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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.
May 28, 2021
The Butler County Jail--one of four county jails in Ohio that has been detaining immigrants--is getting out of the business of “civil” immigration detention, and the community is celebrating. Advocates and lawyers spoke with reporters about this development in a Zoom meeting on May 28, which included remarks from people who had spent time in that jail. Sandra Ramírez described what it felt like to visit her brother at the Butler jail every week during the time he was detained there by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Watching him lose weight and become a shadow of himself was so painful for her, as a 16 year-old, and the scars remain with her and her family today. A year from now, Sandra hopes that immigrants are no longer detained in jails for ICE, and that everyone who needs it can have a path to citizenship. Read more about this important development at http://ohioimmigrant.org/. If you missed it, watch the press conference here.
May 10, 2021
We’re contacting you again to ask urgently for your help to stop new sanctions on Nicaragua. There is currently a bi-partisan bill in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called the RENACER Act that will impose a new set of sanctions on Nicaragua (Illegal coercive measures). Please see talking points below for background information on the RENACER Act.
April 22, 2021
Rivas Beaches in Good Environmental Condition: The results of an UNAN research study indicate that the environmental quality of the waters of the bays on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast are between optimal and suitable for recreational activities and the preservation of flora and fauna. But there is contamination by microplastics in the beach sand and large variations in acidity and temperature that compromise conditions for organisms such as oysters. So there are still actions to be taken for the conservation of marine resources in the area. The study provides information for decision-making that will lead to sustainable management of the marine-coastal areas. A group of researchers from the Center for Research in Aquatic Resources of UNAN-Managua in conjunction with the Paso Pacífico Organization carried out five environmental studies in the south Pacific Coast area of Nicaragua in the period 2011-2019. Read this and 10 other news briefs from this week.
April 22, 2021
As the death toll in other countries grew alarmingly, Nicaragua “flattened the curve” of virus cases more quickly than its neighbors, its apparent success was ignored. Despite the importance of identifying how poorer countries can contain the virus effectively, measures used by Nicaragua remain uninvestigated by the international media. Why did this come about?
April 12, 2021
Join us for this unique opportunity to interview the filmmakers of Missing in Brooks County, one of the documentary entries of the Cleveland International Film Festival 45. The haunted landscape of Brooks County, Texas, is littered with the bodies and belongings of an unknown number of lost souls. All the while, the national immigration debate drags on, rarely taking into account the very real life and death consequences that are felt in the farmlands of Brooks County and elsewhere. And on both sides of the border, heartbroken families are left devastated, desperate to find out what happened to their disappeared loved ones. Mysteries unfold as two of the families search for answers--and the severity of this broken immigration system becomes more and more apparent.
March 25, 2021
In Nicaragua, governmental recognition of land rights was the first step in tackling incursions by non-Indigenous settlers from western Nicaragua and the violent conflicts they sometimes produce. But because colonization of Indigenous territories has been taking place for decades, taking the next steps – delineation of the territories, dealing with illegal titles (primarily given under previous governments) and potentially removing settlers – is a complex process that involves delicate negotiation and agreement at the local level. Sadly but inevitably, the invasions by settlers have become another issue on which to attack Nicaragua’s Sandinista government. Also, Nicaragua briefs and updates are included.
March 11, 2021
Nicaragua's "Foreign Agents" law has caused outcry from the US government. This article explains US intervention with groups in Nicaragua (and the US) opposed to the Sandinista government. The law requires all organisations, agencies or individuals, who work with, receive funds from or respond to organizations that are owned or controlled directly or indirectly by foreign governments or entities, to register as foreign agents with the Ministry of the Interior. The fundamental objective of the law is to establish a legal framework that will regulate natural or legal persons that respond to foreign interests and funding, and use this funding to carry out activities that lead to interference by foreign governments or organisations in the internal affairs of Nicaragua, putting its sovereignty at risk.
Exploited Labor: Right-wing Central American leaders praise neoliberal ‘Biden Plan’ to strengthen US ‘sphere of influence’
March 8, 2021
Right-wing Central American politicians are applauding Plan Biden, a US strategy promising corporate investment in return for neoliberal reforms. They pledge to remain in the US “sphere of influence” and isolate China and Russia, while calling for regime change against Nicaragua’s leftist government. Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal investigated the extensive damage that Biden’s neoliberal policies have already wreaked on Central America, when he served as vice president and the point man for the region in the Barack Obama administration. Now that he is president, Biden is repurposing the Obama-era policies and expanding them.
January 28, 2021
In Nicaragua, the US-backed opposition has repeatedly run to the U.S. State Department and Congress to ask for their interference and to advocate for sanctions against their own country so as to accomplish their only objective: to seize power. Their intention and that of the US is to create a situation of chaos and dislocation such that it brings about a violent “regime change.” After two years of US sanctions (Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act, or Nica Act), Trump stated in November 2020 that Nicaragua poses “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” This technically gives the US the green light to take military action against Nicaragua if and when it deems necessary. Equally disturbing was a leaked document from the US State Department (Responsive Assistance in Nicaragua , or RAIN) that lays out how, if President Daniel Ortega does win the presidential election in November 2021, there are plans to overthrow him and his administration through mob violence assisted by US-financed NGOs and any other means possible. In the face of continued US aggression, the Nicaraguan government has asserted its determination not to be a US client state in the region, but to be its own sovereign nation and not dance to the tune of the US. This is a reality which the US refuses to accept. Will things change under President Biden?
January 25, 2021