Nicaragua’s Simmering Crisis and the U.S. Policy Response
|22 Jul 2021
|1:00 pm — 2:00 pm EDT |6:00 pm—7:00 pm BST
Beginning in late May 2021, the Daniel Ortega regime in Nicaragua launched a wave of violent arrests of leading opposition politicians, student, business and campesino leaders, journalists, and high-level former Sandinista officials. The detentions include six presidential pre-candidates hoping to oppose Ortega in the November 2021 elections.
The wave of repression is the most severe since mid-2018, when street protests led to the deaths of over 320 people, most of them civilians gunned down by Sandinista police and pro-government paramilitaries. Since that time, the Sandinista-controlled legislature has passed a series of restrictive laws aimed at squeezing civil society groups receiving foreign funding, extending pre-trial detention to 90 days, and making it easier to criminalize opposition speech and activity. Indeed, many of the detained presidential candidates have been charged with “treason” and their whereabouts remain unknown.
The U.S. and European governments, international human rights bodies, and regional bodies such as the Organization of American States have condemned the recent crackdown, which shows no signs of abating.
What more can the international community do to improve human rights in Nicaragua and free political detainees in advance of the November 7th elections?
Please join the Latin American Program on Thursday, July 22, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST, for a discussion of the current situation in Nicaragua and the options for U.S. policy.
Moderator – Cynthia J. Arnson – Director, Latin American Program
Ambassador Mark Green – President, Director & CEO, Wilson Center
The Honorable Albio Sires – Chair, Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, U.S. House of Representatives
Berta Valle – Broadcast Journalist and wife of Nicaraguan presidential candidate Félix Maradiaga
Victoria Cárdenas – Businesswoman and wide of Nicaraguan presidential candidate Juan Sebastián Chamorro
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