Nicaraguans go on strike to protest Ortega’s grip on power

Latest news

    A woman embraces her son who was released by police in Managua on June 13 [Reuters/Oswaldo Rivas]

    Nicaragua‘s capital Managua has taken on the airs of a ghost town, as a day-long national strike is being held to protest two months of violent chaos under President Daniel Ortega.

    “This is a national and peaceful civil strike that covers the entire country and all economic activities, except those related to the preservation of life and the coverage of basic services for the population,” announced the National Alliance for Justice and Democracy, a key player in the stalled crisis talks.

    On Thursday, commerce stood still as shops, banks and eateries across the country closed for the “peaceful” strike ending at midnight.


    Images from the capital’s normally bustling Mercado Oriental market showed shuttered storefronts. Busses and taxis were nowhere in sight.

    At least 147 people have been killed, most of them students, since the unrest started more than six weeks ago, according to local human rights activists.

    A previous round of talks arranged by bishops broke up at the end of May after government security forces were accused of renewing brutal tactics to quash demonstrations.

    Talks will begin again on Friday, the bishops’ conference said in a statement.

    Translation: Today at noon, this is how the street of Jose Dolores Estrada, in the city centre, looks like. Stores closed. 

    Church dialogue 

    The Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua said that it has received an answer from President Daniel Ortega to its proposal for solving the impasse. 

    On Friday it will publicly unveil both their mediation offer and Ortega’s response – something the country has been anticipating for a week.

    Managua’s vocal auxiliary bishop Silvio Jose Baez tweeted that the Church supports “the national strike as an act of pressure and social protest.”

    The strike “will demand an end to the repression, and support democratic and peaceful change, and a return to dialogue,” he said.

    The strike will demand an end to the repression

    Silvio Jose Baez 

    The unrest started as a student-led protest against a reform that planed to cut pensions and social security, while increasing worker social contributions, an idea that Ortega later scrapped.

    But it now has expanded into a nationwide revolt against the president. 

    Ortega’s government has been elected three times since 2007, but now he refuses to accept responsability for the violence and has ignored calls to step down.  

    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights voiced “alarm and deep concern” over Nicaragua’s “serious human rights crisis” in a statement.

    The commission condemned “the excessive use of state force” and attacks on protesters by pro-government paramilitary forces, groups that “the State has the obligation to dismantle.”

    View the original article:

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

    In the same category are

    UN chief Antonio Guterres: Gaza ‘on brink of war’ UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged Israel and Hamas to recommit to a ceasefire that ended the 2014 war UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterr...
    Syria constitution: Turkey, Russia and Iran start Geneva talks Staffan de Mistura said he doesn't expect a major breakthrough, but 'progress is possible' Geneva, Switzerland - Representatives from Russia, Iran ...
    Saudi, UAE coalition enters airport compound of Yemen’s Hudaida Losing Hudaida would seriously weaken the Houthis by severing supply lines from the Red Sea to their stronghold in the capital Sanaa The battle bet...
    Uganda’s Asian exodus: Rose-tinted memories and current realities There are approximately 20 people displaced every minute as a result of conflict or persecution. This is according to recent figures from the United N...
    UN refugee agency: Record 68.5 million displaced worldwide Nearly 69 million people who have fled war, violence and persecution were forcibly displaced last year, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). In...
    North Korea’s Kim Jong-un in China for two-day visit China's state-run CCTV said the North Korean leader will stay in China from Tuesday to Wednesday North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has arrived for a ...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.