|Thousands of anti-government protesters take to the streets of Nicargua|
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States issued a statement today in which they condemned "the deaths of at least 25 people in a context of repression of protests against plans to reform the social security system in Nicaragua." The IACHR also made known that "four TV channels that were reporting on the protests were taken off the air following government orders."
#Nicaragua: We have received reliable reports that at least 25 people were killed during nationwide protests against planned social security reforms. We call on authorities to ensure transparent investigations into these deaths. https://t.co/9OSAVZkREd pic.twitter.com/8VVKqgy3XW— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) April 24, 2018
The United Nations Human Rights Council issued a tweet and statement on the killings in Nicaragua calling for transparent investigations and questioning their legality.
|Anti-government protesters on the march in Nicaragua on April 23, 2018|
On Monday, April 23, 2018 tens of thousands of Nicaraguans took to the streets in nonviolent protests against the violent repression of the Ortega regime and demanded the resignation of the president. The Economist's bureau chief in Mexico tweeted video of protesters tearing down images of Daniel Ortega and his wife (and Vice President).
Totally unthinkable even a week ago: protesters demolish a billboard of Daniel Ortega and his wife as thousands of people openly cheer them on #SOSNicaragua pic.twitter.com/i8il7QL79q— Richard Ensor (@richardjensor) April 24, 2018
It is difficult to get news out of what is going on with the Ortega regime attempting to silence the press and limit internet access.
The government now trying to censor social media channels and cutting free WiFi in parks #Nicaragua #SOSNicaragua https://t.co/0qucFqYmTO— María 🇳🇮 (@MariaPWong) April 24, 2018
How this crisis flared up
On April 16, 2018 an unpopular reform is passed that increases contributions to the pension system while at the same time cutting benefits to existing beneficiaries. Two days later Nicaraguans opposed to the "reform" take to the streets in protest. Rather than address grievances the Ortega regime send out the national police and "Sandinista youth" to destroy commercial establishments, take over the university and crush the protests. At the same time mass media are ordered to shut down their signals in a blatant act of censorship.
Journalist Ángel Gahona was shot in the head while conducting a live broadcast of the protests in Bluefields, Nicaragua.
The Ortega government continues to ratchet up repression and the death count mounts. Later Sunday night early Monday morning this blog publishes the available information at the time. On Sunday, April 22, 2018 with over 25 confirmed dead Ortega rescinds the "reform." This would have ended the protests on April 18, 2018, but after the thuggish behavior of the regime combined with the wholesale violation of freedom of the press, freedom of expression and association the citizenry was aroused.
|Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela|
This should not come as a surprise. Ortega's return to power in 2006 was fueled by support from Hugo Chavez and the relationship with Caracas under Nicolas Maduro remains strong. It is equally important to remember that behind both regimes one finds the Castro regime and its intelligence services hard at work to maintain their outposts in the region.
Sadly, the United States is funding this regime in Nicaragua with U.S. taxpayer dollars and that needs to come to an end. Meanwhile it is important to get humanitarian assistance to Nicaraguans.
Spoke on @HouseFloor to condemn the actions of #Ortega and his cronies against the people of #Nicaragua. I urge the Senate to pass my #NICAAct to cut funding streams to the Ortega regime + to stand with the Nicaraguan people. We must not let his actions go unpunished. pic.twitter.com/aF11vgUNdY— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) April 24, 2018
Please keep an eye on the events unfolding in Nicaragua.