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Julian Assange trial and Nicaragua now (E321)

The Julian Assange case has finally broken into the mainstream as he sits in a bulletproof glass box in Woolwich Crown "Fort”. The publisher of WikiLeaks has been wanted by successive US administrations and, according to Assange's council, Edward Fitzgerald, the US had not just filmed every aspect of Assange's life in the sovereign embassy of Ecuador in London, but had actively considered his death. There are signs of increasing anxieties about Assange's case stretching from NGOs through the New York Times to the leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition in the British Parliament. A steady stream of prominent American writers has been heading to the unlikely London destination of Belmarsh. One of the more distinguished of which is Joe Lauria, Editor-in-Chief of Consortium News, formerly of the Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe. So all the way from Virginia via Belmarsh, he came into the Sputnik to tell us more.

The Sandinistas overthrew one of the worst Latin American dictators, Somoza, way back in 1979 and began re-building a country in which thousands had died, where over half a million were left homeless and there was a devastated economic infrastructure. They stood and were defeated in 1990, but their re-election in 2006 was a major blow to US Latin American policy. Under their leadership, the economy grew, poverty was reduced and, according to the UN, the country now ranks fifth in gender equality! But it seems the regime change machine in Washington is back and hard at work again. With crippling sanctions in place, could Nicaragua be following in the footsteps of Venezuela? Professor Daniel Kovalik teaches at the Pittsburgh School of Law as well as works as a labor and human rights lawyer. He is also a supreme authority on Latin America and its tortured relations with the "giant” to the north, so we invited him into the Sputnik studio to tell us about his documentary on Nicaragua and his latest book on Venezuela. 

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