Guatemala. So Honduras was in a rather precarious geographic position indeed.
The people of Nicaragua were suffering oppression. This made us develop an awareness which eventually led us to commit ourselves to the struggle against the domination of the capitalists of our country in collusion with the U.S. government, i.e. imperialism.
Honduras is strongly anti-Communist, maintains no diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, and has provided vital support for United States-backed rebels fighting to overthrow the Sandinistas in neighboring Nicaragua.
I often traveled to Nicaragua to speak against repressive policies by the Sandinista government.
In Nicaragua, liberty, equality and the rule of law were the stuff of dreams. But in Paris I discovered the value of those words.
The British Red Cross asked me to help them spearhead a fundraising campaign for the victims of the war in Nicaragua. It was a turning point in my life. It began my commitment to justice and human rights issues.
There is a question for which we will never know the answer: had the U.S. not launched the Contra war to overthrow the Sandinista government, would they have succeeded in bringing socioeconomic justice to the people of Nicaragua?
I made a gym, it's the best gym in Nicaragua, I have kids that this year July 6th through the 11th will be fighting and then will go on to the Central American Games and I'm sure at least one will win a gold medal.
My son lives in Nicaragua. My daughters live in the United States.
Also, people are not often aware of the way the United States' policies influence what happens in places like Haiti or El Salvador or Nicaragua. Or in Columbia right now.
It is pretty amazing. My parents, who came from Nicaragua to the U.S. - who would have thought that they would have American kids on the Olympic team? I think that's the epitome of the Olympic dream.
C. S. Lewis
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