This afternoon, a small group of the remaining NICA students and some of our newfound friends from the Norma went to La Yerba Buena, a sort of coffee house/bookstore. The books and political pamphlets are for sale but people seem to use this place as a library and printed material is scattered throughout. Yerba Buena sells coffee but the best drink here is the Yerba Buena, a cold mint drink with a healthy dose of rum. There was a poet reading when we first got here and when he was done, our group launched into a discussion of the situation in Libya, in reaction to a radio talk show we'd heard earlier in the day.
The U.S. bombed Libya a couple of weeks ago in retaliation for Libya's bombing of a German disco which Americans were known to frequent. Shortly after that, the Barricada published a copy of a letter that President Daniel Ortega sent to Muammar Gaddafi expressing his sympathy and support. I don't really know what to make of the whole thing. My impression of Gaddafi has been completely based on U.S. news reports. I've always seen him as hostile to Americans. I see Daniel Ortega as someone trying to defend his own country from intervention and I imagine Gaddafi sees himself the same way, but to go out of your way to attack Americans who are not in your country just seems like aggression.
Then again, just because Ronald Reagan says that Libyans are our enemies doesn't make it so. In fact, I don't trust our president at all. I don't really know if I'm getting the whole story here, anymore than I would if I were in the U.S.. I used to think that the press was impartial but time and time again I see that it isn’t. It’s not impartial in the U.S. and it certainly isn’t in Nicaragua either. I’m not sure what to believe in anymore. When I was in Esteli, I could believe in the people. I saw how they behaved, how they aligned their actions to their revolutionary ideals, but big political machines anywhere are something altogether different.
The U.S. bombing of Tripoli was plastered over every front page and people here are still talking about it. I don't understand why Libya would bomb a place where there would be civilians in order to get at a few U.S. soldiers. It's criminal! It's just as horrible to bomb Gaddafi's residence and kill his baby daughter. I wouldn't support either action. I tend to think that both Gaddafi and Reagan are a little crazy.
How do you pick a side when both sides are wrong? What is a terrorist? I hear the word used so much and I'm getting really confused. I'm starting to think it's just a name to call your enemy when they attack you outside the battlefield, but then where is the battlefield? Is there an economic battlefield? I guess there is because that's what an embargo is. Also, the Contra war has a great deal to do with the economic problems of this country, since fifty percent of the national budget goes towards defense. I wonder if we are economically at war with other countries in a more covert way than I can imagine?
My father likes to say that all wars have to do with money. I hate to be cynical but I'm starting to think he may be right.