Latin America

U.S. misses the mark with Nicaragua sugar sanctions

As part of its push to put pressure on President Daniel Ortega, the U.S. has cut the country's sugar export quota. But the measure is only likely to harm the Nicaraguan people, not the government

biden Nicaragua sugar sanctions
Man working in a sugarcane field in Nicaragua. Photo: Jenny Matthews/Alamy

The so-called “backyard diplomacy” of the U.S. in Latin America is notorious and widely criticized. Governments in the region that displease Washington are historically hit with robust economic sanctions that — while causing turmoil — do not hit their intended target.

The leading example, of course, is Cuba, one of the few countries that sought to challenge U.S. hegemony in the Americas. Soon after the Castro-led Cuban Revolution in the late 1950s, Washington hit the island nation with a massive trade embargo that still exists today. The UN estimated in 2018 that the blockade cost Cuba...

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