I SALUTE your correspondent, Norman Lockhart (Letters, Jul 22), for his support of the Nicaraguan people in the past. I well remember attending Scottish Medical Aid for Nicaragua events back in the days when I had a full head of hair, and could see properly!

However, I fear the comments he makes in his letter will do the Nicaraguan people of today no good.

The individuals who have been arrested pose no electoral threat to the government. There are two oppositions in Nicaragua: the constructive, who have formed coalitions and forwarded candidates for the November elections; and the destructive, who have tried to discredit the electoral process. Our arrested friends belong to the latter. None of them are electoral candidates, because no party had endorsed them before the deadline for registration in May. The first arrests took place in early June after the deadline had passed, yet some tried to claim candidacy to receive immunity.

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They have been pierced by the tip of their own sword, as they have fallen foul of new electoral laws introduced at the behest of their friends in the Organisation of American States (OAS). These laws bring Nicaragua into line with most countries in the world, including the UK and US, in outlawing foreign donations and calling for sanctions against one’s own country.

I find Norman’s use of the word “dictatorial” in reference to the present government bewildering, as Nicaragua ranks in the bottom ten countries for defence spending. They don’t seem to be anticipating a popular uprising any time soon.

I also think he is being very naive in claiming the government are lying about US involvement in the opposition. The US has been interfering in Nicaragua since the middle of the 19th century. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Where do you think the funds came from for the attempted coup in 2018?

The Sandinistas should win the November elections, not because the opposition parties have failed to unite behind a single candidate, but because they have introduced policies which have benefited the majority. It was this majority who took to the streets in 2018 to protest against the protesters, thus scuppering the coup attempt.

As has been the norm for the past generation, the Nicaraguan people will take to the polls in large numbers come November, but with a US gun held to their head. I, for one, sincerely hope they continue to thumb their nose at the bully in the north. As a Scot, I like that attitude!

Nicholas Whytock

WELL done Paul Newton, excellent work (Protest for backing Scottish producers ‘positive’, Jul 26).

Morrisons must be happy at driving customers away to companies like Aldi to get their Scottish produce. (And Aldi are proud of selling Scottish)

We don’t need produce driven up from Kent if we can grow and make it here!

Union Jackery is becoming ludicrous to me when I shop. Some months ago one supermarket even had a Union Jack on vegetables grown in Spain, which demonstrates how ridiculous and universal the policy is.

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M&S have been good in the past at identifying Scottish produce – ie milk, eggs, meat and fish – but recently seemingly relented by packing Ayrshire new potatoes and Scottish shortbread with Union Jackery.

If more people complain about this and do something about it, common sense may prevail. Send empty Union Jack wrappings back to their customer service with complaints, and tell them in future you will be buying elsewhere.

If we don’t back Scottish producers, how can we expect anyone else to do so?

Jo Bloomfield