NicaNotes: 10 Reasons to join us in Nicaragua in July

Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Sandinista Triumph, and Nine Other Reasons!

By Erika Takeo, Friends of the ATC National Coordinator & Avery Raimondo, Friends of the ATC Testimonies Project Coordinator

The “Solidarity with Nicaragua!” delegation will be taking place from July 11th to July 21st. This delegation is organized by a group of US and UK-based solidarity organizations (the Friends of the ATC, Alliance for Global Justice, and Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign) as well as Nicaragua-based social movement organizations (principally the Rural Workers’ Association or ATC). To explain our work and what delegates can expect in Nicaragua, participants from our January trip recently put together a report back webinar. It’s definitely worth a watch, but for those who don’t have 56 minutes and 44 seconds to spare, we’ve come up with a list of 10 reasons to come on our July delegation!

To join our delegation, please email erikatakeo.atc@gmail.com for an application.

10 Reasons to come to Nicaragua in July for the “Solidarity with Nicaragua!” delegation

  1. Experience Nicaragua for yourself, a year after the country defeated a U.S.-sponsored coup attempt.
  2. Meet historic social movement leaders in the ATC, the organization that accompanied the 1980s agrarian reform and 1990s peace and reconciliation process in Nicaragua, and helped found the international peasant movement La Via Campesina. Also meet young and emerging social movement leaders studying at the Latin American Institute of Agroecology (IALA).
  3. Learn how peasant organizations and government programs have promoted local agriculture, especially led by women, allowing Nicaragua to be completely self-sufficient in beans, corn, beef, milk, and many vegetables.
  4. Tour historic and cultural sites in Managua, like the Plaza of the Revolution and the Salvador Allende Port, with expert guides.
  5. Visit rural communities and exchange with host families about life in the Nicaraguan countryside. Past delegates have loved cooking traditional Nicaraguan cuisine like rosquillas and hearing stories of how Nicaragua has changed over the years.
  6. Unite forces within the solidarity movement. Solidarity networks Friends of the ATC, Alliance for Global Justice and the UK’s Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign (along with the social movement organizations of La Via Campesina Nicaragua) will all be collaborating to put on this delegation. Whether you’re returning or new to solidarity organizing, we need your ideas and energy!
  7. Interview workers, peasants, women, and youth who’ve struggled to build a stronger Nicaragua. A main goal of this delegation is to build the Friends of the ATC’s testimonies project.
  8. Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution by joining thousands of Nicaraguans in the Plaza de la Fe on July 19th!
  9. Mingle with well-known internationalists including Dan Kovalik and many other contributors to “Live from Nicaragua: Uprising or Coup?”, a new reader that details the violence that engulfed Nicaragua last year, the different players involved, and the corporate media’s manipulation of those events.
  10. Stay later and enjoy Nicaragua’s beaches, lakes, and volcanoes. Affordable, safe, and beautiful, Nicaragua is a great place to take a summer vacation!

Read more about the experience of our delegations to Nicaragua:

January 2019 Delegation Report

Fresh Eyes on Nicaragua: A Renewed Sense of Internationalism by delegate David Archuleta of Alliance for Global Justice

How A Women-Led Coffee Cooperative Transforms their Society through Food Soveriegnty, Feminism, & Family by delegate Colin Lawton of WhyHunger

Food Sovereignty & Agrarian Reform in Nicaragua by delegate Betty Fermin of WhyHunger

Food Sovereignty & Peasant Agroecology in Nicaragua by delegate Tyler Short of Sustainable Grown Louisville

 

BRIEFS

By Nan McCurdy

Pope Francis Removes Bishop Baez from Nicaragua
Tuesday April 23 the Auxiliary Bishop of Managua, Silvio Jose Baez, flew to Rome at the request of the Pope. In October of 2018 the San Pablo Apostle Christian Base Community revealed a number of recordings of Baez. In one he said he would like to see President Ortega killed by a firing squad. In another he confirmed that he organized the opposition and that they would be nothing without him. In one he talked about how great the roadblocks were. This was inflammatory as many people were killed, kidnapped and tortured at those roadblocks. In October and November 2018 this same Christian Base Community collected nearly 600,000 signatures with documentation asking the pope to remove Bishop Baez from Nicaragua.  In the recordings Baez also denigrated the Cardinal, so it is rumored the Cardinal also asked for his removal. Papal Nuncio Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, sent by Pope Francis in May 2018 has seen the behavior of Baez and how he undermines the negotiations from behind the scenes, so it is also rumored that he may have asked the Pope to consider removing Baez. (Radio La Primerisima, El Nuevo Diario, 4/23/19, and past NicaNotes)

Government Negotiating Team Reports
April 23 the six members of the government negotiating team reported on advances in the negotiating process including agreements on the agenda and process.  They also agreed on freeing from prison the majority of those detained, tried and sentenced for violence related to the 2018 coup attempt. The government has unilaterally removed 236 people from prison who now enjoy “house arrest.” The opposition had promised to request the lifting of economic sanctions, but have not fulfilled on this agreement. (Radio Ya, Radiolaprimerisima, El Nuevo Diario, Canal 2, 4/23/19)

Deaths in Holy Week
There were 741 traffic accidents between April 13 and 21 with 20 deaths. In Nicaragua’s many ocean, lake and river beaches there were 22 deaths by drowning. (El 19, Radiolaprimerisima, 4/23/19)

Only Political Parties Should Be Involved in Electoral Reform
Independent Constitutionalist Liberal Movement leaders said that an eventual reform to the electoral laws “must be carried out exclusively by the legal political parties and by movements that are in process of obtaining their legal standing.” They announced that on April 11 this Liberal Party faction sent its own reform proposal to the negotiating table between the government and the opposition alliance and to the witnesses, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE), so that within the Memorandum of Understanding between the Nicaraguan government and the OAS “the next general elections in 2021 will begin to be outlined with all the guarantees that will allow for greater transparency so that those of us who participate in the process and the voters who decide will be fully satisfied with the results.” The statement was issued at this time because opposition NGOs and alliances have wanted to make decisions about electoral reforms. (Informe Pastran 4/22/19)

Remittances Continue to Grow
The Nicaragua Central Bank (BCN) reported that remittances to the country surpassed US$246.5 million during the first 2 months of this year, 7.3% over the amount reported in the same period of 2018. The report also noted that the United States (53.8%) and Costa Rica (19.8%) were the main sources of these remittances. (Nicaragua News, 4/22/19)

Economic Losses from the Coup Attempt compared to costs of Social Security Reforms
The Central Bank of Nicaragua determined in early April that the economic losses in 2018 were US$453 million.  Over 154,000 jobs were lost and there was US$204 million in damage to infrastructure. During the same period the proposed social security reforms would have cost the big business sector US$60 million. The business sector called on people to protest the Social Security reforms which would have maintained retirement age at 60 and increased employer contributions. When the government withdrew the law the protesters asked for President Ortega to resign, leading most analysts to believe that the social security protests were just a cover for a coup attempt. (Informe Pastran, 4/22/19)

Sales Great during Holy Week
The eight largest markets reported excellent sales during Holy Week, especially of things related to summer, beaches and vacationing.  A lot of this had to do with a Summer Discount Fair promoted by micro, small and medium businesses. (Radiolaprimerisima, 4/22/19)

No Detentions for Protesting
The opposition through their media outlets reported 160 people detained, some of the opposition said they were kidnapped; no proof was provided. The police report that no protesters were detained during Holy Week. (Radiolaprimerisima, 4/22/19)

Pope Supports Negotiations for Peace in Nicaragua
Easter Sunday, Pope Francis welcomed efforts to find a peaceful and negotiated solution for the benefit of all Nicaraguans. In front of 70,000 faithful and pilgrims present, the Pontiff urged that “in the face of the many sufferings of our time, the Lord of Life does not find us cold and indifferent.” Pope Francis invited the faithful to identify the features of the risen Christ, saying, he is alive, he is our hope and what he touches becomes new. Jesus wants us to enjoy a full life, and he accompanies us as we begin again. In a moment of desolation, he gives us back strength and hope. With the resurrection the world became open to the reign of love, peace and fraternity, the Pope stated. (Radio La Primerisima, Nicaragua News, 4/21/19)

Thousands Find Recreation at Salvador Allende Port
During Holy Week more than 8,000 people visited this recreation port center on Lake Managua every day. (Radio La Primerisima, 4/22/19)

Police Catch Dangerous Criminal Gang in the Heart of Managua
National Police agents captured members of a criminal gang known as Los Yoguis, who were involved in numerous crimes such as drug trafficking in Managua. (According to the authorities, the subjects were also part of the “Viper” criminal group, which, beginning in late April 2018 used The UPOLI, a Baptist-affiliated university, as a criminal command, directing assaults, torture, arson and murders against the population of Managua as part of the attempted coup.) At the time of their capture, the gang members were found in a white Hyundai Tucson truck with no license, wearing camouflage shirts, ski masks, and had a chain cutter, among other items. The authorities also reported that the detainees entered the country from Costa Rica through the border post of Peñas Blancas on Maundy Thursday, April 18, when they began to pursue them. At the time of the police chase they crashed into a tree near the Managua Institute of Legal Medicine where they were captured. (Radio La Primerisima, 4/19/19)

Nicaragua Receives 33,000 Tons of Wheat from Russia
A ship, coming from Russia, arrived on April 17 at the Port of Corinto with 33,000 tons of wheat donated by the Russian Federation. This is the first shipment of flour that is planned in 2019, according to information provided by the Nicaraguan Company of Exports and Imports. Pablo Gerald Lopez, manager of the Port of Corinto, said that it will take six days to unload the wheat.

(Radio La Primerisima, 4/19/19)

Live from Nicaragua: Uprising or Coup?
A year after the failed coup that roiled Nicaragua for three months,  it is time to tell the truth and correct the historical record about what actually happened during three months of violence. The Alliance for Global Justice, with contributions by over 20 co-authors plus editors, photographers, videographers, and folks who lived the terror of those times, has produced a free electronic book available in pdf and electronic book formats. Live from Nicaragua: Uprising our Coup? is a reader with both original articles and reprints of articles written during the troubled times.

How to obtain Live from Nicaragua: Uprising or Coup?

The book is available free online in both e-book format and as a PDF
The e-book version offers the .epub and .mobi formats.

For the e-book version
– Click on the link to save the file to your device, then open the .zip file to access the version you want.

For a Kindle hand-held device
– Open the compressed e-book file on your computer and connect the Kindle device to your computer
– Use your mouse to move the ‘Kindle content’ folder in the opened e-book file to the ‘documents’ folder on the Kindle device
– Once copied, disconnect the Kindle. ‘Live from Nicaragua’ should appear on its home page.

For the PDF version
– Click on the link and save the file to your device