This month marks the one-year anniversary since the citizens of Nicaragua began a fierce civic uprising against President Daniel Ortega’s administration. A former leader in the Sandinistas, Ortega has faced international criticism over his elimination of term limits, and the revival of broad censorship and repression of the late ‘70s and ‘80s.
The Central Intelligence Archives document then-Vice President Richard Nixon’s disastrous 1958 “goodwill” tour to Latin America, in which Nixon faced multiple mobs of angry protestors - and at least one surprisingly heavy soccer ball.
Last month, the U.S. recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the “interim president” of Venezuela. Since then, Canada, the European Union, and a slew of other countries have followed America’s lead. The move is another sign of the return to Cold War-era U.S. policy in Latin America under President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Today, using records from the Central Intelligence Agency archives, we’ll take a brief look back at the last half-century of U.S. involvement in the region.
One of the files included in a recent JFK release details some of the Agency’s internal response to The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence by former Agency employee Victor Marchetti. The file includes some uncensored excerpts from the manuscript, including how the Agency used a liaison with an allied country to spy on them and how the Agency bribed foreign leaders to let them keep their surveillance system in place.