To: Anderson Cooper, Journalist, CNN

.@AndersonCooper: Justify #DemDebate Claim About Nicaragua

Anderson Cooper should justify his unsubstantiated claim that having opposed the CIA’s illegal war against Nicaragua in the 1980s is a political liability in the United States today.

Why is this important?

During the first Democratic presidential debate, CNN journalist Anderson Cooper challenged Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders about his supposed “electability” issues in this way:

“The question is really about electability here, and that’s what I’m trying to get at. You — the — the Republican attack ad against you in a general election — it writes itself. You supported the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. You honeymooned in the Soviet Union. And just this weekend, you said you’re not a capitalist. Doesn’t — doesn’t that ad write itself?” [1]

Anderson Cooper is showing his pro-Empire bias by trying to re-write the history of U.S. foreign policy in Nicaragua on the side of the Empire.

Millions of Americans “supported the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.” In 1979, the Sandinista National Liberation Front overthrew the US government-installed Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua, promising to address Nicaragua’s extreme poverty and the lack of basic government services like education and health care for the majority of the population. In 1982, Nicaragua was recognized by the World Health Organization as the third world country that had made the most progress in health care.

Under the Reagan Administration, the CIA organized a terrorist army (the “Contras”) to attack the Nicaraguan government. Millions of Americans participated in a solidarity movement to oppose US military intervention in Nicaragua, including public radio host Ira Glass [2], actors Ed Asner, Mike Farrell and Diane Ladd, civil rights leader Julian Bond [3] and engineer Ben Linder, who was killed in a terrorist attack by the CIA’s army. [4] The US-Nicaragua solidarity movement succeeded in passing the Boland Amendment in Congress, cutting off US funding to the CIA’s terrorist army, which led the Reagan Administration to try to fund the Contras illegally through arms sales to Iran. When this illegal arrangement was exposed, it became the Iran-Contra scandal. [5]

Challenge Anderson Cooper to provide evidence for his unsubstantiated claim that having opposed the CIA’s illegal war against Nicaragua in the 1980s is a political liability in the United States today by signing our petition.

References:
1. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/14/us/politics/democratic-debate-transcript.html
2. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/378/transcript
3. http://www.csmonitor.com/1984/1123/112357.html
4. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1996/09/23/in-search-of-ben-linders-killers
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boland_Amendment

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