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Nicaragua: News & Updates

Nicaragua was ruled by the Somoza dictatorship, backed by the US, for 30 years. After the Sandinista Revolution took control in 1979, the US assembled former Somoza National Guardsmen into a counterrevolutionary force that, for the next decade,  terrorized the civilian population in an attempt to weaken popular support for the Sandinistas. The  “contra war”  left 30,000 people dead and forced more than 100,000 to seek refuge in the US.

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The world should not praise Honduras and condemn Nicaragua for their very different responses [to the coronavirus], while ignoring the results in the numbers so far. Honduras, the United States, and Nicaragua seem to present different ways of dealing with…marginalized people. Nicaragua is tailoring its response to them, perhaps too much so, perhaps not. The U.S. is ignoring them. Honduras is persecuting them. The mainline media seem insensitive to cultural differences and marginalized people, and the media often fail to take account of inequalities. So far, the Nicaraguan strategy of emphasis on education and prevention and an open society with monitored borders seems to be working better than the iron hand strategy of the Honduran government. Berta Oliva, director of the Committee of the Families of the Detained/Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), a major human rights organization, and other human rights leaders have accused the government and the military of using the pandemic as an opportunity to tighten control of the population through fomenting fear of the virus and imposing draconian state-of-siege measures. Keeping people in a precarious state serves the interests of a government that many Hondurans call a “dictatorship.”
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Father Ernesto Cardenal was an early supporter of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, which was founded in the early 1960s, named after Augusto César Sandino, the revolutionary who had led a guerrilla campaign against the U.S. occupation of Nicaragua in the 1920s and ’30s and was assassinated in 1934. “Christ led me to Marx,” Father Cardenal said in an interview in 1984. “I don’t think the pope understands Marxism. For me, the four gospels are all equally communist. I’m a Marxist who believes in God, follows Christ, and is a revolutionary for the sake of his kingdom.” In 2015 he told The New York Times: “The Bible is full of revolutions. The prophets are people with a message of revolution. Jesus of Nazareth takes the revolutionary message of the prophets. And we also will continue trying to change the world and make revolution. Those revolutions failed, but others will come.”
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The Cleveland Immigration Working Group is engaged in a number of immigrant defense and support activities. We need more volunteer help. Please read below and consider helping with some of these needs: A. Safe Hotels Campaign B. Rapid Response Team C. Bond Packets for Release from Detention D. Court Monitoring E. Bus Reception F. Public Actions G. Sponsor Families H. Help for ICE Raid Victims and those in detention I. Prayer Support . If you would like to learn more about any of these initiatives, please email irtf@irtfcleveland.org or call (216) 961 0003.
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Minister of Education Miriam Ráudez and the Nicaraguan Embassy in the United Kingdom are participating in the most important annual meeting on education in the world, the World Education Forum. It brings together education ministers and 1,263 representatives from more than 95 countries to discuss and enrich education policies, achievements, challenges and opportunities for the future of education. Nicaragua was recognized for its significant progress made in the last 13 years by the Sandinista government, through educational policies focused on ensuring access and universal coverage of free, quality education, focused on social justice, as a restitution of a human right, and as a fundamental factor in the eradication of poverty and inequality.
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Nicaragua is on track to become the first country in the world to achieve gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum. But the unrelenting counterfactual attacks on Nicaragua’s government by Western imperialist feminists and their feminist class allies inside Nicaragua systematically omit that reality.
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La Via Campesina: Many NE Ohioans met Marlen Sanchez, national coordinator of agroecology, when she was here from Nicaragua in November 2018. One year later, the first Instituto Agroecologico Latinoamericano (Latin American Institute of Agroecology or IALA) held a graduation ceremony in Chontales, Nicaragua, for its first cohort of graduates. Contingents from several nations arrived, highlighting the diverse bonds of solidarity that were both created by, and strengthened by, the school. The graduating class is comprised of students from the region: Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala. These students were chosen by their home organizations, all of which are participants in La Via Campesina. Congratulations to these agroecologists!
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Like the “Dreamers,” another group of migrants, the TPS cardholders are Trump targets. And like the Dreamers, they’re all from countries of people of color: Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, and Nepal. Guinea, and—the latest—Nepal. Never mind that TPS people have families, businesses, homes, and community ties here. One even has a grown U.S.-born doctor son who, the proud father said, “just delivered 14 babies” in Chicago hospitals. So that clash with Trump and U.S. Senate Republicans brought Palma, Sorto, Baraq and almost 100 other people, TPS holders, and their families, to Capitol Hill for lobbying and cajoling lawmakers on Dec. 3. Their objective: To get the GOP-run Senate to follow the Democratic-run U.S. House and pass HR6, the Secure Act, and end the constant worrying TPS card-holders have that, as one put it, “We’ll wake up one morning and wonder if we’ll still be allowed here.”

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