Under the Reagan administration, U.S. policy toward Nicaragua's Sandinista government was marked by constant hostility. This hostility yielded, among other things, an inordinate amount of publicity about human rights issues. Almost invariably, U.S. pronouncements on human rights exaggerated and distorted the real human rights violations of the Sandinista regime, and exculpated those of the U.S.-supported insurgents, known as the contras...the contras were major and systematic violators of the most basic standards of the laws of armed conflict, including by launching indiscriminate attacks on civilians, selectively murdering non-combatants, and mistreating prisoners...To the extent that the contras have continued to operate, however, they have continued to commit these violations, and toward the end of 1989, abuses by the contras appeared to be on the increase. The Bush administration is responsible for these abuses, not only because the contras are, for all practical purposes, a U.S. force, but also because the Bush administration has continued to minimize and deny these violations, and has refused to investigate them seriously. As in the Reagan years, the Bush State Department has continued to make too much of monitoring mechanisms within the contra movement that have been wholly unsuccessful in prosecuting those responsible for abuses.

Source: "Nicaragua" Publications. (c) 1989 Human Rights Watch, hrw.org

"...For the very first time ever,
When they had a revolution in
There was no interference from
Human rights in

Well the people fought the leader,
And up he flew...
With no
Washington bullets what else could he do?...Sandinista!"

~ The Clash - Washington Bullets Sandinista! 1980

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