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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.
Learn more here.
March 1, 2020
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.”
RRN Case Update
February 13, 2020
RRN case summaries at a glance
On behalf of our 190 Rapid Response Network members, IRTF volunteers write and send six letters each month to government officials in southern Mexico, Colombia, and Central America (with copies to officials in the US). Who is being targeted? indigenous and Afro-descendant leaders, labor organizers, LGBTI rights defenders, women’s rights defenders, journalists, environmental defenders, and others. By signing our names to these crucial letters, human rights crimes are brought to light, perpetrators are brought to justice and lives are spared. Our solidarity is more important than ever. Together, our voices do make a difference.
February 5, 2020
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (216) 961 0003.
January 30, 2020
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.
January 24, 2020
Our Rapid Response Network sent a letter to President Ortega of Nicaragua regarding a recent attack on the son and nephew of women human rights defender Reyna Isabel Rodríguez Palacios, who was granted precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in September of 2018. On January 5 in Ciudad Sandino, gunmen shot and wounded her son Álvaro Antonio Báez Rodríguez (age 33) and nephew Andison Francisco Chávez Rodríguez (age 27) during an attempt to kidnap them. Reyna Isabel Rodríguez Palacios is an active member of MAM (Movimiento Autónomo de Mujeres de Nicaragua). Although MAM has historically been independent of any political party alignment, Reyna Rodríguez Palacios is active in the Blue and White National Unity Party and was recently elected to the party’s Political Council. She has experienced harassment at home. Police and paramilitary forces have been surrounding and surveilling her home. The surveillance activity and the attack against her son and nephew appear to be in retaliation for her political party activity in opposition to the Sandinista government.
January 23, 2020
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.
December 4, 2019
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.”
December 4, 2019
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!
November 19, 2019
The Trump administration, which has already closed the Mexican border to most Central Americans seeking U.S. asylum, is planning to go a step further and send most of the would-be migrants to another Central American nation to seek refuge there. Regulations proposed by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security would authorize immigration judges at the southern border to send asylum-seekers to one of three countries — Guatemala, El Salvador or Honduras — as long as it was not their homeland. They could apply for asylum there rather than in the United States. The rules would allow other migrants to remain in the United States if they could convince an immigration judge that they were likely to be persecuted, or tortured, in the Central American country where they were to be sent to apply for asylum. That would be very difficult to prove for a migrant who would have little or no time to gather evidence about conditions in the Central American nation and, in nearly all cases, would not have access to a lawyer, said Richard Caldarone, an attorney with the Tahirih Justice Center, a support group for immigrant women and girls.
November 11, 2019
Three countries—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—received more than 90 per cent of the deportations from the United States. Many of these deportees were members of the 18th Street and Salvatrucha gangs who had arrived in the United States as children but had never secured legal residency or citizenship; they had joined the gangs as a way to feel included in a receiving country that often actively impeded their integration. On being sent back to countries of origin that they barely knew, deportees reproduced the structures and behaviour patterns that had provided them with support and security in the United States. They swiftly founded local clikas, or chapters, of their gang in their communities of origin; in turn, these clikas rapidly attracted local youths and either supplanted or absorbed pandillas [local gangs].