Nicaragua woke up this morning, Thursday, to a national strike for 24 hours. But the country remains under a blanket of blood, caused by the armed attacks in different cities and communities, leaving five dead on Wednesday alone: four in Masatepe and one in Leon.
The death toll in almost two months of clashes is now over 165.
Organizers have explained that the national strike is intended to demand of Ortega a national dialogue to overcome the crisis that leaves, but also to demand an end to the repression.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, in Managua, residents fired off mortars and sirens as a sign of support for the start of the strike, that has the support of big business and the most important guilds, such as taxi drivers.
However, public sector employees will not be joining the strike, fearing reprisals if they do.
The Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua said the national strike will be lead to a day of dialogue, on Friday, in which the Catholic Church will participate as mediators and witnesses.
The National Dialogue was suspended on May 31 when government representatives and the various sectors reached an impasse, after only two sessions, and the repressive acts that led to 16 deaths the day earlier, on Mother’s Day.
The Episcopal Conference said Ortega replied to their proposal made last Thursday, when the bishops, in a one-on-one meeting with Ortega requested a return to the dialogue and a return to democratization.
Ortega asked for two days to mull things over.
But by Sunday, the violence intensified.
The bishops said they would reveal Ortega’s response on Friday.