Would the United States Permit It?

A lot of things happen in the world that are contrary to the interests and wishes of the United States, things they are unable to prevent.

The United States would not permit it! This is a phrase we hear often. Those who say this do so with blind faith, a quasi-religious certainty.

This phrase is a myth. A lot of things happen in the world that are contrary to the interests and wishes of the United States, things they are unable to prevent.

Like every idea that gets raised to mythical status, this did not come from nothing, and it is supported by facts and realities which seem to give it sustenance: the work of gathering intelligence, interventionism, economic, political, and on occasion, even military pressure.

The United States has influence, but not absolute power.

Perhaps we need more proof. Look at Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, Russia, Iran, Hong Kong, or closer to home, Cuba, Venezuela and now Nicaragua.

Last Sunday, Daniel Ortega celebrated an electoral farce. In elections that were clearly bogus, given that the opposition was in prison, and candidates were banned, harassed or exiled.

The first president of the Sandinista revolution that overthrew the dictator Anastasio Somoza, Ortega will now start his fifth term (his fourth consecutive term) at the head of the Nicaraguan government, leaving no doubt as to who the dictator is now.

And what do they think? That the United States permitted it.

It is not that it likes what is happening in the second poorest country in Latín America, but it demonstrates once again that U.S. power is not absolute.

The countries of the world have room to maneuver. They can challenge and confront the superpower depending on the the costs and the risks. At the same time, they have a certain guarantee that the “weapons” that the United States will use and the weapons even the international community as a whole will use, are of limited scope.

This is evident in President Joe Biden’s own words, released by the White House after the election:

“We call on the Ortega-Murillo regime to take immediate steps to restore democracy in Nicaragua, and to immediately and unconditionally release those unjustly imprisoned for speaking out against abuses and clamoring for the right of Nicaraguans to vote in free and fair elections. Until then, the United States, in close coordination with other members of the international community, will use all diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to support the people of Nicaragua and hold accountable the Ortega-Murillo government and those that facilitate its abuses.”

In short, calls, declarations, diplomacy and economic pressure, but that’s as far as it goes. We can see that this “arsenal” is wet powder for the tyrants whose only goal is to cling to power, regardless of the harmful effects they have on their countries.

It serves as a warning to all citizens interested in protecting and defending democracy in our countries. This is a domestic responsibility, and it is of little or no use to light a candle to a saint who, on the one hand, is not even that powerful, and on the other hand, is focusing its gaze on its own domestic fractures and, if anything, on the world’s big geopolitical problems.

Looking at Mexico, it is essential to understand that the defense of democracy in our country is an issue for all of us, and especially for the institution we have built together to make sure votes count.

That is why it is essential to consider how relevant the political work carried out by the directors of the National Electoral Institute, led by Lorenzo Córdova, is, as well as the work of thousands of officials and employees of the federal and local agencies that professionally and honestly conduct such work.

We are the millions of citizens who have participated actively in elections — (voters, party representatives, vote counters, presidents of the polling places, etc.) who will be able to stop current and future political figures who want to impose their will over what the voters say during fair and competitive elections.

If we are to maintain and build democracy in our country we can no longer have faith in the “supernatural” power (the myth that the United States would prevent a dictatorship in Mexico). We must realize it is up to us. There are only calls, proclamations and penalties of limited scope out there.

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