Refusing the Pretext | Sojourners

Refusing the Pretext

On Wednesday, October 26, the day after the U.S. invasion of Grenada, the Committee of U.S. Citizens in Nicaragua held a press conference in front of the U.S. embassy in Managua. The committee, which represents more than 200 U.S. citizens in Nicaragua, most of whom are religious workers, issued the following statement. —The Editors

On the morning of October 25, 1983, U.S. citizens living in Nicaragua awoke to learn that military forces from our country, under orders from President Reagan, had violated the sovereignty of the tiny Caribbean country of Grenada to overthrow its de facto government.

As in past cases of U.S. intervention in the region, the current administration is seeking to justify its attack on Grenada by arguing that it was necessary to "re-establish democracy" and to "rescue American citizens" from "an atmosphere of violent uncertainty."

On the basis of our experience here in Nicaragua, we reject both of these claims as profoundly hypocritical. Nicaragua is struggling to construct a democratic system after half a century of the U.S.-supported Somoza dictatorship. If the Reagan administration favored democracy, it would not now be financing the remnants of Somoza's military to block this effort. The alliance between the Reagan administration and these forces is precisely what threatens our security. The counterrevolutionaries have already killed hundreds of Nicaraguan civilians and several foreigners like ourselves.

It is widely recognized that the Reagan administration intends to achieve the destruction of the Nicaraguan revolution. We will not allow the safety of U.S. citizens to be used as a pretext for a direct U.S. invasion of Nicaragua as has occurred in Grenada. Nor under any circumstances do we want to be "rescued" from the Nicaraguan government by U.S. or U.S.-funded occupation forces.

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