The Current Situation in Nicaragua

Antonio Spadaro, SJ

 Antonio Spadaro, SJ / Full Text Article / 10 January 2019

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The current situation in Nicaragua sparks a lot of concern. Many ask themselves how it is that President Daniel Ortega, who in the 1970s fought to bring down the Somoza dynasty, now tries to establish his own dynasty and is repressing the popular protest that would like to keep him from doing so. Anger is expressed in the same neighborhoods, in the same cities, and with the same strategies of roadblocks and urban barricades that Ortega had used in those times.

President Ortega has governed Nicaragua for 22 years. Under his first mandate he governed from 1979 to 1990, and from 2007 up until now in accord with another three consecutive mandates. He has decided to remain in power until the conclusion of the last mandate for which he was elected, that is, until 2021. Some even fear that after that date he will want to do all in his power to prolong his time in office or to pass the presidency on to his wife, Rosario Murillo.

Ortega has been able, “democratically,” to maintain the presidency for a long time. And, according to many, this has happened because he has concentrated more and more upon himself the executive, judicial, legislative and military powers, eliminating political opposition.

Violent repression

According to a report issued on July 5, 2018, by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), since April 18, the initial date of the protests, the government of Nicaragua has unleashed a repressive campaign in three stages.

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