The Iran Contra Affair And Its Implications On The Us/Nicaraguan Relationship

3346 words - 13 pages

The political scandal known as the Iran-Contra affair was a huge humiliation for the United States with ramifications from the conspiracy still present to this day. The event not only showed the depths to which the United States would go to prevent the spread of communism in Latin America, but also contributed to increased tension amongst international relations between the United States and Nicaragua. With the Cold War still present in the world, this war of propaganda and containment inevitably spread to Latin America and the United States could not let communism defeat capitalism in yet another part of the world. In fact, the United States would go even against their own laws and ethics to stop the spread of communism (in this case in Nicaragua) and would negotiate and deal with known enemies of the United States in an effort to keep capitalism as the main political identity of Latin America. This fiasco turned the entire nation on to how the government was operating behind the backs of Congress and the rest of the American population, and made millions of citizens question just exactly how our leaders justify all actions they deem as "necessary." The Iran-Contra affair also strained United States relations with Nicaragua, with most of the implications of this debacle still standing today in this complicated relationship; in the Unites States quest to stop the spread of communism in Latin America, the government not only embarrassed the country on a global scale, but also jeopardized and permanently damaged a once promising relationship with Nicaragua.The basis for the Iran-Contra affair was a web of lies and deceit by the United States government, one that humiliated the whole country on a global stage. Beginning in 1985, weapons made by the United States were sent via Israel to the anti-American Muslim regime in Iran. The arms shipments were facilitated by the Reagan Administration and the United States also in return had various American hostages released by the Iranian government. But the profits from the illegal arms sales are where the illicit operation turns from the Middle East all the way to Latin America: subsequently, most of the profits were diverted to assist the Contra guerrillas fighting the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua1. The American public was made aware of the affair in November of 1986, giving rise to a full scale investigation in Washington and the appointment by President Reagan of a three-member panel, the Tower commission (led by Republican judge Lawrence E. Walsh), to carry out the investigation2. The arms sales to Iran and laundering of funds to the Contra rebels were specifically outlawed by the Boland Amendments (which prohibited aid to the Contras among other arms sales restrictions to other designated countries) which was the basis for the deception of the American public and disregard of Congress' regulations3. Along with demeaning the entire country in front of the international community, the...

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