Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bill De Blasio Explains His Work In Nicaragua Back In The 80's

Dana Rubenstein at Capital NY:

De Blasio has stood by his support for the Sandinistas, but he hadn't gone into particular depth about it until today, at an appearance with fire union leader Steve Cassidy, who had just endorsed him.
"A lot of us in this country believe that the United States policies towards Central America in the 1980s were wrong," said de Blasio. "By the way, the organization I worked with was founded by Jesuits. As you may know, a lot of the work being done on the ground to help needy people in Central America was done by leaders in the Catholic Church, it was done by nuns. And the sense of injustice that was so obvious in terms of United States policies supporting regimes that were in many cases very unfair to their own people. That’s why I got involved because I thought our policies were wrong."

"The organization I worked with that is talked about in that article literally collected medical supplies, clothing, and sent it to a non-profit in Nicaragua to get it to needy people who were obviously affected by the environment of war surrounding their country that was being supported by the U.S. government," he continued. "So, I think it was the right thing to do. I am very proud of that work. And by the way, over time, the majority of the United States people came to believe that our policies were wrong and that finally is what changed our policies."

Given his activism on the Nicaragua issue, his welcoming of Robert Mugabe to City Hall back in 2002 (something he has since apologized for) and his participation in a recent press conference denouncing Iran, I asked him what role he thinks the mayor of New York City should play in foreign policy debates.

"I think we are an international city by definition, and the most diverse, or one of the most diverse, cities on earth," he said. "The United Nations happens to be located here. There’s a lot of reasons why it’s natural, but it pales in comparison to the work we have to do here at home in our neighborhoods. So from time to time it will be pertinent, especially during U.N. week for example. But no, I think the singular focus of the next mayor has to be to addressing inequalities of the city and that goes right down to the grassroots, neighborhood by neighborhood."

That's a good response from de Blasio. 

Frankly, it should have come yesterday, but I'll take it today too.

For two days the de Blasio campaign has been off message while the Lhota campaign and the three corporatist newspapers in this city hammered him as "Sandanista Bill."

This explanation should put the whole Nicaragua thing to rest.

If I were de Blasio, I might have added one thing:

I was bringing food, clothing and medical aid to people suffering while the CIA and Reagan administration were bringing guns and other weapons to murder people.

Which side would you have been on?

I think I was on the right side.

Which side do you think Joe Lhota would have helped?


  1. Not buying it. He was old enough to know that communism always ushers in murder and re-education camps. By the early 80's we knew all about the Soviet Gulag, Mao's "Cultural Revolution", North Vietnamese and North Korean Death Camps, Eastern European Police States (Poland, East Germany, Hungary, etc etc), Castro's Murderous Cuba, and the 1.5 million killed in the Communist Cambodian killing fields. His pro-communist actions disqualify him for office. Perhaps I am too sensitive given my family background and knowledge of 20th century history but the way some folks would feel about an ex- Nazi sympathizer running for office is the same way I feel about an ex communist sympathizer running for office. Especially the way he defends the blood-soaked ideology .
    Today Newsday reported that he not only worked for the Sandinista Communists in in Nicaragua but he later (in 1994) spent his honeymoon in Communist Cuba...but that can't be possible...can it?

    1. And supplying guns to the Contras ushered in what?

      Propping up the government in El Salvador ushered in what?

      Good stuff?

      I was an altar boy at this woman's funeral:

      She was murdered by soldiers of the right wing junta in El Salvador.

      First she and her three sister nuns were raped.

      Then their bodies were mutilated.

      Should that have disqualified Reagan from office?

      You don't want to vote for de Blasio, fine.

      But don't pull the pro-commie/murderer stuff.

      I find that offensive.

      The right wing junta the U.S. backed in Latin America were murderous thugs.

      Just ask the families of Maura Clarke and the other three nuns who were raped and killed by the soldiers working for that junta.

    2. I imagine you preferred the murderous hit squads of the Hitler-like Samosa regime supported by the US. Frankly, I'd take a shot at anyone willing to overthrow them even on the chance they turn into a Marxist govt. But i imagine you are in the "better dead than red" camp. Al Shanker comes alive. Your comparison of Marxists with Nazis is shameful. Just count the Jews saved by the Red Army - my uncle and cousins were partisans and fought against the Nazis with them living in the woods in Poland. My aunt was saved from extermination while her sisters died by going East and living in the soviet union until she emigrated to Israel in the 60s. My mom's older brother was an original Bolshevik -- and many Jews were for many reasons.

  2. Ditto.

    Reagan was at the depths of shamefulness when (I don't buy his I didn't know about it line) his administration engaged with the Iranian regime in the drugs-arms-bucks to hostage takers.
    Which side were you on, Anonymous? The death squads in El Salvador and Nicaragua committed horrible deeds in our name.
    De Blasio was right to oppose the U.S./Contras war against Nicaragua.

    1. I love all these right wingers all over the Internet and talk radio hammering de Blasio for the Nicaragua work. Many of these same people supported right wing dictatorships that were responsible for tens of thousands of murders, many of them supported Apartheid (remember when Mandela was a commie pinko terrorist? I do - it was just back in the 80's...)

  3. I suppose I could think of atrocities performed by those who opposed the Nazis, perhaps Katyn wherein our Soviet allies killed 20,000 Poles, but I still would never support a former active Nazi sympathizer for public office. The ideology was evil and malevolent. I feel the same way about former active Communist sympathizers. The ideology is evil and malevolent. You are not denying any of the facts I wrote about the inevitable communist trajectory in ALL 20th century communist countries are you? You are aware communism killed (and continues to kill) far more than National Socialism? What would have happened in Nicaragua and El Salvador? How would the Church have fared? Read your history - start with Poland my friend.
    You forgot to explain away his actual honeymoon - yes you read that correctly - in 1994 to Cuba? Any way to blame Reagan or death squads for that one?

    1. OK, got it. You won't vote for de Blasio because of the Nicaragua work and the Cuba honeymoon (a story which has been around since the's not a new one...)

    2. Supporting communists in Nicaragua. And the Mugabe issue - the only one he has apologized for. Am I the one who finds a honeymoon in Cuba to be a very very unusual event for an American?

  4. And visiting Cuba is so horrible?
    I suppose you think that the 1000s visiting their relatives over there are doing something bad?
    Or if they send remittances, they are doing something bad?

    1. Highly unusual yes, but I would only classify the communist honeymoon destination 'horrible' if it was somehow connected to his confessed time aiding the communists in Nicaragua. Cuba, after all, is the only communist country remaining in Latin America. I had not heard of it as a honeymoon destination for Americans - have you?