Three people, among them a police officer, were killed on 19 April amid attempts by the security forces to suppress the demonstrations. President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, responded with violent and brutal repression that left hundreds dead and thousands wounded. ... Brazil and Nicaragua in Latin America, and Hungary, Belarus, and Turkey in … While no evidence has surfaced that substantiates the claims of the Ortega administration and its supporters, it is certainly within the realm of possibility that right-wing actors are attempting to leverage the moment to their own advantage. Copyright NACLA 2019 It is unclear, for example, whether the student protestors will be able to translate the gains that they have achieved in the streets into meaningful institutional transformation and democratic policy reforms. The following May it named a 47-member Council of State, which was to act as an … On this day, Race & Equality adds its voice to the cries for freedom, justice, and democracy for the Nicaraguan people. Next. Trump rejects early White House vaccinations, Tentative progress made as EU hints at concessions, Contact tracer: 'People threaten us and block our calls', The 'unsanitised' stories behind pioneering feminists, The surprise Christmas show for an audience of one, Fighting the 'stigma' of dementia in Asian families. Like the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, the Movement for Black Lives, and the Zapatista movement, this mobilization is defined by its diffuse, collective leadership model, strategic use of social media as a tool for collective protest, and the reclamation of public space as a site for direct political action. In April 2018, the people of Nicaragua peacefully took to the streets to protest lack of democracy and rule of law. But Ortega, a wily political operator who has dismantled Nicaragua’s democracy since returning to power in 2007, was determined to stay – whatever the cost. Nicaragua’s embattled president Daniel Ortega has attacked pro-democracy protesters engaged in an 11-week student-led uprising as “hate-sowing coup-mongers” and appeared to rule out early elections in a defiant public address, the Guardian reports: Ortega, who was democratically elected in 2006 but is accused of ruling in an increasingly authoritarian manner, claimed he was engaged in “a … In his speech, he claimed that the protests had been infiltrated and were being manipulated by narco-traffickers, gang members, and delincuentes covertly equipped, financed and directed by conservative political elements in collusion with the radical Right in the United States. If Ortega’s comments were intended to restore law and order, they had the opposite effect, further inflaming public sentiment. Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands injured as the protests have grown and attempts to suppress them intensified. Nicaragua's current crisis is tragically ironic, considering that 40 years ago, Ortega played a central role in leading the armed movement that toppled the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza. Economy | November 30th 2020 Hurricanes wreak destruction but provoke help for Nicaragua. Now, nearly four decades later, hes the president and a new revolution is coming for him. José Á lvaro Moisé s University of São Paulo, Sã o Paulo, Brazil . The recent protests have prompted comparisons to the Sandinista Revolution. Nicaragua’s government said more than one hundred prisoners arrested during recent anti-government protests were freed (Reuters: HT-CFR) this week under a new amnesty law. Donate now.Â. An op-ed piece published in Telesur, “Nicaragua: Next in Line for Regime Change?” claims that the protests “have been characterized by lethal violence from extreme right-wing shock groups trying to destabilize Nicaragua, just as they have done in Venezuela.” These critiques have found considerable support among the U.S. Left, which has a long relationship of solidarity with the FSLN. As people ... VICE News 8 months ago Jan … Nicaragua is going through a major crisis of democracy and the rule of law,” he added. Remarks by Ambassador Carlos Trujillo Resolution on Nicaragua OAS General Assembly October 21, 2020. 4:09. An Anonymous World Citizen With a Reply by Mark Falcoff. Regardless, the reforms, along with the state’s brutal crackdown on protestors, have done considerable damage to the government’s public image. Yet it does not appear that NICA is the primary element behind the protests. About 500,000 people were homeless, more than 30,000 had been killed, and the economy was in ruins. A number of police officers have been among those killed. The government has blamed the situation on criminal groups and "opposition political groups with specific political agendas". The crisis started rather unexpectedly when pro-government groups violently crushed a small demonstration against reforms to Nicaragua's pension system announced on … The politics of refusal embodied in the repudiation of party politics signals a radical rethinking of the meanings of Left and Right, liberal, conservative, and revolutionary. Between March and June, authorities released almost 400 political prisoners detained during the 2018 … Protestors observed that Ortega never mentioned the protestors that had been killed or addressed ongoing allegations of police abuse. How does the US electoral college work? News. And as a country that has experienced democratic change only in recent memory, as President Tsai Ing-wen calls for the support of the international community to help Taiwan defend its democracy, Taiwan should act like the “beacon” as which it sees itself. The FSLN and its domestic and international supporters have argued against the protests and claimed that the FSLN is the victim of a complex scheme by right-wing opposition groups to destabilize the country and seize the state. NACLA relies on our supporters to continue our important work. A domestic and international awareness campaign will follow to disseminate the main findings of the … The delegates … Upcoming Event. Hurricane Iota made landfall Monday afternoon on Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm. The state shut down multiple television stations broadcasting live coverage and ordered anti-riot police forces to disperse the demonstrations, firing live rounds into crowds of protestors while ordering the mass arrests of student activists and attacking universities in Managua. VideoFighting the 'stigma' of dementia in Asian families, Kenya's black market baby trade: A mother's choice. Please support our work!Â. Studying the … Video, Fighting the 'stigma' of dementia in Asian families, How does the US electoral college work? Menu. Recent legislation passed by Nicaragua’s National Assembly should give us all reason for concern about the worsening political and human rights crisis in Nicaragua. Human rights groups and members of the opposition have criticized the new law, saying it also protects security forces who committed rights abuses during the pro-democracy protests. An anti-government protester is dragged away and arrested by police as security forces disrupt an opposition march coined "United for Freedom" in Managua, Nicaragua, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. Upon taking office, his administration launched a vicious public media campaign against the women’s and feminist movements in Nicaragua, vilifying them as a group of lesbians, pedophiles, witches, and abortionists bent on destroying the heterosexual, nuclear Nicaraguan family. Prior to his re-election in 2006, Ortega oversaw the approval by the National Assembly of one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the hemisphere, which bans abortion even in cases of rape and incest. But most human rights groups agree that the paramilitary groups, or "grupos de choque", have played a particularly deadly role in the conflict. The government has also pointed to instances in which government supporters have been attacked to back up their claim that the protesters are "terrorists". It determines the state of democracy of 167 countries worldwide and categorizes them into the following categories according to their score: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime, authoritarian regime. Sign up for our NACLA Update for announcements, events, the latest articles, and more! Over the next 16 years Ortega would transform himself from a revolutionary to a political strongman who wielded decisive political influence in both the FSLN party and in national politics. Democracy has collapsed in Nicaragua and Venezuela and is in serious trouble in countries such as Bolivia and Honduras. They are also demanding deep democratic reforms, with many believing neither can be achieved if President Ortega - who is on his third consecutive term in office - remains in power. “We repeat our call for the … The administration’s response to the protests was alarming and revealing. But Nicaragua is not Venezuela, and the crisis unfolding in Nicaragua is largely of Daniel Ortega’s own making. In the meantime, activists around the country are planning a national strike, suggesting once again that these protests represent merely the opening salvo in a much longer struggle against the Ortega administration. Teaching in the US vs. the rest of the world | Vox. The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) said 264 people had been killed between the start of the protests and 11 July. Reprisals against those holding dissenting views against the government should not be tolerated. Ortega’s seeming inability to realize the full implications of the protests and his initially tone-deaf response to the public may prove to be his greatest mistake, echoing Somoza’s underestimation of the FSLN, which proved to be his undoing. In a little more than a century, Nicaragua has experienced U.S. occupation, a liberal oligarchic regime, a repressive family dictatorship, a revolutionary regime of a socialist nature, a liberal democracy, and, since Daniel Ortega’s return to power in 2007, a hybrid regime that has combined democratic institutions with authoritarian elections and that, as of April 2018, has mutated into a new … MANAGUA, Sep 17 2018 (IPS) - Five months after the outbreak of mass protests in Nicaragua, in addition to the more than 300 deaths, the crisis has had visible consequences in terms of increased poverty and migration, as well as the international isolation of the government and a wave of repression that continues unabated. In Nicaragua, we wish to help restore the rule of law, rebuild democratic institutions, and foster inclusive growth. Since the initial violent clampdown following popular protests in 2018, … Nicaragua: Statement by the High Representative/Vice President on the situation on human rights and democracy - European External Action Service '” Nicaragua’s embattled president Daniel Ortega has attacked pro-democracy protesters engaged in an 11-week student-led uprising as “hate-sowing coup-mongers” and appeared to rule out early elections in a defiant public address, the Guardian reports:. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. He was elected president in 1984, which he held until the Sandinistas lost the presidential elections in 1990 to the United National Opposition, a coalition of right-wing parties. Businesses have been suffering, especially those in the tourism sector, and with protesters threatening to call further strikes an estimated 85,000 jobs could be lost this year. They have produced a crisis of legitimacy that may ultimately be the unexpected undoing of the Ortega-Murillo regime. Video, Covid-19: Trump rejects plan for early vaccines at White House, Electoral College: The people who ultimately pick the US president, Ambrose Dlamini: Eswatini's PM dies after testing positive for Covid-19, New Zealand sex worker wins six-figure sum in sexual harassment case, US treasury and commerce departments targeted in cyber attack, Australia storms: Wild weather lashes vast stretch of east coast, China warns of interference over Bloomberg journalist arrest, Nigeria school attack: Gunmen who seized children in Katsina 'surrounded', Brexit: Negotiators to enter 'extra mile' Brexit talks, John le Carré: Espionage writer dies aged 89, Amnesty International said last week that "state repression has reached deplorable levels" in Nicaragua. On September 14th and 15th, NACD will host a world forum to unite the Nicaraguan diaspora in Miami, Florida. The EU expects the Government of Nicaragua to abide by the commitments made in the March 2019 agreements with the opposition to reach a peaceful, negotiated and democratic way out of this crisis. When protestors chant, “Ortega y Somoza son la misma cosa,” (“Ortega and Somoza are the same thing”), they highlight the fact that Ortega, the former revolutionary, has evolved into a would-be dictator. Many protestors have claimed that the movement is neither Left nor Right, rather it is an expression of the collective discontent of the Nicaraguan people and thus occupies a moral space above the fray of party politics. Given the way in which political parties pervade the most mundane aspects of daily social life—determining access to employment and educational opportunities and the benefits of government-sponsored social programs—it is striking that protestors have opted to frame their dissent using the moral discourse of nationalism and citizen leadership that refuses the disciplining and constraining logic of party affiliation. The very phrase coined for the crisis, the "Great Recession," is a paraphrase of the "Great Depres sion" of 1929-1933, and these disheartening predictions have tended to be based on what Bordo and James (2010) have aptly termed the "Great … For many, Ortega’s response proved that he was out of touch with the public. It says the protesters are "inflicting suffering on Nicaraguan families" by severely disrupting everyday life. The current threat from the Right in the United States comes in the form of the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act (NICA). Nicaragua's Democracy Crisis | VICE on HBO Once upon a time, Daniel Ortega helped lead a revolution in Nicaragua. The 2018–2020 Nicaraguan protests began on 18 April 2018 when demonstrators in several cities of Nicaragua began protests against the social security reforms decreed by President Daniel Ortega that increased taxes and decreased benefits. In this current iteration of the Sandinista Party, very little leftist ideology remains. Upon his re-election in 2006, made possible by changes to the nation’s electoral laws that allowed Ortega to win the presidency with only 38% of the vote, he quickly set about consolidating his hold on state power. Thus, there is an urgent need to update this framework and galvanize more effective international support that will put the brakes on the country’s authoritarian turn. A deadline to finish negotiations had been set for Sunday, but the UK and EU agreed to keep talking. The people are speaking. But this time footage of the repression, which was widely shared on social media, caused outrage and triggered more protests which in turn were met with further repression. Despite Ortega’s apparent optimism, popular discontent looms large, and Nicaragua’s political crisis is far from over. Courtesy of Doug Specht, University of Westminster. As one protestor at a demonstration held by the Catholic Church on April 28 told reporters, “the changes in social security were the last straw. Anger at the government has kept on increasing with rising fatalities. In the 1960s and 1970s, following the Somoza regime’s mishandling of a 1972 earthquake that displaced thousands of people combined with outrage over the government assassination of a respected journalist, thousands of young men and women joined the FSLN to overthrow Somoza in an unlikely revolution that many people, both inside and outside of Nicaragua, never saw coming. - paying the … The government has not released any official figures in recent weeks, saying that each and every death has to be investigated thoroughly before accurate numbers can be given. By Doug Specht. But this model also produces its own political challenges. A regime to protect democracy exists at the regional level, but implementation of its framework of rules and norms has done little to curb authoritarian tendencies in Nicaragua and other Latin American countries. Due to the gross violations of human rights and the lack of democracy and rule of law, the Government of Nicaragua and the United States have minimal cooperation in law enforcement efforts, counternarcotics programs, countering migrant flows, and on other matters in our mutual national interests. On April 22, in response to mounting public pressure, Ortega announced in a televised speech surrounded by representatives of the business community that the government had rescinded the reforms. They have also been joined by many in the business sector, who in the past broadly supported President Ortega. Third, the crisis in Venezuela has consumed most of the attention and political capital of Latin American countries, taking precedence over other crises including Nicaragua’s declining democracy and the increasingly authoritarian tendencies displayed by President Evo Morales in Bolivia. What does it mean to define oneself in these terms when it is clear that authoritarianism is operable across a range of divergent ideological standpoints? Over the last two weeks, tens of thousands of people—university students, pensioners, environmentalists, feminists, religious leaders, black and Indigenous activists, journalists as well as left-wing and right-wing opposition groups—have flooded the streets of Nicaragua, calling for the resignation of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo. Political and economic unrest in Nicaragua could stoke the flames in a region where insecurity has forced tens of thousands to flee in recent years. Nicaragua’s Democracy Crisis | VICE on HBO. He called “for an end to every form of violence and to avoid the useless shedding of blood” and urged that political differences be “resolved peacefully and with a sense of responsibility.” Meanwhile, on April 23, the United States Embassy in Managua announced it would cease routine operations and family members of embassy staff were ordered to leave the country. Nicaragua a is mired in a socio-political crisis that has resulted in between 178-200 deaths since mid-April, according to humanitarian organizations, making it the country's bloodiest crisis … March 6. It all started in April of this year when two sets of protests were met with contempt, only to be followed with outright repression by the government of President Daniel Ortega and his vice-president and wife, Rosario Murillo. -- In Nicaragua, the crisis of democracy deepens with each fresh revelation of bribery, corruption, intimidation, money laundering and murder in high places. Chile had the longest democratic tradition of any Latin American country until 1973 when it was plunged into totalitarianism with significant and explicit U.S. support, as documented by 1975 congressional … Protesters blame the security forces and paramilitary groups loyal to the government for the violence while the authorities have labelled the protesters as "terrorists". He served on the nine-member National Directorate that governed Nicaragua during the transition from the Somoza dictatorship to the revolutionary government. crisis that began in 2008 has had negative repercussions for democracy (Diamond 2008,2011; Krugman 2011; Puddington 2008; Schmitter 2012). As Jon Lee Anderson notes in The New Yorker, public response was “furious and swift, with demonstrators taking to the streets to protest” the following day, April 19. Political analysts and activists have largely repudiated this measure, arguing that it will only harm Nicaraguans and do little to unseat the Ortega administration. He served on the nine-member National Directorate that governed Nicaragua during the transition from the Somoza dictatorship to the revolutionary government. News From The Left. A small group of university activists, many of them from the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI), have agreed to participate in dialogues with the national government. From 1936, the Somoza-controlled Liberal Party dominated Nicaraguan politics through a system of corruption, bribery, constitutional manipulation, clientelism, and—when that failed to quell dissent—violence, imprisonment, and political assassination. NACLA | c/o NYU CLACS, 53 WASHINGTON SQ. An enormous concentration of power by the executive has allowed President Daniel Ortega’s government to commit egregious abuses against critics and opponents with complete impunity. Hurricane Eta has brought catastrophic damage to the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua and Honduras with heavy rain and winds triggering inland flooding and landslides. Eta is … The 19th of April Movement shares many characteristics with similar popular democratic movements that have emerged in recent years. Support our work. VICE News. Ortega’s biographer, Kenneth Morris, argues that his political opponents have tended to underestimate him—to their own detriment—and Ortega has masterfully used this to his advantage, presenting himself as an unassuming political figure while quietly brokering pacts with allies and opponents and increasing his own power. Hurricane Eta has brought catastrophic damage to the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua and Honduras with heavy rain and winds triggering inland flooding and landslides. Search for country or area. Pro and Contra: Democracy in Nicaragua? 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