Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada smiles during an interview in Managua, Nicaragua, Dec. 14, 2021. (Xinhua/Xin Yuewei)
Treating Latin America as its "backyard," the United States has pursued hegemony, manipulating the rhetoric of "democracy and freedom" while prioritizing its own interests since it espoused the Monroe Doctrine 200 years ago.
MEXICO CITY, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Nicaraguan Foreign Minister on June 27 handed a letter to United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres signed by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, demanding the United States pay over 12 billion U.S. dollars in compensation to fulfill the judgment of the International Court of Justice in 1986, which ruled the United States guilty of providing funding for the civil war in the country.
Thirty-seven years have passed, and the United States has yet to fulfill its "historical debt." Treating Latin America as its "backyard," the United States has pursued hegemony, manipulating the rhetoric of "democracy and freedom" while prioritizing its own interests since it espoused the Monroe Doctrine 200 years ago.
The anti-hegemony sentiment among Latin American countries and their people, who have long suffered from U.S. interference and oppression, has become increasingly strong. Dialogue and multilateralism to confront U.S. bullying and defend regional integration have become the choice of an increasing number of Latin American countries.
In 1979, the Sandinista National Liberation Front overthrew the Somoza family, which had ruled Nicaragua for over 40 years with the support of the United States.
In order to maintain control over the country, the U.S. government began to fund the anti-government armed groups, training soldiers, providing weapons as well as encouraging them to lay sea mines in important ports, resulting in the destruction of many foreign merchant ships.
Meanwhile, the United States also incited them to start a civil war, leaving the country in chaos and one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1984, the Nicaraguan government sued the U.S. government in the International Court of Justice, demanding compensation for damages caused by years of interference in internal affairs.
In 1986, the International Court of Justice issued the judgment that the United States had violated the United Nations Convention and ordered it to pay Nicaragua more than 12 billion dollars in compensation.
However, during multiple votes at the UN Security Council, the United States repeatedly exercised its veto power, resulting in the compensation not being paid.
After Violeta Chamorro, the U.S.-backed candidate, was elected in 1990, the demand for compensation from the United States was revoked.
President Ortega now urged the United States to make reparations.
In his letter to the UN secretary-general, Ortega made it clear that "It is not a pending obligation to be established or subject to an advisory opinion from a judicial body. It is an obligation clearly established in a final ruling of the highest international judicial authority, the International Court of Justice."
The United States "never assumed the social cost of these illegalities," he noted.
"SO FAR FROM GOD, SO CLOSE TO THE UNITED STATES"
Interference in Nicaragua's internal affairs is only the tip of the iceberg of the U.S. Monroe Doctrine and hegemony in Latin America.
Over the past 200 years, the United States has militarily intervened in Latin America more than 30 times, not to mention its countless covert or indirect interference by means of "money politics."
Latin American countries, which are regarded as "backyard" by the United States, have lost territories and fallen into turmoil and poverty under its hegemony.
In 1915, the United States sent troops to occupy Haiti under the guise of "protecting the diaspora" from local unrest. It did not withdraw its troops until 1934. During the occupation, U.S. white supremacist soldiers perpetrated massacres of Black residents. As of today, Haiti remains one of the least developed countries in the world.
In the early 1950s, then Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman implemented land reforms that involved redistributing unused land owned by the U.S.-owned United Fruit Company to landless farmers. It prompted the company to lobby the U.S. government to support a coup led by Carlos Castillo Armas to overthrow the Arbenz administration.
In 1989, the United States sent elite troops to invade Panama again under the guise of "protecting the lives and property of American citizens," overthrowing the military government, attempting to attain permanent control of the Panama Canal and resulting in the death of nearly 500 Panamanians.
In 2018, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ruled that the United States had violated the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and demanded that the United States pay compensation. However, the United States has not responded.
Additionally, the United States seized nearly 2.3 million square km of Mexico's land through the Mexican-American War and invaded Grenada to support a pro-American regime. ... The crimes of U.S. interference and oppression in Latin American countries are too numerous to list.
Until today, the United States is still oppressing Latin American countries by various means. As the old saying goes, "so far from God and so close to the United States."
UNITING AGAINST HEGEMONY
From political struggles to armed resistance, the Latin American people have never stopped their resistance against U.S. intervention. As the process of regional integration accelerates, the unity of Latin American countries against U.S. hegemony is growing stronger.
Leaders from Latin American countries called for an end to the economic and financial blockade against Cuba and the establishment of a regional integration mechanism that protects the common interests of the people and respects diversity while opposing foreign interference and hegemony, at the seventh Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States held in January.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks during an event celebrating the 43rd anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party in Brasilia, Brazil, Feb. 13, 2023. (Photo by Lucio Tavora/Xinhua)
In May, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at a summit in Brazil's capital Brasilia where leaders from the Union of South American Nations gathered to "relaunch" the regional bloc proposed a broad cooperation scheme, including the possibility of creating a common regional currency or similar mechanism to reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar in trade.
With the aim of creating an effective South American Free Trade Area, the South American leaders reached the Brasilia Consensus, demonstrating their strong determination to pursue regional integration.
Former Bolivian Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacuni pointed out that while touting an "America for the Americans," what the Monroe Doctrine and its derivative policies truly aimed at was an "America for the United States."
Nicaragua's demand for compensation from the United States represents the collective voice of Latin America calling for their joint efforts to counter U.S. unipolar hegemony through integration mechanisms, Huanacuni said.■