The Reagan Administration allowed human rights to be often overlooked; this is seen looking at the Contras. The Contras were a 500 man group made by the CIA in the 1980s to overthrow the Nicaraguan government. The Reagan Administration’s actions concentrated on the Contras provide the viewpoint of how much America was afraid of communism and that Latin American countries would not follow America’s ideals themselves. Overall, Nicaragua’s actions were inhuman; how these actions were not taken as seriously as the Reagan administration’s crimes were.
Reagan’s Congress and Human rights are one of the first secondary sources that look at what happened in Nicaragua and how it inflates the salience of human rights concerns. This author has a U.S foreign policy background that allows for an interesting perspective in the source as it helps with an outside point of view instead of an American Historian. This, I believe, is important because I often think it is hard for people to be judgemental in a critical way for one’s own country.
Reagan could financially allow for the contras, as the CIA was their financial backing through the Reagan doctrine. They chose to back the rebel group as they were fighting against it because they opposed the FSLN. Who had ties to Cuba and the Soviet Union, and because they were not democratic. The Contras were anti-Sandinistas, as many people believed that the Sandinistas would never allow for a democratic government in Nicaragua. This group did not receive the attention they wanted because they were known to show little care for human rights. American responded in a manner of both disapproval but knew it could allow for a tad of getting rid of the communist ideas spreading in Latin America. This war was not often out in the service as it was known as the secret war.
The author compares this situation as bad as Clintons Watergate, as the government has covered these operations as tight as possible. It was only till the Iran-contra affair that it was brought to light what this administration was doing. He argues that the debate over Nicaragua both raised the salience of human rights concerns in the United States and highlighted their ambiguity as it underscored the selectiveness of the administration’s commitment to human rights. As this affair began to come out, it was seen that this administration was fighting both a war trying to help the contras and a war at home. This situation was not taken as large as many would believe because many congress members had holdings in these affairs. As shown in the author’s studies of what the democrats spoke during these trials, it only seemed essential for one side of the party.
This situation as a whole during these trials was not taken as heavily as believed.
The contras were known to do acts used by many terrorist tactics, but the courts significantly downplayed this. The author states that they were known for kidnapping civilians, raping women, and torturing many people, not including all burned buildings and villages. In the long run, the administration spoke on the behalf that the contras were “fighting for democracy.”
The following source is the Test Case for the Reagan Doctrine: The Covert Contra War by Taylor and Francis; it covers the year after the contra affair was over. The administration stopped feeding this rebel group a large amount of funding to keep allowing them to do the terrible acts. America was seen as this event not to be an enormous deal, as this administration had so many other issues that the administration brought for the United States. The authors describe this to prove the obsession that the administration had intending to take down communism. A later interview of Reagan showed that the whole goal of “creating” a safe Nicaragua.
Further, this author compares this situation to Watergate, too, as that Reagan did not seem the same backfire as Clinton, as it was found in later times that he was involved since he was put into office himself. In the long run, it was seen that yes, the Reagan administration was getting involved in the takedown. Even though Reagan left taking part in these issues, it took another two years for the problem in Nicaragua; it can be said that the administration was why many Nicaragua humans’ lives were tortured or are dead.
The following article is one of the most important in showing how deep the Reagan administration was in the contras affairs. He argues that many outside conspirators and international funds getting involved illegally in the American presidential election resulted in President Reagan’s commitment to the Contra. Looking directly at CIA files into Reagan’s campaign manager Deaver allowed for more information on the outside financial influencers that often are overlooked when looking at Reagans and the Contra scandal allowed for more background of how Reagan’s count was necessary for him to do.
As his manager from the beginning has deals and communication from the other countries in Latin America, it was seen that he was receiving illegal gifts from Guatemala and many more. The facilities were explained to Reagan that it was necessary and would pay off financially for everyone involved. Reagan’s first idea was not the contras themselves but looking in Bolivia itself. As though it could be dangerous, it was seen that Nicaragua was getting worse and could create a bigger problem for the United States as they were in relations with the Soviet Union. He was decided that this would be the best answer to create the best opportunities for the United States. Provides how it was all in the interest of trying to get rid of communism.
Overall these sources provide an insight into what the Reagan administration was actually up to in forcing communism to leave Latin America in general. It is shown above that Reagan first had these deals planned well before being fully elected as president. It was also a significant reason why the argument that none of the plans to “help” was the ideal goal for this administration. Further, it was not just the government itself; it was seen in the U.S as they did not take what the Contra did essentially. It will never be the goal of this administration to allow for accountability and let the horrors of the contras not be taken seriously.