Yankee Go Home
The Ugly American is alive and well and working for peace.
Aug 30, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 47 • By LAUREN WEINER
“I don’t think I ever felt my gringoness as strongly or as fearfully as I did on that day,” he writes. Sandinista judges were a problem: At strategic points they would disappear on long vacations, dragging out the appeal of his 30-year prison sentence by several months. Even after his release was finally in the works, they outdid themselves by “losing” the Doris Jiménez case file. (It turned up a week later on the desk of a leftist appeals judge.) To counter the attacks in the Sandinista press, Volz’s American-based legal team helped him secure the aid of important Nicaraguans, including a former leader of the contras.
There were many heroes, American and Nicaraguan, who helped bring about the reversal of his conviction and get him back home to the United States—especially the Nicaraguan judge Roberto Rodriguez, whose vote to reverse made him powerful enemies in the government and among Sandinista supporters. And Volz says that his sufferings—a year spent in mosquito-infested, dirty, and dangerous prison cells—have deepened him. Let us hope so.
Lauren Weiner is a writer in Baltimore.