Austin Paul seems to know a thing or two about gourmet coffee's and fairtrade, and puts Contra Cafe in perpsective:
Contra coffee is actually cheaper (maybe this shouldn't be a surprise, considering Starbucks' penalties prices). Contra charges $10/lb for a mix of organic/non-organic high-altitude, shade-grown coffee. For a similar product, Starbucks charges $12.99/lb.
So, if you're a non-Starbucks-stock-holding-right-winger, Contra coffee just might be for you.
I go back to Miami Herald Article, that I originally saw on Boz's page.
As for that article, I have a real issue with this paragraph:
While the contras were a cause célbre for many during the Reagan era, their legacy is tainted by the Iran-contra scandal and accusations of human rights abuses.
The spin here is all about the 'tainted' contras, involved in Iran-Contra, and human rights abuses. This is a legacy of the pro-Sandinista smear campaign against the Nicaraguan Resistance ran by -depending on your view- progressive/hard left types. This went beyond fringe groups, many of these individuals, NGO's, and random 'Solidarity' groups coalesced around Jesse Jackson's campaigns for Presidency in the Democratic Party. Their spin on Central America, was used by even mainstream Democrats to score political points against Reagan, as well as being repeated senselessly in some media outlets, ironically in much the same way that accusations about Whitewater and Madison spread on the other side of the political spectrum. Ultimately this was the kind of nonsense in the Democratic Party and in the media, that chased away traditional Cold-War Democrats and gave Republicans ammo to tar the Democratic Party as being Anti-American, arrogant, foreign policy weaklings, and out of touch with the mainstream. The fact that some established media outlets, sometimes repeated this spin, also helped fuel the whole 'liberal media bias' view that still persists to this day - even in the day of Fox News. The fact that a business reporter for the Washington Post would repeat this in 2005, makes you wonder if loudmouths like Coulter and Limbaugh don't have a point.
Mixing coffee and causes isn't new, but in Nicaragua the cause has usually been on the other side of the political spectrum. During the height of the Sandinista-contra civil war -- which eventually killed between 30,000 and 50,000 people -- American and European volunteers formed coffee-picking brigades to help the Sandinista government bring in its harvest.
So the contra's are human rights abusers, while the noble Sandinista government attracts European idealist to come help with its coffee crop.
No mention of the Sandinista's pro-Brezhnev, pro-Castro leanings, their single-party control over the Country, betrayal of moderates, arrests of opponents, war against the Church, their Stasi intelligence advisors, support for Salvadoran Marxist guerrillas, training of terrorists, Cuban, North Korean, and East-German military advisors, militarization, HIND-24 Gunships, drafting of 16 year olds, persecution of Miskito Indians.
How about the fact that pressure from the Contras, kept them from completely imposing Marxist-Leninist rule, and forced them to hold popular elections that they lost. To anyone with half a brain in the 80's it was clear that the Sandinistas were not going to give up power. Heck, I talked to several top Sandinista militants, before Reagan even got into office, who pretty much admitted as much. They wanted what they viewed as "true Revolutionary Change" - and that involved getting rid of 'bourgeois' dissent, and bringing in MIG's so be it. These guys, however sincere they were (and many were), only understood power, and there was no way they were going to give any of it up, unless they were forced to.