But Nicaraguans Will Not Let the Evil Empire Dictate Who They Vote For, with Sandinista Revolutionary leader Daniel Ortega Poised to Return to Power
(This article was originally published in Covert Action Magazine on Nov. 3, 2021.)
By Nan McCurdy
(Nan McCurdy is the editor of NicaNotes. Now working in Mexico, she lived over 30 years in Nicaragua. She is currently in Nicaragua for the Nov. 7 elections.)
The Sandinista party won with 62% of the vote in the 2011 elections and with 72.5% in 2016. Polls show the Sandinista party winning with between 64% and 75% in the November 7 elections, during which more than 3 million people will vote for President and Vice President, 90 National Assembly representatives and 20 Central American Parliament representatives.
The likely reason for such a majority vote for the Sandinista party is that people want the progress their families have experienced since 2007, like universal free health care and education, to continue; Nicaragua has made the greatest investments in infrastructure, including new modern health facilities and road networks, in the Central American region.Since 2007, poverty has been cut in half, maternal mortality has dropped by 70%, infant mortality by 61% with a 66% reduction in chronic malnutrition in children 6 to 12 years old. With a high percentage of small and medium-scale farmers and significant government investment in training and local food-production programs, Nicaragua has achieved 90% food sovereignty.
In the last 14 years potable water access has risen from 65% to 92%; electricity coverage has increased from 54% to 99% and 80% of the energy comes from renewables; in fact Nicaragua is number three in the world in renewable energy. In gender equality Nicaragua has gone from 62nd to 5th in the world; and it holds first place in the world for women’s health and survival, women’s educational attainment and women cabinet ministers.
The satisfaction of the population with public services, Nicaragua’s transparency, lack of corruption and good project execution is even recognized by international banks.
The U.S. strategy in the 2021 elections is to declare the elections illegitimate even before they take place.
The U.S. has intervened in every election since Nicaragua’s first free and fair election which took place in 1984. That year, the U.S. used the Contra War and the U.S. economic blockade to twist the arm of the population. But when polls showed the Sandinista Party winning by a large margin, they told “their” candidate, Arturo Cruz, to drop out and say he was not participating because the elections were not going to be free and fair.
RAIN: a CIA regime change plan
A United States Agency for International Development (USAID) regime change document was leaked to independent Nicaraguan journalist, William Grigsby in July of 2020 from the U.S. embassy.
RAIN, or Responsive Assistance in Nicaragua (RFTOP No: 72052420R00004) is a Terms of Reference contract for hiring a company to oversee what it refers to as a “transition” – a word used more than thirty times in the document. It was written in the spring of 2020 and much of the U.S. destabilization activity to try to get the Sandinistas out of power has likely been under this plan.
“The purpose of this activity is to provide rapid responsive … assistance to create the conditions for, and support, a peaceful transition to democracy in Nicaragua [regime change].”“RAIN will contribute to the Mission’s … objective of enabling the environment for Nicaragua’s transition to democracy.”
“…targeted short-term … activities during Nicaragua’s transition that require rapid-response programming support until other funds, mechanisms and actors can be mobilized.”“Rain will pursue these activities against a variety of scenarios…
- Free, fair and transparent elections lead to an orderly transition [the US-backed party wins].
- A sudden political transition occurs following a crisis [including a health crisis] leads to a new government [a coup d’état]
- Transition does not happen in an orderly and timely manner. In the case that a transition does not happen and the regime is able to hold onto power … by winning fairly, then RAIN … will relate to bridging to…longer-term activities…”
“…Any national election could yield a result accepted by Nicaraguans and the International community.” [recognition that the Sandinistas could win in free and fair elections]
“If the regime remains resilient RAIN … will have the ability to respond … outside of other USAID programming [covertly], to … needs to maintain civil society on track…”
“A delayed transition may require greater emphasis on … civil society leadership, with discreet technical assistance types of activities …”
“In the case of a coup, RAIN [the US, the CIA] takes actions to show the new government is legitimate [like US recognition of the new government].
In the case of a Sudden Transition [coup], RAIN will likely require more use of Rapid Response Funds, … with attention to potential for conflict, legitimacy of new government actors and setting up the transition for success.”
U.S. actions to isolate Nicaragua
On September 24th at the United Nations, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with the presidents of Mexico and all Central American countries except for Nicaragua and gave them the order to isolate Nicaragua.
It is very unlikely that this will happen, despite all of these countries behaving in a relatively subservient way to the U.S.
The economic relations between Central American countries are very powerful and commerce between them is strong. Attempting to blockade Nicaragua would be difficult given that Central America is an isthmus and Nicaragua is right in the middle.
Not to mention that because Central American countries and Mexico already face a lot of problems, they likely do not want a problem with Nicaragua. They have generally good relations with Nicaragua, who is very respectful of other countries. The Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) has always wanted to achieve the integration of Central America.
Sanctions: another form of war
The U.S. first considered sanctions on Cuba in 1960 when Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Lester Mallory said that the purpose of a blockade on Cuba was to “bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.”
In the 1980s, in an attempt to overthrow the revolutionary Sandinista government that had taken power in 1979, the US funded counter-revolutionary forces against Nicaragua and declared an embargo on all trade with the country.
In 2018, the U.S. passed illegal unilateral coercive measures [sanctions] against Nicaragua. The Nicaragua Investment Conditionality Act (Nica Act)—which passed the House of Representatives with zero opposition by a 435-0 margin—directed the Executive Branch to “oppose new loans or agreements with Nicaragua through the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund; and directs agencies to create a ‘civil society’ engagement strategy [fund and support opposition groups], among other actions.”
The Nica Act was to punish Nicaragua for not being a subservient colony; it is not based on any wrong-doing. For example the multilateral lenders only praise Nicaragua for its transparency and efficiency in project execution, going so far as to specifically say it is not corrupt.
The Nica Act reduced multilateral loans hurting development in Nicaragua as well as impacting healthcare during the pandemic. With damage from two strong hurricanes in November 2020 and Covid-19 some of the institutions have provided loans.
A number of members of the government have been sanctioned as individuals, like Paul Oquist, Minister for National Policies, who has since passed away. Oquist was an internationally recognized expert on climate change and co-chair of the Green Climate Fund in 2018. Born in the U.S., he gave up his U.S. citizenship in the 80’s in protest of the Contra War.
On October 16 the Pope tweeted this about sanctions:
In order to punish Nicaragua further for having a growing economy, outdoing the other Central American nations in health care, education, infrastructure and all statistics related to poverty, and for having the lowest Covid death rate in the region, Congress is now on the verge of passing further sanctions called the RENACER Act.
Activists lobbying against this bill learned from Congressional Aids that members of Congress have received significant pressure from the U.S. government through USAID, Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy and others.
The RENACER Act (Reinforcing Nicaragua’s Adherence to Conditions for Electoral Reform) is a form of coercion to try to get Nicaraguans to vote against the Sandinista government. Nicaraguans know what sanctions mean for their economy. RENACER would make development financing even more difficult to get and could possibly make the economy scream.
The bill has passed the Senate and will likely go up before the House soon. The bill would already have passed without a formal vote, like the Nica Act, if it weren’t for impressive lobbying efforts by constituent friends of Nicaragua.
The RENACER ACT applies targeted sanctions to card-carrying Sandinista members, some 2.1 million people, a third of the population.
Included in the stated reasons for attacking Nicaragua with RENACER are two laws that Nicaragua passed in October 2020: the Foreign Agents Regulatory Law—similar but not as stringent as the US FARA law, and the Cybercrimes Law, also not nearly as punitive as U.S. cybercrimes laws. Astounding considering that the US has the same laws!
U.S. funding of propaganda
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided US$234 million to Nicaraguan civil society from 2015 to 2121; and with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and others, the U.S. gave well more than US$300 million openly to their Nicaraguan operatives and the nongovernment organizations they manage.
Below is some of the funding for media outlets that stirred up anti-Sandinista hatred and distrust of the government, in favor of the 2018 U.S.-directed coup attempt. The media created and/or funded included slick websites, online magazines, social media, radio, tv and syndicated shows and the only newspaper that existed at the time, rabidly anti-Sandinista.
In 2007 when the Sandinista Party returned to the presidency, U.S. agencies began providing funds to create media, including web-based outlets and social media pages to invent and spread lies, fake news and disinformation to influence both Nicaraguans and the international audience. The U.S.-funded fake news outlets are the sources used by the U.S. mainstream media. Your tax dollars fund propaganda in Nicaragua that you then read in your local paper.
U.S. Money to influence the November 2021 elections
Much of the U.S. money for media was channeled through the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, run by Cristiana Chamorro, daughter of former president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (who was handpicked by the U.S. to be the 1990 candidate to oppose the Sandinistas). In the lead-up to the current elections USAID provided the Foundation with U.S. $998,958 in 2020 and U.S. $1.601 million in 2020-2021. Part of that money is reflected below together with funding for other NGO’s.
After Nicaragua passed laws to keep foreign money out of Nicaraguan politics in the fall of 2020, Chamorro shut down the foundation in February 2021 in order not to comply with the Foreign Agents Law which requires nonprofits to provide information on foreign funds received and evidence of how the funds were used.
According to Nicaraguan journalist William Grigsby and former Contra leader turned news analyst, Enrique Quiñones, Chamorro transferred some US$7 million to her personal accounts. Chamorro has been under house arrest since June 2nd, and along with nine others associated with the Foundation including her brother Pedro Joaquin, is accused of money laundering, abusive management of funds, misappropriation and other crimes. The newspaper La Prensa and a number of its executives are also being investigated for fraud and money laundering.
It is interesting to note that important USAID partners like the VBCF used to be listed on the website; and just in the last year the information has been redacted.
The Nicaraguan Public Ministry has accused or is investigating more than 30 people for crimes like fraud, money laundering, conspiracy, and treason. Many of those accused of conspiracy, treason and other crimes were involved in the 2018 coup attempt.
However, they are not being investigated for that involvement because in June 2019 the government gave amnesty to everyone involved in the coup attempt. The current accusations are for requesting sanctions and other forms of war from a foreign country and for taking part in a new coup attempt.
The Nicaraguan Public Ministry Document of Accusations describes some of the crimes
“The crimes consisted of triangulating funds from US institutions like the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in order to create organizations, associations and foundations that would channel resources to other organizations, projects, programs and people.”
Since these investigations began in June the U.S. media has fallen into line accusing Nicaragua of wrong-doing. Their headlines stated that Nicaragua was jailing presidential precandidates and disqualifying any opposition parties to ensure that the Sandinistas would win.
First of all the polls show the Sandinistas winning with anywhere from 64% to 75% of the vote. Secondly the five people the media say were precandidates were not even members of a party. Under Electoral Law parties do not officially inscribe candidates until the month of August and there is no such thing as a pre-candidate.
In any case, along with an Alliance that includes the FSLN and eight other legal parties, six more parties are running, many more than in any election in the US. The government provides campaign funds to the parties.
All but one of the parties with representatives in the National Assembly are running. And the party that won second place in 2016, the Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC) is running.
Influencing Nicaraguan voters through Covid-19 scare tactics
The U.S.-directed media in Nicaragua and its echo-chamber in the international press have carried out health terrorism since Covid-19 began, asserting that many more people are sick and dying than is the case. This is part of the media distortion described above.
Unfortunately due to these lies, as Covid-19 was beginning, some people didn’t go to the hospital for fear of getting sicker like the U.S.-backed media purported. And some of these people died.
Nicaragua spends a fifth of its budget on health care and has invested millions in new infrastructure and equipment, including 22 new hospitals!
Nicaragua has had far fewer cases per capita than any country in the Americas: The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) which calculates excess deaths worldwide shows 268 deaths for Nicaragua, 7,521 for Costa Rica and 10,760 for Honduras.
Despite having the lowest Covid mortality rate in the Americas, the U.S. embassy lists Nicaragua as a level 4—do not travel country, whereas Honduras, much more dangerous for Covid-19 or simply for murder and violence, is listed as Level 3.
The U.S. also practices vaccine diplomacy: it has given vaccines to all of the Central American nations—except Nicaragua. Although Nicaragua has been vaccinating since March, only in October did it get larger quantities of vaccines from Spain, Russia, India and the COVAX Mechanism, vaccinating the population from age 30 up.
The U.S.-backed media says people are fleeing political persecution
The U.S.-backed media says people are fleeing political persecution. This is another lie the U.S. has ramped up for the elections. According to the Department of Homeland Security between 2015 and 2018 the yearly average number of Nicaraguans apprehended at the border was 2292, very small compared to Hondurans at 63,741.
U.S. Border Patrol has encountered more Nicaraguans in 2021 (33,000), but still low compared to Hondurans (218,000) and Salvadorans (73,000). Tom Ricker of the Quixote Center says the push factors include Covid-affected economies for all the migrants, wrecked tourism, which provided substantial employment in Nicaragua; destruction of crops by two major hurricanes in 2020 affecting Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; and the 2018 sanctions of the Nica Act along with the threat of more sanctions. Prior to Covid-19 there were seasonal jobs in Costa Rica, but now there are more people returning to Nicaragua.
Honduras and U.S. Double Standards
Honduras will also have elections in November, but the U.S. is not trying to oust the government even though its president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, blatantly rigged elections, stole millions from Honduran social services, and has been accused of protecting drug traffickers and helping to flood the US with cocaine.
W.T. Whitney Jr. wrote in People’s World:
Honduras’s poverty rate is 70% … Violence at the hands of criminal gangs, narcotraffickers, and the police is pervasive and usually goes unpunished. According to insightcrime.org, Honduras was Latin America’s third most violent country in 2019 and a year later it registered the region’s third highest murder rate … Honduras, followed by Guatemala and Mexico, registered the highest rate of emigration to wherever between 1990 and 2020 …
What will the impact be on Nicaragua’s elections?
The U.S. government has been extremely successful in terms of getting the press, in chorus, to denigrate Nicaragua’s Sandinista government for being a “dictatorship.”
It’s been even more successful at keeping all the good news of Nicaragua’s amazing social and economic advances out of the U.S. press. If you only read mainstream sources you would have no idea that Nicaragua is the safest most secure and highly functional country in the region.
The government of Nicaragua reaffirmed at the United Nations General Assembly that in the November 7 elections it is not the U.S. Empire that will choose but the Nicaraguan people.
During his UN speech, Foreign Minister Denis Moncada reaffirmed Nicaragua’s commitment to continue working for peace, security and tranquility of individuals, families and communities. Statistically, every aspect of life has improved under the Sandinistas and the intention to vote Sandinista has increased monthly in the polls.
It appears that U.S. sanctions, coercion, and disinformation will have little effect on how Nicaraguans vote.
Author’s note: To help stop the RENACER Act please go here.
By Nan McCurdy
New US Intervention Utilizing Facebook
On October 31, the United States launched a new anti-democratic campaign days before the Nicaraguan elections. It did this through Meta (Facebook) which censored about 1,000 accounts and pages of activists, communicators and digital platforms in Nicaragua, simply because they expressed their support for the Sandinista Revolution. Facebook executives claimed that these were “trolls” (fake accounts), which is false. This author personally knows many of them. They are real people who share the truth and show the world the progress that Nicaragua has made in the last 14 years of the Sandinista government.
Despite the media siege, thousands of people are still active in their social networks, reaffirming their revolutionary commitment. On November 7, the people will express themselves through the vote. This attempt to silence them is destined to fail.
It has been shown that in 2018 the US financed actual bot farms outside of Nicaragua. Call centers in El Salvador as well as Miami were bringing in online traffic in an attempt to destabilize the country and push a coup through social media—these were completely fake accounts spreading violence and fake news against the Sandinista government. The US is an expert at this. The bot farms continue to this day and Facebook does nothing to stop them, because they are spreading the disinformation the US wants. These fake opposition accounts are easy to spot because they have absolutely no personal information or photos on their profiles, usually only a generic opposition image as their profile picture, and repeating the same messages (comments) over and over to push the US narrative. From various journalists, individuals, and media outlets blocked by Facebook.
More than 2.8 Million People Vaccinated
At the end of October The Health Ministry had vaccinated 2,825,494 people against COVID-19. Just in the last week. 949,670 people were vaccinated. (Radio La Primerisima, 31 October 2021)
Indigenous Property Titles Equal a Third of Nicaragua
The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) reported that all 25 Indigenous Territories have now been demarcated and titled, in such a way that the rights of 39,531 families to their ancestral lands have been restored. 371,800 square kilometers, 31.16% of the national territory, belongs to the Indigenous communities of the Caribbean. The PGR gave titles to the Indigenous communities Mayagna Sauni Bu and Mískitu Indian Tasbaika Kum, complementary areas of Alto Wangki and Bocay. Of the Mayagna Sauni Bu territory, 313.7 square kilometers were titled and of the Miskitu Indian Tasbaika Kum territory, 279.75 square kilometers were titled. Denis Sanchez, Deputy Attorney General, said “The delivery of these property titles is the culmination of an arduous process that is nothing more than the restitution of the right to property of the original peoples. What was taken away from them 500 years ago, the right to land, is being returned to them. This document implies legal security. There was a process of delimitation which allows the indigenous territorial governments to administer that area and not allow invasion.”
Shaira Downs, president of the National Commission of Demarcation and Titling, CONADETI, said that the delivery of titles is part of a policy of the Nicaraguan State. “These titles belong to the two complementary areas of the Upper Wangki based on a culture of peace and harmony between human beings and mother earth. In 2019 we began the process of organization and implementation of all established in Law 445,” she said. The restitution of rights to Indigenous communities is a project of the Sandinista Popular Revolution since 1980 and since 2007 became one of the priorities of the government through the titling program. Denis José Pérez Zelaya, who lives in the Kiuhsi community in the Mayagna Sauni Bu territory, said “We thank the government of Daniel Ortega who has made this great effort to give these titles to Indigenous people. We always hoped to have this title, now we have to take better care of our land, of our rivers and not waste it because it is the inheritance for more generations,” he said. (Radio La Primerisima, 29 October 2021)
Historic Agreement Between Honduras and Nicaragua
President Daniel Ortega and Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández took a historic step in bilateral relations and for Central America by signing an agreement that delimits the maritime borders between the two countries, in accordance with the World Court rulings of 1960, 1992 and 2007. The treaty also contemplates the integration of the Gulf of Fonseca and guarantees the sovereign rights of Honduras to share that maritime region with Nicaragua and El Salvador. The two leaders also issued a joint communiqué. “We are talking about a transcendental step that has to do with the border delimitation in the northern part of our country, with Honduras, from the Caribbean Coast to the Pacific Coast, in the Gulf of Fonseca,” explained President Ortega. The ceremony was attended by the main military and foreign relations authorities of both countries, and on the Honduran side, several former foreign ministers were also present. See more: https://radiolaprimerisima.com/noticias-generales/destacado/historico-honduras-y-nicaragua-firman-acuerdo-fronterizo/
(Radio La Primerisima, 27 October 2021)
FAO Highlights Sandinista Anti-Poverty Strategies
The Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Mr. Qu Dongyu, welcomed the agricultural development of Nicaragua, the convergence of policies with the work of the FAO, and the level of commitment of its institutions, programs, joint projects and strategies that have proven to be successful in combating poverty.
Foreign Minister Denis Moncada was received by Mr. Qu Dongyu at the FAO headquarters in Rome. Mr. Dongyu reiterated his gratitude to the Sandinista Government for having hosted the Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, which he described as historic. Foreign Minister Moncada ratified the importance of the FAO, “with which we continue to work prioritizing poverty alleviation, food security and the rural sector in our Plan to Fight Poverty and Promote Human Development, and whose ambition is to reach 95% food security coverage by 2026. (Radio La Primerisima, 27 October 2021)
North Caribbean Connected to Electricity Grid
Nicaragua celebrates the entry into operation of the Siuna-Rosita-Bilwi 138 kV Electric Transmission Line which consists of 208 km of network from the Siuna Substation to the new Bilwi Substation, thus joining for the first time in the history of Nicaragua the Northern Caribbean to the National Electric Interconnected system. The project included the construction of two new substations (Rosita and Bilwi), the expansion of the Mulukuku and Siuna substations, and the installation of 70 km of fiber optic cable. (Informe Pastran, 1 November 2021)
Expired ID Cards Can Be Used to Vote
The National Assembly approved the special law for the validity of expired identity cards only to guarantee the right to vote in the November 7 elections. “It is a law of patriotism, it is a civic law, which gives the opportunity to all Nicaraguans to exercise their right to vote, regardless of whether they have an expired or valid ID card. We believe that this initiative will contribute to the better development of these elections,” said Deputy Edwin Castro. (Radio La Primerisima, 26 October 2021)
CSE Swears in Polling Station Members
On October 30 and 31 the Municipal Electoral Councils of all the municipalities were trained and sworn in by the Supreme Electoral Council as polling station board members, concluding with the activity No. 22 of the Electoral Calendar. In Estelí the training and swearing in took place at the National University branch in Estelí, at a teachers’ college, and at a secondary school and a primary school with the attendance of more than 4,000 members of the different parties. The trainings are carried out based on the Electoral Law so that the members have the necessary tools to work as mandated by the regulations. See photos: https://radiolaprimerisima.com/noticias-generales/destacado/cse-juramenta-a-miembros-de-las-jrv/
(Radio La Primerisima, 31 October 2021)
Credentials Given to Party Poll Watchers
The 163,877 poll watchers (one per party per polling station and one alternate) for 13,459 polling stations received the accreditations for the elections from the Supreme Electoral Council (SEC) on October 28. SEC president Brenda Rocha stated that each political party participating in the contest provided a list with the names of their poll watchers and alternates (50% women and 50% men) through the digital platform of the SEC. “We want to highlight the achievement of each party with regard to the gender equity law,” Rocha said. Each credential contains the personal information (name, ID number, and photograph), political party represented, the polling station and the voting center they are responsible for supervising, and on the back the information of the alternate. (Radio La Primerisima, 30 October 2021)
170 International Electoral Observers Expected
More than 170 people from the Americas, Europe and Asia have been accredited and will arrive to participate as electoral accompaniers on November 7, Vice President Rosario Murillo announced. Europeans come from Belgium, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Abkhazia, Italy, Ossetia, Russian Federation and from the Americas, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, United States, Honduras, Mexico and Panama. There are also accompaniers from Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Trinidad and Tobago, some of whom are already in Nicaragua, Murillo pointed out. The Vice President mentioned that the confirmation and itinerary of the electoral accompaniers has already been confirmed. (Radio La Primerisima, 28 October 2021)
New Highway between Rosita and Sahsa
The first section of the Rosita-Sahsa highway, in the Autonomous Region of the North Caribbean Coast will be inaugurated October 27. This important 25 kilometer road section of hydraulic concrete has generated 587 direct jobs during 25 months of construction and will benefit 148,112 people. The new road is a vital link of communication between the North Caribbean and the Pacific. (Radio La Primerisima, 26 October, 2021)
Women’s Police Station in Diriamba
The Commissioner Matilde Velázquez Women’s Police Station in the municipality of Diriamba was inaugurated on October 28. It is a space that provides security and support to families in situations of violence and risk. Jessica Leiva said that women deserve to live with an equal future, without stigmas, without stereotypes, without violence, a sustainable, peaceful future, with equal rights and opportunities. The police stations provide comprehensive support to women who face situations of violence through a model of coordinated work between state institutions. There are now 91 such police stations. (Radio La Primerisima, 28 October 2021)
Covid Cases Decreasing
The Health Ministry recorded a decrease in the number of Covid-19 cases during the week of October 19-26 when 398 patients with confirmed cases were treated and followed up. In the previous week, 504 patients were treated. The October 26 report states that to date, 12,260 Nicaraguans have recovered. (Radio La Primerisima, 26 October, 2021)
First Biogas Power Plant in Central America
The first electricity generation plant in Nicaragua and Central America based on biogas produced from wastewater is being built by the Nicaraguan Water and Sewer Company.
The generator will have a nominal capacity of 1 megawatt (MW), will be located at the Managua treatment plant and is 60% complete. It is expected to start operating in May 2022. This will contribute to Nicaragua’s electricity generation matrix. It is financed with funds from the Government of Nicaragua and the Development Bank of the Federal Republic of Germany (KfW). (Radio La Primerisima, 28 October 2021)
Autonomy Law Contributed to Women’s Empowerment
In honor of the 34th anniversary of the Autonomy Law, the Center for Multiethnic Women’s Studies and Information (CEIIM) of the Siuna Campus of the principal Caribbean Coast university, URACCAN, held a panel with women promoters of the autonomy law about women’s rights on the Caribbean Coast. The objective was promotion of intercultural dialogue based on the “decolonization and depatriarchalization of thought” claiming “our Autonomy as a legacy of our ancestral heritage and moving towards equity between women and men of our native peoples.” Professor Jacoba Davila said, “We also intend that the students learn about the great struggle of the autonomy process and that their contributions to this process are recognized, we want the new generation to soak up this knowledge since we know that our university is the daughter of autonomy since its creation.” Former deputy from the Caribbean Coast Ms. Ana Lazo Alvarez spoke about women in the construction of Regional Autonomy. “As coastal women … we have to defend autonomy; we do different things than the Pacific; we fight to have a standard of living relative to the Pacific, but above all we stand firm for the defense and demand compliance with the law of autonomy.” The veterinary student Freisy Cordero Gonzales emphasized the importance of the panel: “This is where we become aware as students of the importance of the processes of the Caribbean Coast and we know how the application of the law of autonomy has changed our lives.” Franchesca Martínez Montoya, student of local development, said, “We have seen positive changes in our towns; as women we have more participation in the development processes, we are no longer seen as before from the reproductive level and not at the productive level, today we have access to study any specialty and to make the corresponding decisions for the social good.” (Radio La Primerisima 28 October 2021)