NicaNotes: As the US intensifies sanctions against Nicaragua, 191 organizations say STOP INTERFERING!

Your group or organization can still sign on to this solidarity letter against US intervention in Nicaragua! Click here! 

Not a group? Individuals can now sign on to the letter. Click here to add your name! 

Please share the letter widely with your organizations, with news outlets and members of Congress.

Read the letter and list of organizations that are demanding the US stop interfering in Nicaragua:

July 14, 2021

As elections approach in Nicaragua, we call on the United States to stop interfering

“How would it be if the United States were viewed by the rest of the world as interfering with the elections directly of other countries and everybody knew it? What would it be like if we engaged in activities that they engaged in? It diminishes the standing of a country.” President Biden, June 2021

Last month was the 35th anniversary of the ruling against the United States by the World Court in the case filed by Nicaragua.

Thirty-five years ago, on June 27, 1986, the International Court of Justice in the Hague ruled that the United States had violated international law by supporting the contras and mining Nicaragua’s harbors- in breach of our country’s international obligations “to not use force against another state, not to intervene in its affairs and not to violate its sovereignty.” The decision included the need to pay reparations, calculated at over $US 17 billion.   The US refused to comply.  Over 30,000 Nicaraguans died as a result of the war and their economy was totally destroyed by the time the war ended.  

The US went on to interfere in the 1990 election, pouring in millions of dollars to create a candidate of choice and to threaten the people of Nicaragua with more war if they did not vote according to US dictates.

Following the Sandinistas’ return to power via elections in 2007, the US resumed efforts to undermine the Sandinista government, openly channeling over $200 million dollars through Nicaraguan non-profits and dozens of newly-created media outlets for regime change efforts. This culminated in a failed coup attempt that killed over 200 people in 2018.  

In July 2020, a USAID document leaked from the US Embassy in Managua outlined an orchestrated plan, RAIN or Responsive Assistance in Nicaragua, financed by the United States to launch a government transition in Nicaragua over the next two years.

Right now, the Renacer Act is moving quickly through the US Congress with the explicit intent to interfere in Nicaragua elections, as stated in the title: Reinforcing Nicaragua’s Adherence to Conditions for Electoral Reform Act of 2021. The Renacer Act ramps up economic sanctions. It threatens Nicaraguan voters to vote for an opposition candidate if they do not want to suffer serious privation over coming years.

Our friends, family members, organizational partners, and communities in Nicaragua want the US to stop interfering.  They tell us that the government cares about the poor, citing good governance from which they benefit directly: safety, food security, agroecology, access to health care and education, commitment to gender equity, disaster prevention and mitigation, energy diversification, best infrastructure and roads in the region, and programs to expand access to housing, water and electricity. Poverty and extreme poverty have been reduced by almost 50% from 2007 to 2017. Nicaraguans ARE NOT fleeing to the US border by the thousands, unlike their neighbors of the “northern triangle”.

US regime change operations in Latin America have a long, sordid history and continue to do enormous harm in the many places where they are active today. US sanctions in support of regime change are devastating to the most vulnerable people, and they are illegal.  

As elections approach in Nicaragua, the US is directly interfering and, everybody knows it.  We call on the US to stop interfering; it diminishes the standing of our country, and the US globally.  

Sincerely,

1199 SEIU
8th Day Church
A Legacy of Equality Leadership and Organizing (LELO)
ÁBACOenRed, Estelí, Nicaragua
ADDICTED To WAR
African Youth Coalition against Hunger Malnutrition HIV/AIDS
All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC)
Allende Program in Social Medicine
Alliance for Global Justice
Alpiandes asociacion cultural de chileno italianos en Milan
Asociación Cipaltonal
Associazione Italia-Nicaragua
Associazione Nazionale di Amicizia Italia Cuba
AUSTRALIA SOLIDARITY WITH LATIN AMERICA
Axis of Logic
Baltimore Nonviolence center
Big Apple Coffee Party
Black Alliance for Peace
Bolivarian Circle Alberto Lovera NYC
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Canadian Campaign of Venezuelans and Friends Against “Sanctions’
Casa Baltimore Limay
CCDS
CCDS Peace and Solidarity Committee
Center for Global Justice
Chicago ALBA Solidarity
Chicago Anti-War Coalition (CAWC)
Choose Life Abort War Podcast For Peace
CINDY SHEEHAN’S SOAPBOX
CIVG Centro di Iniziative per la Verità e la Giustizia
Claudia Jones School for Political Education
CLS
coasap
Code Pink
CODEPINK San Pedro
Colombia Support Network
Common Sense ink.org
Communist Party of Ireland
Coop-Anti-War-Café Berlin
Coordinamiento Italia-Nicaragua
Corvallis (OR) Latin America Solidarity Committee
Cuba Solidarity Campaign
Cuba Solidarity Forum Ireland
Democratic World Federalists
Denver Peace Council
DSA International Committee
Dutchess Peace
Echoes of Silence
Emar Studio for Public Architecture
Embassy Protection Collective
Environmental Network for Central America (ENCA)
Environmentalists Against War
EPC
FAKB
Fernwood Publishing
Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice Canada
First Presbyterian Church
FMLN
Freedom Road Socialist Organization
Frente Hugo Chavez para la Defensa de los Pueblos-Vancouver
Friends of Latin America
Friends of the ATC
Friendship Office of the Americas
FSLN
Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Good Shepherd Collective
Greater New Haven Peace Council, CT
Green Party Action Committee
Green Party Peace Action Committee
Green Party USA
Hands Off Latin America – Saskatoon
Hilo Fish Company
Housing Now, Ashland, Oregon
Inter Religious Task Force on Central America, IRTF
Interfaith Peace Network of Western New York
International Action Center
International Committee, Green Party US
Irish Chapter, the Network in Defence of Humanity
Italia-Nicaragua
JB Foundation
Jubilee House Community
Kentucky Interfaith Taskforce on Latin America and the Caribbean
Kingston RI Peace and Justice
Kommunistiska partiet
Latin America Solidarity Committee—Milwaukee
Latin American Solidarity Committee with Western NY Peace Center
Manhattan Local of the Green Party
Maui Peace Action
Miembro de la plataforma de solidaridad con Nicaragua, ámbitos religioso
Milwaukee Fair Trade Coalition
Mission and Justice Commission, St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley
MLK Coalition of Greater Los Angeles
MN AntiWar committee
Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) – Canada
Movimiento de Liberación Nacional (MLN)-México
Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center
NEU
New Creation Community Presbyterian Church
New York City Veterans For Peace
NH Veterans for Peace
Nicaragua Center for Community Action
Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group, UK
Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, UK
Nicaragua Solidarity Ireland
Nicaraguan Cultural Alliance
NIN
Nuevo País
Organization for the Victory of the People
Orinoco Tribune
Pacific Northwest Solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean
Parallax Perspectives
Party of Communists USA
Peace Action Manhattan
Peace Action New York State
Peace Action of Wisconsin
Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois
Peace House, Ashland Oregon
People’s Defense Initiative
Popular Resistance
Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC)
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
Progressive Peace Coalition
Protect Our Activists
Racine Central America Solidarity Coalition
Racine Coalition for Peace & Justice
Revolutionary Theory and Action Collective–Journal
Rights Action (US & Canada)
Rochester Committee on Latin America, ROCLA
RWW
Saddleback College
Sanber Tecnica
SanctionsKill.org Campaign
School of Americas Watch Austin
SGI-USA
Shoreline Study Center
Solidarity Committee of the Americas
Solidarity Committee of the Capital District
Solidarity- Bay Area
South County, Rhode Island Fellowship for Peace and Justice
South West London Branch CPB
St. Gabriel Peace and Justice
St. John’s Presbyterian Church of Berkeley
St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America
Sunrise Movement DC
Sustainable Agriculture of Louisville (SAL)
Sustainable Orphanages for Haitian Youth
Svensk-kubanska föreningen
Syracuse Peace Council
Task Force on the Americas
The Great Socorro Womens March
The Latin America & Caribbean Working Group of Massachusetts Peace Action
The Latin America Solidarity Coalition of Western Massachusetts
The People’s Forum
The Workers’ Party of Ireland
Topanga Peace Alliance
Tortilla Con Sal
Total Home Maintenance
UMC
Unite
Unite North Metro Denver
United National Anti-War Coalition, UNAC
United States Peace Council
US Women and Cuba Collaboration
UTLA
Venezuela Ireland Network
Venezuela Peace and Solidarity Committee of Vancouver
Veterans For Peace
Veterans For Peace – NYC Chapter 34
Veterans for Peace Baltimore Phil Berrigan Memorial Chapter
Veterans For Peace Chapter 69 (San Francisco)
Veterans For Peace Seattle
Veterans For Peace Tucson, Chapter 13
Veterans For Peace, Chapter 136
Veterans for Peace, Inc., Neil Bischoff chapter 66
Veterans for Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter 132
Veterans For Peace, The Aloha Chapter 113 Hawai’i
Veterans For Peace,Chapter 63
VFP Chapter 10 Albany ,NY
Victor Jara Siempre Canta
Western New York Peace Center
White Rabbit Grove RDNA
Witness for Peace Southeast
Women Against Military Madness
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Tucson AZ
Workers World Party
Workers World Portland
World Can’t Wait
WORPHC
Ymgyrch Cefnogi Nicaragua/Wales Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign
Yoga For Peace, Justice, Harmony With the Planet

 

Briefs

By Nan McCurdy

 

INATEC Reports 210,595 Students in Technical Courses

The National Technological Institute (INATEC) ended the first semester of 2021 with good results, contributing to the socio-productive development of Nicaraguan families and in the fight against poverty. An official INATEC report shows that the right to free education has been restored to 210,595 students in technical careers and courses, of which 71% are women. INATEC specified that it covers 37,681 students in 67 technical careers. There are 30,816 participants in Trade Schools and Field Schools; 71,983 participants in English language courses; 3,612 new teachers in technical careers and in English language didactics; and 66,503 women in the Zero Usury Program. INATEC improved the infrastructure in 38 technical centers in the departments of Nueva Segovia, Madriz, Estelí, Chinandega, León, Managua, Masaya, Granada, Rivas, Matagalpa, Jinotega, Chontales, Rio San Juan, Zelaya Central, RACCN and RACCS. (Informe Pastran, 13 July 2021)

 

Nicaragua Committed to Green Growth

The National Assembly approved a decree of adherence to the principles of the Global Green Growth Institute based in Seoul, South Korea on July 7. Assembly Deputy Arling Alonso, chair of the Environmental Committee, stated that “adherence of Nicaragua to the principles of this international institute reaffirms the commitment of the country to establish a national development model defined by a balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability.” The Global Green Growth Institute seeks to promote eco-sustainable growth through research and commitments from member countries to create green growth plans, replacing the usual paradigm based on industrial development.  (Nicaragua News, 8 July 2021)

 

Thousands of Seed Packages Will be Given all over the Country

Vice President Rosario Murillo reported that the Sandinista Government will give thousands of planting packages to farmers in the coming days for the second planting.

Between July 26 and August 31, production packages will be delivered to 26,000 families in Matagalpa, 34,000 in Jinotega, 22,000 in Nueva Segovia, 14,000 in Madriz, 10,000 in Chinandega, 9,000 in Leon and 7,000 in Managua. Murillo said that “The packages include beans, vegetables, sorghum, bananas, roots and tubers, fruits and sows.” (Radio La Primerisima, 12 July 2021)

 

New Record in Exports

The Nicaragua Export Processing Center (CETREX) reported on July 7 that exports totaled US$1.86 billion during the first semester of 2021, representing an18.1% increase in comparison to the same period in 2020. The products with highest demand on the international market were gold US$431 million; coffee US$359 million; beef US$320 million; sugar US$95 million; peanuts US$56 million and beans US$50 million. (Nicaragua News, 8 July 2021)

 

Community Members Warned about Land Scams in Protected Areas

Members of the Bosawás Ecological Battalion, accompanied the Inter-institutional Commission of Mother Earth, traveled to the community El Bálsamo N° 2, municipality of Siuna, in the North Caribbean Autonomous Region, to alert the community about land scams in the protected areas of the Cerro Saslaya National Park. According to an Army press release, two people were arrested for illegal land sales. Ramón Herrera, from the municipality of Cuá, and Ulises Centeno, from Los Cedros, municipality of Santa María de Pantasma, are the two citizens detained, according to the press release. They were handed over to the corresponding authorities. (Radio La Primerisima, 10 July 2021)

 

Training and Psychological Support Related to Addiction

The Nicaragua National Police presented a report of the Inter-institutional Program for Comprehensive Care and Development of Adolescents and Youth from the first semester of 2021. 3,741 families participated in workshops and received psychological care on prevention, identification, and treatment for addictions. The report noted that 111,908 youths attended community counseling programs and 11,017 police-community meetings for prevention of situations of violence and dangerous crimes were held. The Inspector General of the National Police, Commissioner Jaime Vanegas, said “the program seeks to offer social attention to at risk youth through educational, cultural and productive alternatives, establishing a relationship of trust between the Police and the community.” (Nicaragua News, 8 July 2021)

 

More Women on the Electoral Roll and Ready for Voter Verification

President of the Supreme Electoral Council Brenda Rocha announced that the provisional electoral roll for the 2021 elections exceeds 4.347 million registered citizens, of which 49% are men and 51% are women. Rocha said that out of the more than 4 million registered citizens, 1.598 million are between 16 and 25 years of age, and that new voters total 394,483. The locating of a total of 3,110 voting centers, including schools and community centers with the necessary characteristics was completed recently. Rocha said it was the largest number ever so that people don’t have to go too far to vote.

Rocha mentioned that the forms for the inscription of candidates for President, National Assembly deputies and the Central American Parliament have already been released, so political parties may work on their lists and present them on July 28. Rocha stated that they continue training personnel on procedures for attending to the population during the National Verification exercise scheduled for July 24 and 25. (Radio La Primerisima, 12 July 2021)

 

Catarina Sewage and Water Treatment System to be Operational by October

The new Catarina sewage and water treatment system will benefit 7,500 inhabitants. The US$2.08 million project, financed by the General Budget of the Republic with support from the Inter-American Development Bank, is 75% completed and will be operational in October this year. (Nicaragua News, 7 July 2021)

 

Covid Report for the week of July 6 to 12

The Health Ministry reported 225 new registered cases of Covid-19, 201 people recuperated and 1 death. Since March 2021 there have been 7,044 registered cases, 6,545 people recuperated and 193 deaths. (Radio La Primerisima, 13 July 2021)

 

Russia Denounces US Intervention in Nicaragua’s Internal Affairs

The spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zajarova, denounced the fact that on the eve of the Nicaraguan elections next November 7, the United States has increased pressure on the Central American nation. In statements to the press, the diplomat called attention to “the powerful wave of external pressure on the legitimate government of President Daniel Ortega” to destabilize the country and oust the Sandinista National Liberation Front from power. Zakharova warned about the “blatant interference in Nicaragua’s internal affairs.” She went on to say that “This pressure has little to do with the concern for a free democratic vote as declared by those exerting this pressure.” It has the obvious and undisguised objective of removing the Sandinistas from power, she continued. It is noteworthy that the current open and blatant interference in Nicaragua’s internal affairs, including matters related to the financing of this interference, are clearly stipulated in U.S. legislative and regulatory documents. In November 2018, then president Trump adopted an executive order describing the situation as “an extreme threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” [Biden has not changed this]. In December 2018, the USA passed the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act, by which the Americans blocked the financing of Nicaragua by international banks and monetary agencies (IMF, World Bank, etc.), introduced restrictions on obtaining visas and other limitations for certain Nicaraguans, and abolished the “temporary protected status” for migrants from the country.

Zajarova went on to say that the circle of economic restrictions began to narrow in the midst of the pandemic. The White House drastically cut financial assistance to Nicaragua for social development, excluding the country from the list of Central American states receiving vaccines as humanitarian aid. It is working towards the exclusion of Managua from regional free trade agreements including the Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Central America and the Dominican Republic known as DR-CAFTA. The Association Agreement between the European Union and Central America could be affected as well. Attempts are being made to suspend Managua’s participation in the Organization of American States. At the same time, there are intensifying efforts, stipulated in US laws (Article 8 of the Nica Act), to involve US funded NGOs in anti-government work.  Direct interaction with the opponents of the “regime” is personally coordinated by the US Ambassador in Managua, who holds regular meetings with them, explaining the orientations. This is known based on the experiences of many other countries, Zajarova said. 

Zajarova continued, noting that, according to expert estimates, more than one billion dollars were invested in the Nicaraguan opposition through USAID and other US “humanitarian structures”. This money is not intended for social and humanitarian aid or the fight against COVID19, but serves to encourage the opposition forces.

She said that any steps of the legitimate authorities aimed at suppressing foreign interference are characterized by Western leaders only as “suppression of freedom. All this is very similar to the restrictions in force in the United States itself – for example, under the “Foreign Agents Act” passed in 1938 – FARA. In the context of such anxiety on the part of the US, it is surprising that Washington ignores mass beatings and even killings of protesters in other countries in Latin America and even justifies such actions. The global pandemic and the socio-economic crisis it has provoked in many regions, including Latin America, demonstrates that today the main line of defense of democracy and human rights lies largely in the ability to ensure state governance. However, the Western collective operating in Nicaragua hinders this, freedom of choice is replaced by the adjustment of the electoral process to a pre-programmed result that responds to the interests of political engineering from outside.

In conclusion, Zajarova said, “We categorically reject attempts at foreign interference in Nicaragua’s internal affairs. We are convinced that the people of this country have the right to determine independently, without foreign interference, the future destiny of their country. We sincerely wish success to the Government, peace and prosperity to the Nicaraguan people, with whom we are united by close relations of friendship and strategic alliance. We will continue to monitor the situation in Nicaragua and will report our assessments of the future development of the situation.” (Radio La Primerisima, 9 July 2021)