Why tiny Nicaragua is a big problem


The turmoil in Nicaragua has been overshadowed by events in nearby Venezuela, Haiti and Cuba, not to mention other parts of the world, notes Nahal Toosi. But the tiny country in its own way has come to epitomize two of the key challenges that President Joe Biden says the world’s democracies cannot ignore: the rise of authoritarianism and the spread of corruption. If November’s election goes the way Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, have scripted it, it could also deepen the hemisphere’s migration crisis, she writes for POLITICO.

But as repression has intensified and it’s become clear that November’s elections won’t offer voters a real choice, the climate inside Nicaragua is akin to a “state of terror,” prominent Nicaraguan journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro said. Chamorro is the director of the news organization Confidencial and he himself faces criminal charges from the regime. His sister, Cristiana Chamorro, is one of the targeted potential presidential candidates and is under house arrest. Their brother Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, a politician and activist, has been imprisoned. RTWT

The plight and courage of Nicaragua’s civil society was highlighted in the award of this year’s NED Democracy Award to the Colectivo de Derechos Humanos Nicaragua Nunca Más (above), a group dedicated to preserving historical memory in Nicaragua and seeking justice for victims of the state-led violence unleashed by the Ortega regime in 2018.

The NED also recognized Honduran media group Contracorriente, Guatemala’s Myrna Mack Foundation (MMF) and Salvador’s Asociación Transparencia, Contraloría Social y Datos Abiertos (Transparency, Social Oversight, and Open Data Association, or TRACODA).

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