Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans to Daniel Ortega: Time for you to resign murderer

"Enlightened despots are mythical creatures; real despots seem more interested in stealing money or installing their sons after them." - Elliott Abrams

Thousands of anti-government protesters take to the streets of Nicargua
Call for investigations and an end to the killings
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."

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
Tens of thousands take to the street and call for Daniel Ortega to resign
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).

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.

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
The Ortega-Maduro axis
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.

Please keep an eye on the events unfolding in Nicaragua.

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