Nicaragua

Anthony Vasquez / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Nine years ago this summer, leftist Mexican politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador called on his country to censure another country.

That other country was Honduras. Right-wing politicians there, backed by a right-wing oligarchy and military, had just staged a coup that ousted leftist President Manuel Zelaya – who was flown into exile in his pajamas.

Nicaragua is living an Orwellian nightmare.

Over the past three months, Daniel Ortega's government of "reconciliation and national unity" has killed more than 300 people, injured thousands and abducted and disappeared hundreds more. Sandinista "death caravans" of hooded police and government paramilitaries raid towns like hordes of invading Huns, firing battlefield weapons at unarmed protesters, dragging people from their homes, torching buildings and leaving dead bodies in the street.

Nicaragua saw another weekend of deadly violence, as forces in support of President Daniel Ortega besieged student protesters in a church and attempted to assert control over several areas outside the capital.

Alfredo Zuniga / AP via Miami Herald

The past few days in Nicaragua have been some of the bloodiest since protesters began calling for the removal of President Daniel Ortega in April. International human rights groups – and Nicaraguans in South Florida – are calling on the world to do more.

Alfredo Zuniga / AP

Human rights groups say the number of anti-government protesters killed by security forces in Nicaragua has risen sharply in recent days. That's prompted a key anti-government activist – who had fled to Miami – to go back to Nicaragua.

Alfredo Zuniga / Associated Press

More than 130 people have been killed in anti-government protests raging in Nicaragua since April. Demonstrators are calling for the removal of authoritarian President Daniel Ortega – but his security forces have responded with widely condemned brutality.

Claire Thornton

Nicaraguans in Miami eager to provide aid to their home country are planning to deliver medical supplies to those in need.

Recent anti-government protests in Nicaragua have caused the country to nearly shut down, and injured protesters do not have access to proper medical care, according to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights. The United Nations human rights office has asked Nicaragua's government to let it enter the country and gather evidence about the deaths of protesters, many of whom were students. Over 800 people have been injured, according to IACHR.

Hector Gabino, el Nuevo Herald

District 12 Commissioner Jose Diaz’s constituents in Miami-Dade County comprise the largest population of Nicaraguans in the United States. On Tuesday, Diaz helped pass a resolution condemning the Nicaraguan government’s use of force against protesters. He specifically wants to see action from the U.S. Congress.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Attendees of Friday night's Miami Fashion Week runway shows walked through an unglamorous scene to get to the downtown event: dozens of protesters wearing blue and white waved Nicaraguan flags and whistled at people walking into the venue, Ice Palace. They had gathered to express anger about the possibility that Camila Ortega Murillo, the daughter of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, would show up.

Associated Press

A meme making the rounds on social media in Nicaragua dryly sums up critics' view of President Daniel Ortega. Labeled "Questions To Be Addressed By The National Dialogue," as upcoming negotiations between the president and his opponents have been labeled, it includes only two: "When are you leaving?" and "Who are you taking with you?"

Alfredo Zuniga / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

While a growing global chorus calls for Nicaraguan strongman Daniel Ortega to step down, I’m thinking back to one of my favorite editorial cartoons.

It appeared 28 years ago, at the curtain call of Ortega’s first presidency – right after Nicaraguan voters tossed out him and his Marxist Sandinista party, ending their decade of authoritarian rule.

The cartoon shows Ortega rafting across the Caribbean to Cuba. Iconic communist dictator Fidel Castro stands onshore angrily shouting, “You lost a WHAT?!”

Associated Press

The U.S. government stripped its embassy in Nicaragua down to bare-bone operations Monday after five days of deadly protests around the country, despite Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's efforts to calm his tempestuous nation.

The State Department on Monday ordered nonessential employees and all embassy family members to leave Nicaragua.

In a public statement, the Department of State also warned travelers to "reconsider travel to Nicaragua due to crime and civil unrest."

Updated at 9:37 p.m. ET

The welfare reform package proposed by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega that set off days of deadly protests has been canceled.

In a televised national address, Ortega said the board of Nicaragua's social security system had voted to revoke the measures that were approved last week.

The sweeping pension overhaul plan that increases contributions for workers and employer, but lowers overall benefits.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The leader of Miami-Dade County public schools sharply criticized the Trump administration’s immigration policies Tuesday morning during a keynote that sounded like part stump speech, part sermon.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho delivered an impassioned address opening a bipartisan summit on immigration reform at the University of Miami, relating his own “journey” as a Portuguese immigrant who was once in the U.S. illegally.

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