NicaNotes: A Timeline of Events in Nicaragua, April-July 2018

Produced by the Nicaragua Solidarity Coalition

The 2018 coup attempt in Nicaragua has been in the mainstream media lately but the coverage has been completely one-sided and does not reflect the horrors inflicted on the population by the coup mongers with money and training from the US. April 18 was the fifth anniversary of the beginning of this US-orchestrated coup in Nicaragua.

The Sandinista station Radio Ya was burned at the end of May 2018 by armed gangs with over 20 staff inside who escaped thanks only to the bravery of police and firefighters who rescued them under fire from opposition gunmen.

Here we present a timeline of events in Nicaragua from April to July 2018 which was produced by the Nicaragua Solidarity Coalition of which the Nicaragua Network/Alliance for Global Justice is a member. It uses information readily available online to provide a snapshot of the period in which the failed United States-directed coup attempt to overthrow Nicaragua’s government took place. Each item is a brief summary, not an exhaustive account of every incident during that time but it describes many of the horrors against Sandinistas and government workers from April to July 2018. The Nicaragua Solidarity Coalition hopes you will consider making a post every day on social media between now and July 17 using this information in order to raise awareness.

This is a section of the timeline showing the violence during one week in June 2018.

Click here to read the timeline on the web or you can read or download a pdf copy.


For more information and details see these books, investigations and interviews:
Live from Nicaragua: Uprising or Coup?
Dismissing the Truth: Why Amnesty International is Wrong about Nicaragua
Nicaragua 2018: Uncensoring the Truth.
Monopolizing Death: or how to frame a government by inflating a list of dead

You are invited to a Nicaragua Webinar


U. Maryland Students Explore Agroecology in Nicaragua
Sunday April 23, 2023
3pm EDT, 1pm Nicaragua, noon PDT, 8pm Greenwich/UK
*Terps, the U. Maryland Terrapins

Please join Professor Rick Kohn and University of Maryland students for this 75-minute webinar.  They completed a fall-semester seminar course, followed by a 2-week study abroad course with the ATC (Association of Countryside Workers).  They learned…
Nicaragua emits less than one eighth as much greenhouse gas per capita as the US.
And yet Nicaraguans:
– Produce 90% of their own food.
– Have eliminated most hunger and illiteracy.Have addressed income disparities.
– Continue improving production efficiency.
– Have democratic control of food production.
– Have nearly achieved economic parity among women and men.
How did Nicaragua do it?  In this webinar, you will hear what they learned.

This event is part of a monthly webinar series on Nicaragua.  Additional organizational sponsors are welcome.  Contact [email protected] to sign on.

By Nan McCurdy

Nearly Five Million Nicaraguans Traveled over Holy Week
The Nicaragua Tourism Board (INTUR) reported that 4,877,645 people traveled to various destinations of the country during the Holy Week holidays. The most visited destinations, including San Juan del Sur, Ometepe, Tola, Granada and Corn Island registered 100% hotel occupancy. INTUR Co-director Anasha Campbell stated that “the results registered during Holy Week exceeded by 11.6% projections set by INTUR.” She added that “at INTUR we are very pleased with these numbers because they are the result of coordination between the government and private businesses working towards recovery and strengthening of the tourism sector post pandemic.” (Nicaragua News, 13 Abril 2023)

Fewer Holy Week Deaths, Accidents and Crimes Compared to 2022
During Holy Week this year, there were 1,043 religious processions with 106,800 participants and 568 vigils with 57,800 participants. There were also four aquatic via crucis (stations of the cross) on Nicaragua’s lakes and rivers. Over a million vehicles were regulated on the highways. There was police vigilance in parks, markets, bus stations, and neighborhoods. The police answered 34,340 calls made to the police emergency number 118. There was police protection at 843 tourist centers and swimming areas. All this led to fewer crimes across the board compared to Holy Week 2022.

In 144 of 153 municipalities there were no homicides. In 134 municipalities, there were no traffic deaths. [Editor’s note: There were no mass shootings with automatic weapons. To have permission for a weapon is a very difficult process including notarized statements from several family members and a psychologist that you are in sound mental health, not depressed, and not an alcoholic or drug addict. Few weapons are in the hands of the population, in part, because the people are more interested in living in peace and tranquility.] (Detalles del MomentoTV program), 12 April, 2023

Government Consolidates Economic Growth
On April 13, Minister of Finance and Public Credit Iván Acosta presented his Annual Report to the National Assembly saying that, during 2022, the government continued the program to fight poverty and consolidated the path of economic growth. During 2022, the country’s foreign debt decreased by five percent, one of the best performances in Central America. Acosta highlighted the 2022 municipal elections, programs to fight poverty, security and safety in Nicaragua, gender equity advances, development on the Caribbean Coast, environmental policies for the protection of natural resources, growth in investment, important laws, decrees and agreements approved in 2022, and other issues that were included in the government’s summary of its management during the past year.

The Report states that, as of December 31, 2022, US$75.61 million in financing was provided to micro and small-scale agricultural producers, 51.2% higher than in 2021. Forty million dollars in private municipal investments were registered generating 2,148 new ventures. The GDP grew 3.8% and exports totaled US$7.73, 12.6% in growth compared to 2021.

Acosta pointed out that until 2017 the country was on its way to having the best economic development in its history, something that was destroyed by the 2018 coup attempt. “We are in April now and we will never forget what happened then. The country, until 2017, had reduced overall poverty from 48.3% to 24.9% and extreme poverty from 17.2% to 6.9%; that is, it decreased poverty by two points per year until 2017. Extreme poverty would have been reduced by now to about 3 percent,” he said. He went on to say, “These conditions were cunningly attacked by the enemies of the people, the greatest destruction of wealth in Nicaragua’s history incomparable with any other event, even the Managua earthquake. The failed coup attempt destroyed more than US$600 for each citizen, that is to say, each family lost approximately US$2,700 (US$27 billion in total) as a result of the coup attempt. In spite of all this, the government focused its best efforts to maintain public employment, to preserve the capacity to provide services to the population, such as health, education, citizen security, energy and water services.”

Acosta highlighted the strategy promoted by the government to save lives in the face of the pandemic and to keep the country in constant production so that the economy could function. “Looking at the reactivation of the economy in 2021, with more than 10.3 percent growth and a 2022 with more than 3.8 percent growth, among Latin American countries Nicaragua grew the most, with the exception of Guyana.” Among the sectors pushing that growth were the service sector, industry, transportation and communication, trade, fishing and agriculture. He added, “We project three percent growth in 2023 and we could approach four percent. …. [A]nd currently our GDP has reached US$15.7 billion and per capita GDP is at about US$2,300 dollars. (Radio La Primerisima, 13 Abril 2023)

Poll Shows Population Approves of Government Management
M&R Consultants polling firm presented the results of its recent national survey corresponding to the first quarter of 2022. The survey reports that 75.4% of Nicaraguans approve the work of the government headed by President Daniel Ortega; 76.4% believe the government is leading the country in the right direction; 85.6% state that the government generates hope among the population; 88% believe the institutions resolve issues in a timely manner and 90.7% said Nicaragua is overcoming the healthcare crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Nicaragua News, 13 Abril 2023)

Energy and Housing, China’s Priorities with Nicaragua
On April 14 the governments of Nicaragua and the People’s Republic of China signed agreements to develop programs and projects with the support of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA). The first agreement signed was for the rehabilitation project of 150 megawatts of thermal energy. Then an agreement was signed for a feasibility study of phase two of the Nuevas Victorias Housing Program which will include 920 affordable homes. Luo Zhaohui, President of CIDCA, headed the delegation for the People’s Republic of China. (Radio La Primerisima, 15 April 2023)

Agricultural System Rated Highly by WOAH
The Institute of Agricultural Protection and Health (IPSA) [the Nicaraguan regulatory agency that tests for pesticides and other contaminants on fresh produce, grains, raw meats, and dairy products] reported that Nicaragua’s sanitary status is one of the best in the region thanks to the rigorous deployment of an agri-food sanitation model throughout the nation’s production chain. Nohemy Pineda Sáenz, head of its laboratories department, said that they have three analysis centers in the capital: the veterinary diagnostic center, the phytosanitary laboratory and the chemical and biological residues laboratory and there are seven laboratories in the rest of the country.

Nicaragua is free of diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, classical swine fever, and African swine fever, among others. Institute personnel are assisted by a high-quality system, with accreditations and updated and standardized methodologies that are internationally recognized. Government work through IPSA is not limited to laboratory work, but includes inspection and supervision which is carried out in situ.

Wilmer Juárez, the Institute’s animal health director said that the country’s sanitary status is enviable in the region. “We were historically a country of hoof and mouth disease [but no longer] and in 2018 we submitted Nicaragua to the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) for recognition of Nicaragua’s status as a country with negligible risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Nicaragua is recognized for its sanitary status by the WOAH, so this opens the markets to the region and the world,” he said. He emphasized the epidemiological surveillance system on farms and in food processing plants. “Our production system is oriented to strengthen all the actions that maintain all these statuses, which every November we must document before the WOAH.” (Radio La Primerisima, 13 April 2023)

Five Interactive Maps with Agricultural Information
The Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) presented five interactive maps of the productive sector which will help producers of all crops identify the best areas for planting and harvesting. The maps allow producers, teachers, students, professionals, technicians, investors and the general public “to know the production, sown area of crops, soil fertility by department and municipality, areas of basic grains, coffee, cocoa, bananas, vegetables and others. The maps also show the crops and areas that use irrigation systems, identifying the types of systems, water sources and areas under irrigation,” according to Ivania León Rivas, Vice Minister of MAG, who said that the maps will be available to the population on the MAG web page, to show production with permanent monitoring. Farmers and ranchers occupy 9.9 million manzanas [one manzana equals 1.7 acres] for the production of all types of food, allowing the country to achieve food sovereignty. León Rivas said that the maps reflect the importance of the agricultural sector, which represents 13.9 percent of the national economy, 30 percent of exports and generates 28.7 percent of employment nationwide. See photos:  (Radio La Primerisima, 13 April 2023)

April 19 Declared National Day of Peace
On April 16 the National Assembly approved an initiative that declares April 19 of each year as the National Day of Peace in order to celebrate respect, harmony and fraternity for prosperity. Article 2 establishes that on the National Day of Peace and throughout the month of April of each year, families, communities, organizations and the state will implement actions and activities to celebrate the joy of living in peace. “Our National Hero and Universal Poet Rubén Darío, was a fierce defender of peace and forcefully denounced the aggressive and expansionist international policy of the empire of the North through his prose and poems, in which he characterized the true intentions of US imperialism, describing it as the main and future enemy of peace and humanity,” said Dr. Gustavo Porras, National Assembly President. Dr. Porras also said that since the triumph of the revolution, the people and government of Nicaragua have faced “a US war of aggression and we preserve peace not only in our territory but also in the Central American region, a fact that is demonstrated in the different agreements signed by the Nicaraguan State. Our vocation for peace has always been evident.” (Radio La Primerisima, 16 April 2023)

Nicaragua Rejects EU Ambassador
The Government of Nicaragua suspended the placet it had granted to Fernando Ponz as European Union ambassador according to a statement released on April 18 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement. The statement read: “In view of the interfering and insolent communiqué of this day, which confirms the imperialist and colonialist positions of the European Union, this April 18, on the eve of the National Day of Peace, the sovereign and dignified government of the Republic of Nicaragua, on behalf of the brave, heroic and courageous people of this blessed and free homeland of Rubén Darío and Augusto Sandino, has decided to suspend the placet that had been granted to Mr. Fernando Ponz as ambassador of that subjugating power. We reiterate to the neocolonialist gentlemen and women of the European Union our condemnation of all their historic genocide and we demand justice and reparation for these crimes against humanity and for their virulent, greedy and rapacious plundering of our wealth and cultures. In these circumstances and in the face of the permanent siege on the rights of our people to national sovereignty, we will not receive their representative.” The statement was signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Denis Moncada Colindres. (Radio La Primerisima, 18 April 2023)

Six More Women in Police Leadership Positions
The National Police appointed six women to different leadership positions within its structures. The changes are as follows according to a department press release: Major Commissioner Zaida Matilde Pineda Aráuz, formerly second chief of the Internal Affairs Directorate, becomes chief of the National Public Security Directorate. Major Commissioner Jeovania Margarita Chamorro Villagra, former head of the “Arlen Siú” women’s special brigade department, DOEP, becomes second head of the Police Special Operations Directorate, DOEP, and commissioner Ester María Muñoz Castellano, former head of the Police Information Center, becomes second head of the Police Intelligence Directorate. Commissioner Belking Jaoska Trujillo, former head of the homicide department of the Judicial Assistance Directorate, takes over as assistant head of the Judicial Assistance Directorate; Commissioner Mónica Moreno Sequeira, former head of the Human Trafficking department of the Judicial Assistance Directorate, takes over as assistant head of the Internal Affairs Directorate. Deputy Commissioner Lliechen Voronova Benítez Romero, formerly head of the police sub-delegation located in the San Judas neighborhood of District 3, takes over as assistant head of the District 2 police delegation Managua. (Radio La Primerisima, 15 April 2023)

Archeological Find of Shaman near Managua
The Directorate of Historical Heritage of the Managua Mayor’s Office published a paper on the archaeological find at the San Cristóbal site (Managua), located on a plain that encompasses much of the land behind the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport. The report, based on an interview conducted by Clemente Guido with César Espinoza Pérez, head of excavation and archaeological rescue of San Cristóbal, about the finding of a shaman with his representative grave goods, points out that the burials located in this location follow patterns of burials that were unknown in the Managua Valley. For example, the remains appear to be a shaman, due to his funerary attire consisting of a drum and deer horns. The skeleton with flexed legs is a type of burial very common in the Olmecs of Mexico. The Masaya Volcano was part of the landscape of this site. The skeleton is described as a shaman because of the things found with him. He likely would have used natural medicine, and divination, and had other social functions among the original communities of Nicaragua. Espinoza Perez said that until now no pre-Hispanic burials had been found with individuals who had deer horns as part of their funerary trousseau. See Photos: (Radio la Primerisima, 15 April 2023)