Just 40 years after the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza dictatorship, a severe crisis grips Nicaragua. Most Nicaraguans want nothing more than to see President Daniel Ortega, who has been in office now for eleven years, disappear from the political scene. Hivos, headquartered in The Hague, believes the Netherlands should use its membership in the UN Security Council to prevent a civil war and bring about a peaceful transition.
Assaults on journalists, persecution of press workers' unions, direct censorship and smear campaigns are a high cost that freedom of expression has paid in Nicaragua since demonstrations against the government of Daniel Ortega began in April.
During the 161st session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an empty chair across from the OAS Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Edison Lanzas, sums up the Nicaraguan government’s relationship with this issue in the country: absence.
The unequal battle that small farmer Francisca Ramírez is waging against the Nicaraguan government of Daniel Ortega has become so well-known that people are calling for her security and her rights from the political heart of Europe.
In the midst of unusual political tension and apathy, Nicaraguans will go to the polls on Sunday Nov. 6 to vote in elections marked by the absence of the main opposition force and international election observers.
The seventh consecutive nomination of Daniel Ortega as the governing party’s candidate to the presidency in Nicaragua, and the withdrawal from the race of a large part of the opposition, alleging lack of guarantees for genuine elections, has brought about the country’s worst political crisis since the end of the civil war in 1990.
Nearly three years after Nicaragua granted a 50-year concession to the Chinese consortium HKND to build and operate an interoceanic canal, the megaproject has stalled, partly due to a severe drought that threatens the rivers and lake that will form part of the canal.
The spectre of famine is haunting Nicaragua. The second poorest country in Latin America, and one of the 10 most vulnerable to climate change in the world, is facing a meteorological phenomenon that threatens its food security.
A five-century wait could come to an end when the Nicaraguan government grants a concession this year to a Chinese company to build a canal between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, despite local protests and international scepticism.