2005/03/05

Terror War Targets Sandinista


Dora María Téllez, former Sandinista comandante, has had a terrorist label slapped on her by the US government.

The former war heroine said she considers the terrorist label a threat against her life, and has appealed to the Nicaraguan government for police protection.

(U.S. President George) Bush has said the U.S. will liquidate all terrorists, and they are calling me a terrorist,” she told The Nica Times during a recent interview in her Managua home.
The terrorist assignation also raises the frightening possibility that the United States could include Nicaragua on its blacklist in the global war on terrorism. President Bush has already made it clear that other countries are either with him or against him in the war on terrorism. And his hawkish U.S. administration – many of which played protagonist roles during the Contra War on Nicaragua in the 1980s – has repeated as mantra that it will not tolerate countries that “harbor terrorists.

Téllez first captured the world's attention in 1978, at the age of 23, when she was second-in-command beneath Edén “Comandante Cero” Pastora during the Sandinista rebel's takeover of Congress. Pastora later turned against the Sandinista regime and became a Contra.

Téllez later went on to lead the Sandinistas' Northern Front, which won the first major victories of the revolution.

After the fall of Somoza, Téllez was appointed Minister of Health, and implemented a public-health campaign that helped Nicaragua win the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) prize for exceptional health progress.

After serving as a Sandinista congresswoman in the early 1990s, she defected from the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in 1995 to start the splinter Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS), which at one point had 7,000 affiliates, including prominent Sandinista intellectuals Father Ernesto Cardenal, Sergio Ramírez and Gioconda Belli.

For the past decade, Téllez, who has a doctorate in history, has also worked as a consultant and professor at the University of Central America, in Managua.

Now, at the age of 48, Téllez again is concerned for her life.

As a matter of personal protection, Téllez has already filed a habeas corpus in the Managua Appeals Court against being labeled a terrorist.

“I don't know what the United States government is planning, but the possibilities are endless,” she said, as she used her right foot to push herself back and forth easily in her rocking chair. “This is not a game. I won't let the U.S. government make my life impossible.”

“Looking at this situation objectively, the only conclusion I can come to is that someone in that government is completely crazy,” she said, adding that the Bush administration is “paranoid” and “erratic.”

Téllez's negative opinion of Bush is not a result of being labeled a terrorist.

In an interview with The Tico Times last June, Téllez expressed her disgust with Bush's rich-boy bravado and eagerness to send others to war.

“If you haven't had an AK-47 shot off next to your ear, you have no idea what war is,” Téllez said. “It's not pretty. It's not happy and it's not fun. It is something you do only when you have no other options.”

Professor Andres Perez Baltodano, a Nicaraguan sociologist based in Toronto, said: "Dora Maria is as much a terrorist as George Washington." He described the taking of the National Palace as a heroic act which had helped to lead to the overthrow of a dictator.

The US, under President Ronald Reagan, opposed the Sandinistas even after they had been elected in 1984 and supported the contras, or counter-revolutionaries in their attempts to overthrow them.

In the 1987 Iran-Contra scandal, it was discovered that the US was secretly supplying arms to Iran in exchange for money being channeled to the contras. When Mr Bush took office he rehabilitated a number of people associated with the contras and one, John Negroponte, is now his chief of intelligence responsible for dealing with terrorism.

4 Comments:

she should be concerned for her life 

Posted by angiekruger
3/05/2005 07:51:00 pm  
"Bush has said the U.S. will liquidate all terrorists "

I wonder why he hasn't yet liquidated himself. Probably because he can't spell his own name right when writing his "most wanted" list. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/06/2005 12:29:00 am  
"based in Toronto "

I wonder if Jim, Deviant1 and Youngfox have any local info on her. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/06/2005 12:31:00 am  
Excellent article. Yes, she has every reason to be afraid. We suggest she find exile in Spain--Europe's most vibrant democracy until Bush eats worms. With the appointment of Negroponte to the most high office in intelligence we all have to fear. Fascists are now in charge of America and the world is in danger. peace MandT 

Posted by mandt
3/06/2005 01:11:00 am  

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