Place: Nicaragua

Ortega Government Cracks Down on Peaceful Protesters, Carries Out Massive Arbitrary Detentions

Today, March 16, 2018, Nicaraguan citizens using their constitutional right to protest, gathered in various parts of the country to peacefully protest the Ortega-Murillo regime and demand the release of all political prisoners. Protesters were met with violent repression and . . .

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Profile of a Self-Exiled Nicaraguan News Presenter

When Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega announced coming changes to his country’s social security system on April 18 of last year, small-scale protests in Managua against the government’s response to a wildfire in the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve had been ongoing . . .

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Nicaragua Update: Escalation of Ortega’s War on NGOs and Independent Media

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Nicaragua’s eight-month long political crisis is escalating. In the past two weeks, the government of Daniel Ortega has intensified its crackdown on opposition media and on NGOs while facing the US administration’s passage of the Magnitsky-Nica Act legislation. 

The government rescinded the legal status of nine NGOs in one week, at once seizing their assets, freezing their bank accounts, and sending into exile and hiding a new cluster of oppositional leaders. The crackdown began with CISAS, a renowned health promotion NGO led by a vocal feminist opponent to the regime, then CENIDH, the national human rights organization, and then a host of other organizations – from environmental and community development NGOs to economic think tanks that the government itself has relied upon for data and analysis.

Urgent Communiqué about Nicarauga: Government Attack on Human Rights Groups, NGOs, Media

ImageThe following statement is from the Articulación de Movimientos Sociales, the coalition of social movements in Nicaragua.

Alert and Request for International Condemnation: Nicaraguan Government Raids the offices of the principal human rights, non-governmental and media organizations.

URGENT COMUNIQUE December 14, 2018. 2PM (CST) Alert and Request for International Condemnation: Nicaraguan Government Raids the offices of the principal human rights, non-governmental and media organizations.

Nicaraguan Government Attacks and Arrests Opposition Leaders; Nicaraguans in U.S. Demand Their Release; Call for General Strike

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The following statement was issued by Nicaraguans living in the United States.

On the morning of October 14, 2018, Nicaraguan citizens in use of their constitution rights gathered to march peacefully and protest the Ortega regime and to demand the release of all political prisoners. Protestors were met with violent repression and an assault by the police.

Solidarity with Nicaragua: The Long View from Canada

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The essay below was originally delivered as an oral presentation on the panel “Solidarity in the 21st Century” as part of a conference on The Future of the Left in Latin America held on October 5-6 at the New School in New York City. The conference was sponsored by Dissent, The New School, NACLA, and the Open Society Foundation. 

A Massacre, Not a Coup: A Response to Misinformation on Nicaragua

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For the past 3 months, progressive websites and journals have run articles that paint a picture of the crisis in Nicaragua that is dangerously misleading.  Many of these articles have been circulated among people on the left who were in solidarity with Nicaragua and the FSLN during the 1970s and 1980s but haven’t kept up with what has happened over the last 30 years—particularly since 2007, when Daniel Ortega returned to the Presidency and has been there since. I’d like to take a moment to correct some misconceptions about the current crisis in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua’s Popular Rebellion Stopped—For Now

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What is the state of the popular rebellion in Nicaragua? What brought about the rebellion? Who is involved in the rebellion? Who are the most important national and international actors? And what is the nature of the Left’s debate over Nicaragua?

President Daniel Ortega’s government has succeeded—for now—in stopping the Nicaragua’s popular rebellion after four months of the most severe repression, including killings, kidnappings, and torture of the regime’s opponents by both the police and paramilitary forces.

Nicaragua in Pain

ImageTranslated from Spanish by Fred Murphy

Writing about Nicaragua is as painful and sad as it is indispensable. Memories of the Sandinista Revolution are still alive for the generation that lived through it. To remain silent would be an affront to those who took part in that memorable insurrection against Somoza.

Support the Popular Rebellion in Nicaragua – Oppose U.S. Intervention

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At this moment, the government of President Daniel Ortega and his party, the Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSLN or Sandinistas), face a popular rebellion from below on a national scale. We look here at the origins of this rebellion, at the alternatives facing it, and at the responsibilities of those of us in the United States toward the people of Nicaragua.

Nicaragua: Where Is The Rebellion Going?

ImageThe popular rebellion against the dictatorial government of Daniel Ortega, four-time president of Nicaragua, has been going on now for more than a month. And the Ortega government has continued its violent repression. In the last 47 days, it is reported that 104 people have been killed, while some have been arrested or tortured and others have gone missing. In one of the most atrocious events, government snipers fired on the May 30 “Mothers March” led by mothers mourning the murder of their children. Fifteen marchers were killed and scores wounded.

Roadblocks and possibilities: The Nicaraguan student insurrection

Mothers March: No More Murders of Our Children

Canadian internationalist feminist Lori Hanson, who has been working in solidarity with rural Nicaraguans for more than 30 years, has just returned from Nicaragua. Jack Hicks interviewed her for New Socialist. Together, they crafted this piece based on the interview and an article Lori previously wrote for the Greek newspaper, AlterThess. The analysis of an emerging movement in Nicaragua is a work in progress for Lori, who continues to work with Nicaraguans on the deeper meaning of a 44 day-long uprising and the state violence that has accompanied it in April and May, 2018.

Nicaragua—Protest, Repression, Negotiations

What Happened to the Nicaraguan Revolution?

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The upheaval in Nicaragua that lasted from April 18 to April 21 and the repression that reportedly left 63 dead, 15 missing and 160 injured by gunfire, have both subsided for the moment. The protests halted after President Daniel Ortega announced the cancellation of his proposed changes in the social security pension law. Photographers were among those beaten. Other human rights centers and the Jesuit University of Central America in Managua as well as Nicaraguan newspaper accounts and discussions with people in Managua confirm many of these deaths and injuries.

Since April 22 Nicaraguans have participated in numerous marches, some raising the call for “Peace and Justice,” and many of the participants carrying placards calling upon President Ortega and his vice-president and wife Rosario Murillo to resign. On April 26 an enormous pilgrimage of tens of thousands called for peace and negotiation organized by the Catholic Church.

Are We on the Eve of Another Nicaraguan Revolution?

Nicaraguan Government Kills 24 – Students, Farmers Call for National Strikes

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The government of former revolutionary and Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega has in the last few days killed at least 24 protestors who were demonstrating against sudden and drastic alterations in a new pension law, changes that would have adversely affected the incomes and lives of tens of thousands. Some 200 were arrested and 20 are missing, according to the National Human Rights Commission. Other protestors, many of them university students, were beaten by the police or by goons armed with pipes sent by President Ortega’s party, the Sandinista Front for the Liberation of Nicaragua (FSLN).

Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua's Nov. 6 Election, and the Betrayal of a Revolution

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For many years now Nicaraguans on both the right and the left have referred to Daniel Ortega, a leader of the Sandinista Revolution of 1979, as a “dictator.” Now it appears that when country votes on November 6, he may succeed in becoming the country’s virtual monarch. Dan La Botz, author of the new book What Went Wrong? The Nicaraguan Revolution: A Marxist Analysis, asks here how the Nicaraguan revolution was betrayed and what ideas and decisions of the Sandinistas themselves were responsible for the betrayal.

Nicaragua’s Authoritarian Turn is Not a Product of Leftist Politics

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On July 29th, Sandinista President Daniel Ortega unseated 16 opposition members and 12 alternates from Nicaragua’s legislature, eliminating one of the few remaining obstacles to one-party rule. Days later, Ortega named his wife, Rosario Murillo, as his vice presidential running mate for the November elections. Political analysts inside and outside of the country see the move as an attempt to secure a line of family succession, as Ortega, 70, enters the final years of his political career.

Fernando Cardenal, Nicaraguan Christian Revolutionary– Presente!

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Fernando Cardenal, the revolutionary Jesuit priest who served as Secretary of Education in the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, died in Managua on February 20 following complications arising from heart surgery. He was 82 years old.

Cardenal, joined the Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSLN) before the Nicaraguan revolution of 1979, having been like his brother the poet Ernesto Cardenal, also a priest, recruited by top Sandinista leaders. Cardenal played a key role in the 1970s, before the revolution, in building the Christian Revolutionary Movement and after the revolution he was the leader and organizer of the National Literacy Campaign. When in 1984 Pope John Paul II insisted that the Cardenal leave the Sandinista government, he refused, writing that he could not believe that God would want him to stop serving the poor.

In the early 1990s Cardenal broke with Daniel Ortega’s increasingly authoritarian Sandinista government, returned to the Jesuit order in 1997, and continued his work among the poor.

Nicaragua Notes: The Watchmen, the Hunters and Gatherers, the Street Vendors

The Watchmen

     In Managua one finds uniformed guards in front of the banks, in the shopping malls like Metro Centro, in the grocery stores, and anywhere else there is likely to be substantial amounts of money. These men have the status bestowed by a uniform and the authority commanded by carrying a pistol. One could say that they are the elite of their profession, but they are far outnumbered by the lumpenguardia found on every middle class street of the capital city.

Nicaragua: Hunger, Malnutrition, and the Fight to End Them

     School began this week for children all over Nicaragua, but even before children entered the classroom the Nicaraguan government had begun supplying its School Feeding Program as the Ministry of Education transferred food from warehouses to 10,000 schools in 153 municipalities. For many Nicaraguan children, the School Feeding Program is essential to preventing hunger and malnutrition.

Nicaragua: Contentious Debate Over Social Security Reform

     Nicaragua is in the midst of a contentious debate that could become a serious social struggle over the reform of the nation’s Social Security system. President Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista government has proposed to increase the retirement age, the number of years one has to work, and the number of required contributions.

What Happened to the Nicaraguan Revolution?: A View from the Rank and File

     When the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) led the Nicaraguan people to victory over the dictatorship of Anastasio Samoza in 1979, Wilmer (not his real name) was only 14 years old. Having come from a family of modest means, he identified with the revolution that ended the long repressive rule of the Samoza family that with U.S. backing had for 43 years run, ransacked and ultimately ruined Nicaragua.

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