Dear Nica Times:
There is no reasonable justification for U.S. apprehension over the Iranian hydroelectric dam project in Nicaragua (NT, June 6).Washington opposes the dam because it is financed by Iran, a political enemy.
Clearly, the U.S. fears a growing Iranian presence in poor Latin American countries, following similar deals with countries such as Ecuador and Bolivia that effectively thwart U.S. efforts to resume its traditional supremacy in the region.
Nicaragua’s interaction with Iran poses no threat to the United States, considering that the ties seem solely economic, with no evidence to the contrary.
The United States argues that Nicaragua, like other Latin American countries, should respect the U.N.’s sanctions against Iran’s nuclear production and refuse any links to Tehran. This contradicts past U.S. unilateral decisions irrespective of past U.N. votes, such as going to war with Iraq.
Accordingly, the United States has no right to scrutinize or exercise a veto right regarding the external affairs of another country.
Finally, Nicaragua is in desperate need of development, specifically in its energy sector. The country regularly suffers prolonged power outages.
The building of a new dam offers the potential to remedy this problem by providing a reliable energy source. However, President Ortega should take steps to inform local populations of the possible safety issues linked to the project, including fatal nuclear accidents.
Although new constructed infrastructure associated to the dam could cause local problems such as flooding, this is a domestic concern and not an ideological issue where a U.S. fiat rules supreme.
Council on Hemispheric Affairs