The streets of Nicaragua’s major cities were empty and almost every store remained closed during Thursday’s nationwide strike which was considered a success by opposition leaders.
Amid a strong police presence in the major streets of the metropolitan area of Managua were bare and despite the government’s threats, the protest was staged to demand that the administration of Daniel Ortega releases all political prisoners and complies with the agreements reached at the negotiating table.
The nationawide “paro” (strike) was particularly noticeable in major cities such as Chinandega, Ciudad Sandino, Granada, Jinotepe, León, Managua, Matagalpa and Tipitapa.
Big businesses were hit by the strike, while small businesses not so much, many opening their doors almost normally.
In Managua the afternoon rush hour did not seem to exist. The Mercado Oriental, arguably the largest in Central America, was noticeably quieter than usual, cars running through its inner streets, which is not possible on a normal day, but pharmacies and gas stations were open.
A private school attended by some of Ortega’s grandchildren was reportedly among those closed, though it ckaimed it was due to security reasons.
Long-haul bus terminals were empty. There was no urban transport available other than taxis whose owners chose to work normally.