NicaNotes: More Money for Coup Groups from US Agency for International Development

By Nan McCurdy

Organizations that led the coup attempt in 2018 against the constitutional government of President Daniel Ortega, continue to receive foreign funding from the United States and some European countries. The latest information on USAID funding of the US-directed opposition was made available by journalist William Grigsby on Radio La Primerísima’s Sin Fronteras Magazine.

USAID fiscal year 2021 (Oct. 1, 2020-Sept. 30, 2021) foreign assistance includes “funds to support the restoration of democracy and human rights in the region.” This document shows funding of US$13.4 million dollars bringing USAID funding of the Nicaraguan opposition since 2017 to US$102.27 million.

Just the wealthy Chamorro family – Juan Sebastian, Cristiana and Carlos Fernando – received US$3.87 million. The Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation managed by Christiana Chamorro received the largest amount, US$1.6 million for the rest of 2020 and 2021. Through this foundation, the US finances some twenty-five media and TV and radio shows including La Prensa and Channel 10 known for their vociferous anti-Sandinismo. Juan Sebastian Chamorro, whose NGO is FUNIDES, receives US$1.37 million. Carlos Fernando Chamorro with his media empire Grupo Cinco, which includes Confidencial, receives US$901,471.

William Grigsby in his Nov. 10 article said that “the abuse, hypocrisy and lack of democracy of the Chamorro family was once again exposed with the release of a series of documents proving that they receive funding from the United States and other European governments to illegally enrich themselves and cause disorder in Nicaragua.”

The latest documents and screenshots here show the amount of money given to the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation from 2014 to 2020 – US$4.39 million. If you add in the latest donation of US$1.6, the total is US$5.99– or almost six million dollars just for the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation.

The Chamorro gang is the darling of the Yankees

The amount of money to finance coup activities through media has increased considerably in the last two years to the Chamorro Foundation which focuses on disinformation through online, print, radio and television. In 2020 and 2021 the amount given to them was US$2.59 million.

This funding is part of the US orchestrated plan called RAIN to destabilize and if possible overthrow the Nicaraguan government leaked from the US embassy in Managua in July and includes a USAID contract to hire a company to head up the destabilization plan. While the document, Responsive Assistance in Nicaragua, tries to portray its intentions as democratic, it is a disturbing example of US intervention in another nation’s internal affairs.

There is also a substantial amount of funding for organizations that work on the Caribbean Coast. US$1.7 million was given recently to three organizations: the Foundation for the Autonomy and Development of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (FADCANIC) received US$457,759; the Nidia White Women’s Movement Association has a budget of half a million dollars from the US for the period 2020-2021 and the Association for the Development of the Atlantic Coast has a similar budget of US$785,341 for its political activities in 2020-2021. This is particularly interesting as The Oakland Institute received nearly a million dollars in 2018 for their work including the disinformation campaign to attempt to damage Nicaragua’s environmental reputation on the Caribbean Coast.

Organizations that continue to receive USAID financing for their electoral destabilization activities are: Grupo Ética y Transparencia, which has a grant of US$1 million for the election year of 2021 and Hagamos Democracia, which has a grant of US$1.1 million. Both organizations have worked in opposition to the Sandinista party, at least in the last four elections. Movimiento Por Nicaragua, the NGO of Violeta Granera, is receiving US$601,124.

The so-called Permanent Commission of Human Rights headed by the Marcos Carmona (accused of criminal activities) received US$825,671; the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANDPH) headed by Alvaro Leiva received US$701,032. The board of directors of ANDPH denounced Leiva for stealing nearly half a million dollars and accused him of inflating the number of deaths during the 2018 coup attempt as a tactic to get more US funding.

The United States government portrays this aid as supporting democracy but it is targeted against one side in the political arena of a foreign country and would never be allowed in the US. Why should it be allowed in any other country?


By Nan McCurdy

Preliminary Report from Hurricane Eta
In a preliminary report of damages from Hurricane Eta released Nov. 9, the government said the storm destroyed 1,890 homes, partially damaged 8,030 homes, and caused more than US$174 million in material losses. During the passage of Eta, 71,145 people were evacuated, of whom 47,297 went to 325 shelters, without any human losses. In addition, the report said, “the damages were focused on housing, vital communications lines and artisanal fishing. Sixteen health posts were damaged, among them the Nuevo Amanecer Regional Hospital in Bilwi.” There was partial damage to 45 schools, the drinking water treatment plant and supplies in Bilwi, 66 bridges, 901 km of roads, public buildings, stadiums, sports centers and parks. According to the report, “The Puerto Cabezas pier was partially damaged; two processing plants and 10 seafood collection centers were damaged; twelve large boats and 38 smaller fishing boats were damaged. In Nicaragua’s protected areas, 24.39% of forests and fruit trees were damaged.”

The government defines as a priority the attention to families in shelters and in a situation of food insecurity, which will require an investment of C$103.6 million Córdobas (US$3 million). For housing, the report adds, an investment of C$511.7 million (US$15 million) will be required; C$212.9 million (US$6 million) will be needed for the rehabilitation of educational centers as well as C$148.6 million (US$4.25 million) to rehabilitate health clinics and hospitals, in particular the Nuevo Amanecer Regional Hospital, in Bilwi. Also, C$224.7 million (US$ 6.42 million) will be needed to repair the damaged inter-city road network, which also involves bridge repair, and to rebuild markets and municipal docks. In water and energy, C$31.4 million Córdobas (US$900,000) are needed for reestablishment of primary and secondary energy lines, posts and lights, water and sanitation. Radio La Primerisima, 9 Nov. 2020

Government’s Plan Roof Arrives in Bilwi
On Nov. 10 more than 17 thousand galvanized roofing sheets and nails arrived in Bilwi, the municipality with the largest population in the North Caribbean Autonomous Region. This is to benefit the population affected by Hurricane Eta in Bilwi and nearby communities. It was also reported that in the early hours of Nov. 11 another 17,200 roofing sheets with their respective nails arrived by land. See photos here: Radio La Primerisima, 11 Nov. 2020

Prinzapolka River Overflows
Many houses were affected by flooding in the community of Corozo Vega following the overflow of the Prinzapolka River. Houses were covered with water and the inhabitants observed the flood and the damages from rooftops. The Prinzapolka River in the town of Alamikamba, on the Northern Caribbean Coast, overflowed in the early morning of Nov. 6 due to the constant rains. The town of Alamikamba is flooded; the population evacuated. Food was delivered to people in shelters. The authorities are trying to reach each of the homes to evacuate any remaining families to shelters. See photos here: Radio La Primerisima, 5 Nov. 2020 Radio La Primerisima, 6 Nov. 2012

Government Preparing to Send Materials for Home Reconstruction
Since Nov 5, the Sandinista government through the National System of Disaster Prevention, SINAPRED, began to organize the purchase and shipment of thousands of sheets of galvanized roofing and other construction materials to the Caribbean to begin the reconstruction of damaged homes so that families can recover quickly. “We have the resources to support roofing and repairs of all the damaged homes quickly because we are prepared. We anticipated what could happen and brought plenty of food and other supplies ahead of time to be prepared for the disaster. We want people to return to normal quickly,” said SINAPRED official Guillermo Gonzalez as he toured the industry where thousands of roofing sheets are manufactured and prepared. The government is creating work brigades to help people rebuild their homes quickly. Vice President Rosario Murillo announced that once the Wawa River goes down and links to Bilwi are restored, materials would probably arrive by Nov. 9. See pictures here: In this second stage of the disaster the Army continues to transfer food and other supplies for the 47 thousand people who remain in shelters and they support the work aimed at restoring basic services. Then they will participate with families in reconstruction.

Informe Pastran, 5 Nov. 2020

Mayangna Celebrate 12 Years of Forest Ranger Corps
To consolidate the legal and administrative security of their communal property and the protection and monitoring of the diversity of the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve, the government of the Mayangna Sauni As Indigenous Territory formed a Forest Ranger Corps. On November 8, the Bosawás Ranger Corps commemorated the twelfth anniversary of its foundation. It is worth mentioning that from 2009 to date, considerable changes have been seen in the use of Mother Earth, mainly in the Mayangnas territories and communities. Gustavo Sebastian, Mayangna leader, said that “the arrival of non-indigenous people to Mayangnan territories has damaged the way of life of the indigenous people, the usurpation, dispossession of crop areas and sacred sites, threats, murders, kidnappings, and the illegal sale of land are part of the problems reported, carried out by organized criminal groups.” On the anniversary of the forest ranger corps, the authorities of the Mayangna Sauni As territory and of the Mayangna Nation reiterate the commitment to continue facing the difficult situations with climate change that threaten the biosphere Bosawás. The President of the Indigenous territory of Mayangna Sauni As, Gustavo Sebastián Lino, emphasized that “as Mayangna peoples, we are committed to respond with our responsibility, with a commitment to honor the Cosmovision, framed by the defense of the Mayangna identity.” Sebastian added that “We continue to implement short and medium term actions with the accompaniment of the State of Nicaragua, thanking the National Police and the ecological battalion of the Army of Nicaragua.”  Radio La Primerisima, 8 Nov. 2020

Small Coffee and Cacao Farmers Receive Financing
Aimed at improving the quality of life of vulnerable small coffee and cocoa producers, including indigenous and afro-descendant populations in the North and South Autonomous Regions, the Program for Adaptation to Changes in Markets and the Effects of Climate Change (NICADAPTA) with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) is providing US$7 million to benefit 24,000 farmers who own under 50 acres of coffee or cacao. Informe Pastran, 5 Nov. 2020

Project to End Tuberculosis and Brucellosis in Cattle Advancing
Treasury Minister Ivan Acosta, referring to evaluations of the progress of the bovine project financed by the European Union with US$20 million, said, “The good news is that 75% of this program has already been executed with encouraging results. In 2021, the insemination of approximately 19,000 cows will be done in Rio San Juan, Zelaya (Nueva Guinea and Muelle de los Bueyes) and the Southern Caribbean Region and El Rama.” He added, “We have already managed to certify 93% of the farms and the goal was to certify approximately 6,000 farms free of tuberculosis and brucellosis, which shows the work of guaranteeing clean production of our meat that goes to Europe and the US.” Informe Pastran, 6 Nov. 2020

Green Fund Approves Financing of US115 Million
Minister of Finance Iván Acosta announced that the Independent Panel of Experts of the Green Climate Fund issued an outstanding recommendation for Nicaragua to receive US$115 million dollars that will benefit the two forest reserves in the Nicaraguan Caribbean. He said Nicaragua will receive these funds for the bio-climate project that he presented to the Green Climate Fund, and that was evaluated and praised for its national vision in support of the climate. Acosta explained that the US$115 million will be financed in part with a CABEI loan and a grant from the Green Climate Fund. “This project is related to the need to build resilient capacities to deal with climate impact and is related to the good forest management of the country’s two reserves located in the Caribbean: Bosawás and the Indio Maíz Reserve,” he said. He noted that this support to Nicaragua will have an impact on restoration in the face of the damage caused by Hurricane ETA. Informe Pastran, 6 Nov. 2020

Protecting the Rights of Nicaraguan Workers in Costa Rica
The Nicaragua and the Costa Rica Government signed a “Binational Agreement to Regulate the Temporary Hiring of Nicaraguan Workers in Costa Rica.” The Agreement states that the Nicaragua Government will facilitate the hiring of temporary workers by Costa Rican companies. It also specifies that the Costa Rica Government must guarantee the human, labor and health rights, as well as social security, hygiene, occupational safety, and biosafety of Nicaragua workers from their entry and stay in Costa Rica until their return to Nicaragua. The agreement is an important commitment between the two countries to regulate and guarantee the rights of 20,000 Nicaraguan workers temporarily employed in Costa Rica. Nicaragua News, 9 Nov. 2020

Covid-19 Report Nov. 10, 2020
The Nicaraguan Health Ministry reported that, during the week including Nov. 3 to Nov. 9, there were 53 new registered cases of Covid-19 and one death. Since the beginning of the pandemic in Nicaragua there have been 4,533 registered cases of Covid, 4,305 people recuperated and 158 deaths. Nicaragua Sandino, 10 Nov. 2020