No Change in Nicaragua’s Dictatorship

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryWell, Nicaragua still has political prisoners from the marches and demonstrations from last year in jail, and human rights abuses by the police and militias are widespread. Despite the government’s assurances that all political prisoners had been released, the opposition maintains that there are still people being held in prison for their protests and beliefs. Meanwhile, the economy keeps on sliding because of the unrest. Nothing has changed in Nicaragua. The international non-government organization Human Rights Watch has documented the crimes against humanity by the Sandinista regime under Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, and the government has not prosecuted any of those responsible for the killing and torture of protesters from last year. The police and pro-government militias had killed 325 people, wounded and maimed 2,000, and the repression and instability has forced 67,000 Nicaraguans to flee the country.

While no one is sure how many political prisoners are left, it is estimated that there are 600 in detention and under house arrest. Not exactly a small number. The only bright spot is that the Organization of American States (OAS) has called upon the Nicaraguan government to release all political prisoners, and to not prosecute anyone for political activities. Further, the OAS has called for the restoration of all human rights and constitutional safeguards for all Nicaraguans. Fat chance. Ortega is fighting to maintain total power, and the Sandinistas, which have worked hard to take control of the country, have no intention of holding early elections and relinquishing that power. If anything, Ortega has changed the constitution so he can run for president indefinitely. The situation is very much like that of the socialist dictatorship of Venezuela, where its leader Nicolas Maduro intends to stay in power regardless of what the majority of Venezuelans want. Also, the Russians, Chinese and Cubans are doing what they can to help maintain these repressive, leftist governments retain control. The whole of the Americas have a lot to worry about.

Comments are closed.