It has been about six months since the Nicaraguan protests first began and still the nation’s political climate remains in turmoil with several dead, many in fear, and others still resistant and hopeful of a better future.
These protests became a significant issue on April 12, 2018. According to The New York Times, the Nicaraguan government “made changes to the social security system that would have raised workers’ contributions and cut retirees’ pensions.” There was an almost immediate backlash and fury that was led by university students who protested against the government. As of today, more than 300 people have died fighting for change. When these protests first began, they were peaceful. Once the government got involved, violence became a major issue and it continues to be.
President Daniel Ortega was able to see how disturbed the Nicaraguan people were by what was imposed and a few days after the April protests, “the government withdrew the proposed social security changes.” Unfortunately, these efforts were not enough for the people of Nicaragua as they began to question Ortega’s presidency and began to push for his removal from office. This country’s political state is one that is being talked about as “corrupt” as Ortega is not leading and guiding the country as a democracy. It is important to note as well that his wife Rosario Murillo, serves alongside him as his Vice President.
President Ortega first led Nicaragua in 1984. Prior to this, according to the BBC News, he was involved with the “left-wing Sandinista revolution, which was launched to bring down the Somoza dynasty.” The Sandinistas also were able to “defeat the rise of the Contras,” who were rebels that the United States supported and sponsored. After his term ended in 1990, he kept losing the presidential election. It wasn’t until 2007, that he regained his role in office. He has been in office since and has been known to rewrite the constitution to keep his place secure in office. Nicaragua has come to be known as a regime being run by Ortega. While many have clearly opposed Ortega’s authority and position as president, his political party has worked to keep protestors silenced. Lives continue to be taken each day and civilians are still going to bed in fear that shotguns will reach their homes as the violence becomes a more significant issue in the streets of their cities. Many citizens are reliving the fear they once did when they were under the control of the Somoza dynasty.
While the outcome of this political situation is still one that is unknown, many live in hope that Nicaragua will find its way back to peace. Although there isn’t a realistic solidified solution as of now, the Nicaraguan people will continue fighting for justice and for a safe outcome. Several loved ones have been lost since the rise of violence, but their family members can only hope that this country gets the help they need. This is a situation that needs awareness to be raised. With violence only leading to more violence, the future of the unknown is unsettling for Nicaragua and is something citizens are pleading others to talk about. It can only be hoped that the resources and aid needed will reach any and all of the people in need of this assistance.