Nicaragua Slams US And EU Sanctions

Nicaragua has hit out at a new raft of sanctions imposed on the country just hours before President Daniel Ortega’s inauguration on Monday.

The measures targeting a number of Nicaraguan officials were announced as Mr Ortega was sworn in for a fourth consecutive term of office in a ceremony in the capital Managua attended by dignitaries and guests from across the world.

Sanctions were imposed by the European Union and the United States, which denounced the November 7 elections won convincingly by Mr Ortega and his Sandinista National Liberation Front as “a sham.”

They have presented no concrete evidence to back their assertions, however, and hundreds of international observers described the elections as free, fair and transparent.

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The President Who Can’t Resist Defying The US Is At It Again

Since 1987, I have been coming to Nicaragua to show solidarity for its upstart band of merry men and women known as the Sandinistas. They, of course, led the unlikely successful revolution against the US-backed dictatorship of the Somoza family – a regime installed in 1934 and backed to the bitter end until finally overthrown in 1979.

Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans were killed by Anastasio Somoza as he attempted to cling to power by gunning down his own people and bombing towns by air. And still the Sandinistas triumphed, led by Ortega.

The US, which has been intervening in Nicaragua for more than a century, never accepted the Sandinista revolution and its leader. It has never abandoned the idea of the Monroe Doctrine announced in 1823 – a statement which declared the US claims sole dominion over the Western hemisphere…

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Sandinistas Won A Landslide Victory Because They Uplifted The Poor

As predicted by multiple polls, the Sandinistas, led by Daniel Ortega, won a resounding victory on the November 7th elections in Nicaragua. The elections were a referendum on the path that the Sandinista government has taken the country, which is grounded on large investments in social programs that have benefited people, especially the most disadvantaged, in every nook and cranny of the national territory.

Support for the reelection of the Sandinista government was astounding. Of the entire patron electoral (eligible voters), about 65% came out to vote and, of those, about 75.9% voted for the FLSN (Sandinista National Liberation Front) alliance ticket.

The victory of Sandinistas generated expected attacks, which seek to delegitimize the newly elected government in Nicaragua.

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US Threatens Regime Change In Nicaragua

The United States has continuously carried out acts of aggression against Nicaragua and its people for more than 150 years. Joseph Biden’s effort to undermine that country’s sovereignty is part of a long history of invasions, coups, and support for U.S. puppets. 

The Biden administration declared the recent election fraudulent before it had even taken place. The corporate media repeated lies about an “authoritarian dictatorship” that came straight from the State Department’s script. The United States congress voted overwhelmingly to pass the RENACER Act, a regime change plot featuring the imposition of sanctions meant to create misery for Nicaraguans. Sanctions are war by other means, the modern-day version of sending the marines. 

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Despite US Led Dirty Campaign, Nicaraguans Came Out In Force To Support The FSLN

Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council declared President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) winners in an election that drew 65% of the eligible 4.4 million voters. Although Washington and its allies in the region denounced the election as a fraud preceded by repression of the opposition, there was significant participation of the electorate; moreover, despite claims that Ortega ran virtually unopposed, his ticket was contested by several long-standing opposition parties. Winning 75% of the vote, the FSLN demonstrated solid strength despite the U.S. government and mainstream media campaign to delegitimize this election.

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Nicaragua Celebrates Democracy – Election Day Report

On the fight down to Nicaragua a few days ago to be one of 225 international official election accompaniers from 27 countries, the expat Nicaraguan woman sitting next to me was hostile to the current Sandinista government. She said there will be an election but no vote, because only one person is on the ballot. At the polling station in the colonial city of Leon this election morning, November 7, candidates from six political parties standing for president were in fact on the ballot: PLC, FSLN, CCN, ALN, APRE, and PLI.

Some of these parties included elements that tried in 2018 to violently overthrow the Nicaraguan government in a US-instigated regime change endeavor. All the perpetrators had been granted amnesty, despite such heinous acts as rape, torture, and even burning people alive, not to mention destruction of billions of dollars worth of public property.

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Women’s Struggle In Nicaragua: From Liberation Fighters To Building An Alternative Society

According to the Global Gender Gap Index, the Central American country of Nicaragua currently places twelfth in the world for gender parity, above the likes of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Since the 1979 Sandinista revolution, the living conditions for women have drastically improved, successes which even the period of neoliberal rule from 1990 to 2006 couldn’t completely overturn. Throughout the second Sandinista period—from 2007 until today—the material and social position of women has continued to strengthen. Recently, new laws protecting the political and economic rights of women have been ratified after organized campaigns from the Nicaraguan women’s movement, while women’s organizations are receiving unprecedented investment and interest from the socialist government.

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How Washington Recruited Ex-Sandinistas And Their MRS Party

Nicaragua’s history is replete with examples of self-described “leftists” undercutting the Sandinistas and joining hands with the US government and right-wing oligarchy. The MRS/UNAMOS, and leaders like Dora María Téllez, Sergio Ramírez Mercado, Hugo Torres Jiménez, and Victor Hugo Tinoco are perhaps the most high-profile case studies, but they are far from alone.

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When ‘Karens’ Flourished

In 2001, my main task in Nicaragua was to be a “Karen”: the obnoxious, entitled white woman who uses her privilege to get her way. Although I was only 25, I was able to lend my white face, my American accent and my pushy “get-me-your-manager” skills to women’s cooperatives to gain them access to and help them navigate the Nicaraguan bureaucratic system.

This was during the neoliberal years in Nicaragua, a time when the women we worked with – poor, working women – were simply dismissed by virtually any institution. Following on the popular Sandinista Revolution of the 1980s led by grassroots movements, the neoliberal governments from 1990 to 2006 were led by oligarchical elites who not only looked to the U.S. embassy for policy guidance, but culturally deferred to the U.S. as well.

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Nicaragua’s New Way

In 1999, when I first came to Ciudad Sandino, a city of 180,000 located just outside Managua, Hurricane Mitch had recently created 2.7 million homeless people in Nicaragua and Honduras.

The neoliberal government had pocketed the aid that came into the country. Ciudad Sandino had received 12,000 hurricane refugees who were living in black plastic tents, but those who had been living in Ciudad Sandino for decades weren’t in much better shape: most houses were walled with scrap wood and plastic. There was only one paved road in the city.

Neighbourhoods had only sporadic access to water, no sewage system and most homes weren’t connected to the electrical grid with its frequent blackouts.

The only hospital sat empty with no medicines or supplies. Children had to bring their own desks if they wanted to go to school.

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What Does Health Care For All Look Like?

I’d like you to imagine for a moment that you are the parent of a child with asthma, living in Ciudad Sandino, just outside the capital of Nicaragua, in a barrio called Nueva Vida, which was recently founded after your family – along with 1,200 other families – was flooded out of your home along the lakeshore in Managua during Hurricane Mitch. The year is 2001, and although your family now has a concrete house and the bus runs regularly down your street in the daytime, nights are filled with rival gangs throwing rocks and bottles, and regular work has been nearly impossible to find. These days, you travel into the market in Managua before dawn to wash potatoes for a vegetable seller; with what you earn, you can usually bring home a little food for your family’s lunch.

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United States Once Again Attacking Government Of Nicaragua

Since the house arrest of former president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro’s daughter Cristiana Chamorro for money laundering and other crimes, the US and international assault against the Sandinista government has grown. This is the continuation of an ongoing attack against Sandinismo that began long before the US and its regime change agents took advantage of Chamorro’s arrest. Precisely because the coup d’état against the Sandinista government failed in 2018 we see a continued offensive against Nicaragua. To achieve their goals, the US and its agents are throwing the kitchen sink of dirty tricks against the Sandinista government. One of the most damaging aspects is that the western media repeats US government and Nicaraguan opposition media disinformation talking points.

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Nicaragua Launches Plan To Fight Poverty And Promote Human Development

Ivan Acosta is Nicaragua’s minister of housing and public credit, with responsibility for key aspects of government planning. In July, he presented the country’s new “National Plan for the Fight against Poverty and for Human Development.” This builds on the achievements of Nicaragua’s Sandinista government since it returned to power in 2007 and sets out how they will continue if Daniel Ortega’s government is returned at November’s elections. Ivan Acosta is currently subject to personal US sanctions, along with many other Nicaraguan government officials and their family members.

Codepinks’s Teri Mattson spoke to the minister in a Zoom call and asked him to explain the plan and its background.

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Falling In Love With Your Community

Today’s world is complex and messed up. All the suffering among the great majorities for many people is just one more number while an increasing number of human beings are or feel isolated, depressed and alone, burdened down by the social consequences of decadent capitalism. However, in this hostile context Nicaragua, physically small but morally gigantic, is making real efforts to rebuild the country’s neighborhoods as social and political units, a mutual support network based on solidarity.

Many people who have grown up within the walls of residential or prestigious districts the world of the barrios is a distant, hostile and even scary place. However, for those of us who grew up and live in these neighborhoods, the barrio is our native territory, the place where we all know each other and greet each other, eye to eye, the place where there are no secrets because people have natural journalistic insight.

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Women In A Housing Cooperative Build Their Own Homes

Like every other country, Nicaragua needs more affordable housing.

To deal with the shortage, in many places it’s trying out community-based solutions, sharing responsibility between the government, the local authority and the families that need better conditions.

It relies on mutual aid: hours of work put in voluntarily by those benefitting from a scheme, to build not only their own houses but those of their neighbours. It’s a cooperative that really works.

I talked to two women members of one such group, Yadira Aguirre and Margine Martínez, about their work building houses in their small community in La Dalia in the mountainous north of Nicaragua.

They are working women, part of a group whose main earnings come from coffee harvesting on large farms for three months each year.

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