Daniel Ortega: A Cold War Relic

The crisis in Nicaragua explained

The crisis in Nicaragua explained

Embattled President Daniel Ortega has been a fixed presence in Nicaraguan politics for decades. Following the fall of longtime dictator Anastasio Somoza, Ortega became president in 1985, heading the leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front.

With deep ties to Fidel Castro, he faced US opposition. The Reagan Administration supported a right-wing guerrilla movement aimed at bringing him down.

Daniel Ortega (right) with Fidel Castro (left)

- payin the bills -

After losing re-election in 1990, Ortega became a major opposition figure.

Ortega finally won the presidency in 2006, riding the wave of leftist presidents in Latin America. He became a close friend and ally of Hugo Chavez. He has since changed tack, allying himself with the country’s traditionally right-wing business community and clergy.

Coupled with changes in electoral law, Ortega has prolonged and cemented his rule.

In 2016, he barred international observers and nominated his wife as Vice-president. The pair won the election, which was condemned by the opposition and criticized internationally by the United States, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Union.

- paying the bills -

In April 2018, Ortega announced a move to reform Nicaragua’s pension system, saying that fiscal changes were needed. The reform sought to impose a 5 percent tax on retiree and disability pensions while increasing social security contributions by up to 22.5 percent. The move unleashed large-scale protests nationwide, which have been the biggest challenge Ortega has faced during modern tenure.

The pension plan was abandoned but protests continued, demanding Ortega’s ouster. UN Human Rights experts denounced the state’s harsh repression. As the death toll rose, Nicaragua’s Catholic Church has demanded that Ortega allow international organizations entry to Nicaragua to help investigate the deaths and tried to set up talks between the opposition and the government.

The opposition, comprised of students and a wide range of civil society groups, sat down with the government fora round of talks on May 16. The Clergy said the talks would be focused on “justice, democratization, and peace.” The opposition’s main demand: new presidential elections in 2019. The government rejected the demands and talks broke down.

Stalemate and instability. The death toll in two months of nationwide violence has risen to 186 (as of June 19). Three rounds of dialogue have failed, with unabated protests and repression. Ortega demands that protesters bring down their street barricades. But the opposition continues to demand that the government call for new elections and let in the UN and EU into Nicaragua. Ortega has not yet agreed to either demand.

 

 

- paying the bills --

Related Articles

Ortega no longer has fresh petrodollars from Venezuela. And now what?

TODAY NICARAGUA - Much has been said about Venezuelan cooperation, except...

The Latin American left isn’t dead yet

Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay will all hold presidential elections in October....

MOST READ

Rosario Murillo: La Heredera (The Heiress)

Rosarion Murillo, the "eternally loyal" to her husband and political partner, Daniel Ortega. In a profile by Confidencial in October 2016, before her election as...

Better Air Connectivity Between Nicaragua and the US

The private companies' association is in talks with United Airlines to promote the opening of a route that connects Nicaragua with the east coast...

Nicaragua Unveils Central America’s Largest Baseball Stadium

Nicaragua has unveiled its long-awaited baseball stadium in Managua, replacing the former baseball field built in 1948. The new structure will hold up to...

Bianca Jagger Gets Into The Nicaragua Act Again

(American Thinker)  Remember Bianca Jagger? You know, the disco queen and former rock-star's wife turned leftwing "human rights activist" who was last seen mourning...

What Are Some of Nicaragua’s Popular Food?

TODAY NICARAGUA - Nicaragua is an interesting place, with a tumultuous history and a relatively peaceful present. and even if many things can be...

Nicaragua Praised by the IMF

The IMF noted the positive evolution of all the country's economic indicators, and the drastic fall in poverty, with an increase of 33% in...

Poll Shows Declining Expectations on a Nicaraguan Canal

According to the results of the most recent survey conducted by Cid Gallup, the Nicaraguan interoceanic canal project, a concession given to the Chinese...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Nicaragua and Latin America.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.