The ties between the Sandinistas of Nicaragua and the Palestinians go back decades. In the late 1960s, numerous Sandinistas trained with members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the Middle East. The Nicaraguan government has released several statements in support of the Palestinians since the start of the war in Gaza and, earlier this month, President Daniel Ortega and Vice-President Rosario Murillo sent the following message of support to the President of the Palestinian State, Mahmoud Abbas.
Government of Reconciliation and National Unity
“United Nicaragua Triumphs”
Managua, December 4th, 2023
President of the Heroic Palestinian People
From Nicaragua, blessed, in fraternal solidarity, forever dignified and free, we greet you, and, along with you, your great and brave people, the people of the beloved hero, Comandante Yasser Arafat, as well as that brave Palestinian family of such great dignity, besieged by empires but always engaged in formidable and admirable struggle for all their rights.
We have always been together and we continue together, united in all the battles for national liberation which have involved us and which require us to continue fighting, certain that so much self-denial, steadfastness, sacrifice, and commitment to the achievement of the rights and defense of the sacred Palestinian nation will come to fruition in this new world that is already awakening and taking its path.
With you, brothers and sisters, always, in the Infinite light of truth and love. The whole human family shares your struggles and your determination for justice and peace. God continues to give us strength and fortitude to continue lighting the way of this world towards the great victories that your people and all combative peoples of consciousness deserve.
Always forward towards the light, towards the truth!
Compañer@s, families, heroes of that magnificent Palestine: All of Nicaragua acclaims your presence!
Daniel Ortega Saavedra
By Nan McCurdy
Over 2,000 Convicts to Spend Christmas at Home
2,200 inmates, both men and women, who are serving sentences in the country’s prisons will enjoy the benefit of “family cohabitation.” Vice President Rosario Murillo announced that they will receive this benefit on December 21. “We are talking about 2,200 families who will celebrate Christmas with their husband, wife, mother, father, brothers, aunts and uncles, grandparents, friends.” Murillo added that 2,200 families will receive their relatives in events to be held in the prisons of Tipitapa, Granada, Matagalpa, Estelí, León, Juigalpa, Chinandega and Bluefields. “We feel happy, grateful to God, because each one of these people, in addition, has received while they have been in the Penitentiary System, courses, trade classes, technical classes, some have learned to read and write.” (La Primerisima, 14 December 2023)
Inauguration of Photovoltaic Generation Plant in Ometepe
On Dec. 13, the Dos Volcanes photovoltaic generation plant, located to the west of the Maderas Volcano on Ometepe Island was inaugurated. This plant is part of the change of the electricity generation matrix to renewable energy. The plant, in its first stage, is composed of 900 solar panels, which generate 300 KW (kilowatts), representing 20% of the total demand of the Island and in its second stage to be executed in 2024 will cover 50% of the demand. In 2016, the government installed a 10-kilometer underwater cable in Lake Cocibolca [Lake Nicaragua] from Buenos Aires in San Jorge to Punta de Jesús María, Esquipulas, in the municipality of Moyogalpa on Ometepe Island to guarantee the supply of clean energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, thus contributing to the care of the Maderas Volcano Biosphere Reserve, one of the two volcanos on the island. (La Primerisima, 13 December, 2023)
2023 to Close with 138 kilometers of New Paved Roads
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will close this year with the construction of 138 new kilometers of paved roads, which means 109% compliance of the planned goal, reported Transportation Minister Oscar Mojica during an interview. “At the beginning of the year we proposed to finish nine projects with 127 kilometers; however, we are going to finish 2023 with 138 new kilometers of paved roads and that means 109% compliance,” he said. Mojica added that they also planned to start five new construction projects totaling 207 kilometers. Mojica said that in total they are finishing 14 projects which include 345 kilometers of new roads to satisfy the expectations and needs of the population. He said that, “Now you can go from Matagalpa to San José de los Remates, to Teustepe, to Boaco, and to Chontales with great security and tranquility, with enormous time savings, linking great regions for the production of milk, meat and basic grains.” (La Primerisima, 13 December 2023)
150 Homes to Be Handed Over Under the Bismarck Martinez Program
On December 15, the Managua Mayor’s Office will hand over another 150 houses in the Camino del Rio location in Sabana Grande near Managua, reported Vice President Rosario Murillo. “We are closing the year with 6,200 lots of land and 4,000 houses,” she explained. She added that “We will also be inaugurating recreational spaces here in Managua as well as a memorial park with a hall for concerts and the promotion of the culture of the city of Managua.” On December 13, 76 houses were handed over in Ocotal, Palacagüina, San José de Bocay, San Francisco Libre, Somoto, Jinotega, La Libertad, Boaco, Masaya, Buenos Aires, El Jícaro, Comalapa, Muy Muy, Esquipulas, El Coral, Matagalpa, Larreynaga, San Juan de Limay and San Juan de Oriente. (La Primerisima, 13 December 2023)
Government has Delivered more than 650,000 Property Deeds in 16 years
The Attorney General’s Office has delivered more than 650,000 property titles to Nicaraguan families between 2007 and 2023. The project of legalization of deeds nationwide was approved with the purpose of generating welfare, tranquility and, above all, guaranteeing legal security to the people. An unprecedented effort has been made in the last 16 years, when almost 700,000 manzanas of land have been titled. In order to make this bold initiative free of charge to the citizens, the State has invested US$31 million. And although the economic aspect is relevant, the emotional stability it generates, especially for those in unfavorable conditions, is even more important. José Alejandro Cardón, a new owner thanks to this initiative, said, “This is a source of pride because I am now in my own place, I am no longer renting. I can now say ‘I have a house.’ Without this paper I am nothing, I have nothing, but now I can proudly say ‘I have a house.'” The 44-year-old worked as a cab driver until a brain injury in 2008 left him permanently in a wheelchair. At the door of the place he has called home for the past 20 years, he received the long-awaited document certifying him as the rightful owner.
According to Attorney General Wendy Morales, property titles in Nicaragua “have a legal basis that was established from the first stage of the revolution, in 1979.” “One of the first decisions and policies at that time, was restoring to the people their lands that had previously been usurped, acquired illegally by the Somozas.” New owner Mireya Díaz Blandón said, “As women it represents a great deal for us; this is super valuable, it is something of our own that nobody is going to take from us. For my children, this is a legacy that I am going to give them.” From 2007 to October 2023, the dream of owning their own land has become a reality for more than 656,000 Nicaraguan families. The search for legal security, peace and harmony has been the driving force behind the titling program, which has been strengthened over the years and will persist until every citizen lives an authentic sense of belonging. It is a testimony of how well-executed government policies transform from one life to entire communities. (Primerisima, 16 December 2023)
More Protection of the Environment
On Dec. 14 the National Forestry Institute (INAFOR) presented a report on advances of the 2023 National Forestry Campaign that the government is implementing throughout the country. The report states that between January and November of this year, 26 million trees were planted, and 15,000 forestry economic packages were delivered in 14 Departments and both of the Caribbean Coast Autonomous Regions. The report also noted that 4,000 community nurseries, 338 municipal and 70 school nurseries were established. INAFOR Director Indiana Fuentes said that “Five million hectares of forest were restored throughout the country over the past 16 years, reducing the pressure on and degradation of the country’s forests, mitigating the negative effects of climate change.” (Nicaragua News, 15 December 2023)
Advances in Women’s Participation in NICAVIDA Project
The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) reported on Dec. 11 on advances of a sustainable development program along Nicaragua’s Dry Corridor called the NICAVIDA project, which promotes the empowerment and economic development of women. The report states that 22,952 women in 37 municipalities have benefited from the NICAVIDA project through financial incentives, strengthening of productive capabilities, as well as access to markets to establish agribusinesses and primary production initiatives adapted to climate change. The CABEI report added that “the importance of this project, the active participation, and the recognition of the broad contribution of women to the economic development of the country was recognized in 2021 through the IFAD Gender Award granted by the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).” The US$48.4 million NICAVIDA project, financed by the General Budget with support from CABEI and IFAD, seeks to benefit more than 100,000 people in seven departments along Nicaragua’s dry corridor. (Nicaragua News, 14 December 2023)
Nearly 400,000 Girls Have Been Vaccinated Against HPV
The Community Network and health workers have already reached more than 90% of their proposed goal to vaccinate all Nicaraguan girls between 10 and 14 years of age against the Human Papilloma Virus (responsible for the majority of cervical-uterine cancer cases) during the second national campaign that began November 27 and ends this Friday, December 22. Up to December 17, of the total goal of 425,831 doses, 392,959 doses have been administered, for a compliance of 92.3%. In addition, the Community Network and the health brigades have also administered 76,526 doses of canine rabies vaccines to the country’s dogs. (La Primerisima, 18 December 2023)
Mayagna and Miskito Communities Inaugurate Health Center
Nearly 135,000 inhabitants of an area in Bilwi/Puerto Cabezas, are the direct beneficiaries of the total reconstruction of the Ernesto Hodgson Health Center, inaugurated on Dec. 17th. The vast majority of the 134,536 inhabitants of this area of Bilwi are part of the Mayagna and Miskito communities. With an investment of nearly 134 million córdobas (US$3.6 million), the reconstructed area is 1,757 square meters. It has areas for general medicine, internal medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, nutrition and natural therapies. It also has areas for emergency procedures, ultrasound, physiotherapy and early stimulation, two dental offices, a clinical laboratory and an auditorium. See photos: https://radiolaprimerisima.com/comunidades-mayagnas-y-miskitas-estrenan-centro-de-salud-reconstruido/ (La Primerisima, 18 December 2023)
Nicaragua Responds to Resolution of UN Human Rights Council
On Dec. 18, the Nicaraguan government sent a response to the resolution against the country which is before the UN Human Rights Council. The letter was addressed to Václav Bálek, president of the UNHRC, and signed by Denis Moncada, Nicaragua’s Foreign Minister, and stated in part:
“The Government of Reconciliation and National Unity of Nicaragua expresses its total rejection of this type of mechanism and report which, far from representing a true interest and defense of the human rights of our people, constitutes a form of aggression and interference against the dignity of Nicaraguan families, as well as against our sovereignty. Once again, we are witnessing how this agency, which you now direct, manipulates these ‘updates’ with the sole purpose of complying with the schemes of domination and interference of the imperialist countries, which do not yield in their eagerness to submit our country to their designs.
“Mr. Bálek, it is our duty to remind you that these updates are totally unilateral, subjective and partialized, not reflecting the reality of human rights in our country and the significant and important advances achieved to guarantee rights such as health, education, housing, recreation and other rights necessary to have a dignified, safe and peaceful life.
“We do not recognize the moral authority of the sell-outs who collude with the Imperialists, for their manipulation and opinions about our reality, and even less when they do so by insulting the greatness of our history, our struggle and our achievements.
“We demand respect for our people, our sovereignty and our political, economic and social model, because it is up to our government to ensure with optimism, against all adversity, the fundamental right of Nicaraguan families to live with well-being, dignity, sovereignty and self-determination for the common good.”