NicaNotes: Nicaragua: the right to live in peace

Join the Nicaragua Network in our Monthly Webinar Series:
Sunday, August 22: What’s at Stake in Nicaragua’s 2021 Elections

12 PM PT / 1 PM NICARAGUA / 3 PM ET / 8 PM GREENWICH, UK

The national elections in Nicaragua, to be held on November 7, are caught in controversy.  This month’s webinar speaker, Sofia Clark, will address such questions as the following:  How is the Supreme Electoral Council working to assure elections are free and fair?  What will be the electoral effects, if any, of U.S. policies and practices?  Are the media accurate in their portrayal of the elections?  Is the FSLN trying to eliminate other candidates, as it is accused of doing?  (75 minutes total length)

Sofia Clark is a political researcher and analyst with deep ties to Nicaragua.  A Master of International Law, she was Deputy Chief of Staff for her uncle, Fr. Miguel d’Escoto, when he presided over the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.  She has served in UN field missions in Rwanda, South Africa, and Haiti, and worked in OAS conflict resolution programs in Guatemala, Bolivia, and Colombia.   She is currently at the Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann Center for Development Studies at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) in Managua.

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Nicaragua: the right to live in peace
By Francisco Dominguez

This article was originally published by Public Reading Rooms at https://prruk.org/nicaragua-the-right-to-live-in-peace/.

[Francisco Dominguez is an academic at Middlesex University in the UK. He has been active on Latin American issues, about which he has published extensively.]

Sovereignty is not argued about
It is defended
Augusto Cesar Sandino

It is an irrefutable fact that the United States orchestrated, financed and unleashed the violent coup attempt in 2018 against the democratically elected FSLN government. Spokespeople of the U.S. establishment, from former president Trump, extreme right wing senators and deputies, all the way down the food chain of its formidable ‘regime change’ machinery, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and, of course, USAID, repeatedly stated their aim was to bring about ‘regime change’ in Nicaragua. In this connection, the significance of U.S. Nicaraguan proxies is ephemeral and purely utilitarian (does anybody remember Adolfo Calero, Miami-based Contra leader?). Such proxies are activated to sow chaos, violence and confusion to facilitate a U.S.-driven ‘regime change’ intervention, but for the huge U.S. democracy-crushing machine, when plans do not work, its proxies are disposable human assets. In the 2018 coup attempt, the operatives on the ground, disguised as civil society bodies committed to the rule of law, democracy, civil liberties, human rights and other fake descriptions, were in fact U.S.-funded proxies entrusted with the task to bring down the FSLN government by means of violence. The resistance of the Nicaraguan people defeated the coup and thus the nation will go to polls in November 2021, prompting the U.S. ‘regime change’ apparatus to launch, in despair, an international campaign aimed at demonizing the electoral process itself.

The brutal ‘regime change’ machinery

The US, through open and shady channels, disbursed millions to pay, organise, and train thousands of the cadre that would carry out the coup attempt in 2018. Between 2014 and 2017 the U.S. funded over 50 projects in Nicaragua for a total of US$4.2 million. Furthermore, William Grigsby, an investigative journalist, revealed that USAID and the NED distributed over US$30 million to a range of groups opposed to the Nicaraguan government who were involved in the violence of 2018. [1]

A pro-U.S. commentator, writing in NED-funded magazine Global Americans (1 May 2018), admitted that these resources had been deployed to lay the ‘groundwork for insurrection’: “Looking back at the developments of the last several months it is now quite evident that the U.S. government actively helped build the political space and capacity of Nicaraguan society for the social uprising that is currently unfolding”.[2] Furthermore, millions of U.S. taxpayers’ money also went into financing a Nicaraguan coup-plotting media. [3]

The ingredients of U.S. ‘regime change’ operations are buttressed by illegal unilateral coercive measures (aka sanctions) aimed at isolating internationally the target government and causing as much havoc as possible to its economy so as to destabilise it thus bringing about a crisis, leading to the ousting of the government, and to a U.S.-led transition. For example, since 2016-17, the U.S. has applied 431 and 243 sanctions against Venezuela and Cuba, respectively. With the NICA Act and the RENACER bill, the U.S. is piling up sanctions against Nicaragua’s economy and FSLN government officials. The strategy is invariably complemented by a worldwide intoxicating corporate media demonization campaign labelling these governments ‘authoritarian’ and ‘dictatorial’, sometimes going as far as charging them as ‘fascists’ and, in the case of Nicaragua, even of ‘Somocismo’.[4]

This technique has been used in the efforts to violently oust the government of Venezuela (including the recognition of Juan Guaidó as “interim president”), and also in the recent violent push to overthrow the government in Cuba.[5] The U.S. National Security Adviser under Trump, John Bolton, identified Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua (“a troika of tyranny”) as target governments to be overthrown. In the speech (1 Nov 2018), he also praised [Brazilian President Jair] Bolsonaro as one of the “positive signs for the future of the region”). 

U.S. war on Latin American democracy

Reams have been written about U.S. interventions in Latin America (and the world) both by U.S. sycophants and detractors, who, despite their antipodal viewpoints, agree that notwithstanding the altruistic pronouncements of U.S. officialdom and their accomplices, they have never led to the establishment of democracy and, in most cases, such as in Salvador Allende’s Chile, ended in its total destruction. Thus, the 1954 U.S. military invasion of Guatemala leading to the violent ousting of democratically elected president Jacobo Arbenz, was celebrated by U.S. president Eisenhower as a “magnificent effort’ and “devotion to the cause of freedom”, event that was followed by decades of US-supported and US-sponsored slaughter of well over 200,000 Guatemalans. El Salvador did not have the ‘benefit’ of a U.S. military invasion but in the 1980s, U.S.-funded, US-trained and U.S.-armed death squads, would slaughter about 80,000 mostly innocent civilians.

Nicaragua has been the target of many U.S. interventions, the largest being the military invasion of 1926-1933 that was heroically resisted by General Sandino’s guerrillas. It did not lead to anything resembling democracy but to the 43 years-long Somoza dictatorship that ended in 1979, when the Sandinista revolution implemented democracy for the first time in the country’s history. Sadly, the U.S. sought to prevent Nicaragua from pursuing an alternative, democratic, sovereign pathway by unleashing a destructive war by proxy through organising, funding, training, arming and directing the Contras under the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations. The war led to the obliteration of the economy, the electoral defeat of the FSLN in 1990, and to well over 40,000 people killed.[6] The Sandinistas respected the election result – even though it had been obtained under U.S.-led war conditions –, did not engage in violent confrontations during the 16 years of neoliberal governments (1990-2006), and participated in all electoral processes during that period, dutifully recognising unfavourable election results in 1990, 1996, and 2001.

Neoliberalism in Nicaragua was socially and economically disastrous: by 2005, 62% of the population was below the poverty line with high levels of extreme poverty (14% in 2009); 85% had no access to healthcare systems; 64% of the economically active were in the informal sector with no pension or health cover; the level of illiteracy was 22% even though it had been eradicated during the 1979-1990 Sandinista government,[8] and so forth, mirroring neoliberal wreckage elsewhere in the region.

Unsurprisingly, the FSLN gathered electoral strength: winning the presidency by 38% in 2006; re-elected in 2011 with 63% and again with 72% in 2016. The return of the FSLN to government in 2006 led to a reduction of poverty to 24.9% and extreme poverty to 7% in 2016, on the back of a 4.7% average rate of economic growth, one of the highest in the region. The country’s social economy, driven primarily by the informal sector, was given a gigantic impetus making Nicaragua 90% self-sufficient in food (a dream for nations under U.S. siege, such as Cuba and Venezuela). By 2018-19 poverty had been halved, 1.2 million children were taken out of food poverty, 27,378 new classrooms had been built, 11,000 new teachers had been employed, 353 new healthcare units had been created including 109 birth & childcare facilities, 229 health centres, 15 primary hospitals, plus social housing, social security, the mass inclusion of women earning the nation the 5th world position on gender equality, and much more. So why would the FSLN, enjoying an electoral support of 70%+, resort to state violence in 2018 when the economy was going well, social indexes were improving and standards of living going up? Why would the FSLN turn viciously against its own people by becoming a dictatorship overnight?

Demonization, prelude to aggression

The intense, intoxicating and well orchestrated worldwide demonization campaign against the FSLN government has inevitably influenced and obfuscated the vision of many individuals of goodwill who may have a healthy concern about the media-generated torrent of allegations of undemocratic behaviour attributed to the Nicaraguan government. Many also believed that Bolivian President Evo Morales had fathered an illegitimate child – which, The Guardian (24 June 2016) labelled a scandalous “telenovela of sex, lies, and paternity claims” –, that was an undeniable factor in Morales narrowly losing a referendum in 2016. However, the child never existed but was ‘materialised’ by the world media just before the referendum was held. No media outrage was elicited by such grotesque fabrication. So, never underestimate the power and impact of U.S.-led psychological warfare carried through the world corporate media, especially when it comes to Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela, or any government targeted by U.S. ‘regime change’ plans.

Psychological warfare and its concomitant media demonization have the function to alienate progressive public opinion support from U.S. targeted governments or individuals. Former Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and his party, for example, were subjected to such media demonization managing to persuade many primarily in Europe and the U.S. of his culpability in the Lava Jato corruption scandal that rocked Brazil, for which he was tried and convicted on [T]rumped up charges that led to his illegal and unjust imprisonment for over 580 days. No media outrage has followed Brazil Supreme Court’s verdicts of his being innocent of all the charges. Nevertheless, the damage done is pretty hefty: the lawfare against Lula prevented him from being a presidential candidate, creating propitious conditions for the election of fascist Bolsonaro.

The demonization of Evo seems to have been part of a broader plan aimed at his ousting, which was achieved in November 2019 thanks to the corrupt intervention of OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro who, with the support of the European Union ‘electoral mission’ in Bolivia, falsely reported of ‘irregularities’ implying election fraud. The coup brought to power the de facto racist and fascist government led by Jeanine Añez, that unleashed brutal police repression and persecution against the social movements, perpetrated several massacres, and engaged in vast amounts of corruption. No media outrage has followed Almagro’s disgusting behaviour, not even after him being publicly denounced by Bolivia’s president, Luis Arce, and Mexico’s foreign minister.

Actually, the plot thickens: the Bolivian government with the help of the government of Argentina, have produced irrefutable evidence that in November 2019 right wing former president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, sent to Bolivia a war arsenal of thousands of rounds of ammunition, 70,000 anti-riot cartridges, thousands of rubber bullets, many long and short weapons, including machine guns, as ‘contribution’ to the coup that ousted president Morales. No media outrage has followed this either; instead, most of the corporate media has opted for omitting it.

In Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has denounced several attempts on his life, one of which in 2018 was televised; yet it led to no corporate media condemnation. In May 2020 Venezuela was subjected to a mercenary attack with the perpetrators publicly admitting it, yet it led to no media condemnation either. At least the brutal assassination of Haiti’s president Jovenel Moise by a hit squad of Colombian mercenaries that appear to be connected to the Colombian authorities, has received a modicum of media condemnation and there is some journalistic probing into Colombia’s involvement in it. Haiti’s gory magnicide (Moise was first tortured then killed with 12 bullets) shows the U.S. and its allies in the region are prepared to go to any lengths to obtain results. There is no reason to think Nicaragua, as the 2018 coup attempt shows, would be treated differently. 

The empire’s desperation

Right now the issue for the U.S. interventionist machinery in Nicaragua is the coming election to be held on 7 November 2021 with the likely victory of the FSLN. The people of Nicaragua will elect president, vice-president and 90 national assembly deputies. The U.S. is desperate to discredit these elections by orchestrating a stream of media-oriented provocations that may allow it not to recognise the results (though, after the embarrassing experience with corrupt primus inter pares, Juan Guaidó, it is unlikely to proclaim a Nicaraguan ‘interim president’; though I wouldn’t hold my breath). The desperation of the U.S. interventionist establishment, especially its extreme right-wing (Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, the NED, USAID et al), manifests itself in a media-driven effort to discredit the coming election by seeking to influence international progressive public opinion with a narrative of disillusionment with the FSLN (labelled Orteguismo), aimed at creating the impression the FSLN is isolated, thus resorting to dictatorial measures, and that it has betrayed Sandinismo. Apart from being malicious this is thoroughly false.

Under president Daniel Ortega and vice-president Rosario Murillo Nicaragua has successfully defended the nation’s sovereignty by restoring the social gains of the 1979-1990 revolution, by defeating the U.S.-orchestrated violent coup attempt of 2018, and by deepening the progressive socio-economic measures implemented since 2006. A good gauge of what would have happened had the 2018 coup attempt been victorious are the Añez government actions in Bolivia; Bolsonaro’s fascist brutality and recklessness, Guaidó’s criminal “interim presidency”, and Almagro’s abject servility to imperial objectives, whose common factor is the United States. Had the coup succeeded, the structural connection between Nicaragua’s socio-economic developments and national sovereignty, on which the latter rests, would have been brutally demolished, including the repression and murder of many Sandinistas and social leaders. The atrocities perpetrated during the coup attempt in 2018 (torture, burning people, setting fire to houses, health centres, radio stations, and generalised violence), are irrefutable proof of this.

The FSLN government is not isolated; it not only enjoys majority support in Nicaragua but it also has the robust solidarity of the Sao Paulo Forum, the Latin American body that brings together 48 social and political organizations. Among these are the Cuban Communist party, Venezuela’s PSUV, Bolivia’s MAS, Brazil’s Workers Party, Argentina’s Frente Grande, and Mexico’s MORENA – just to mention the most important ones –, parties that command literally well over 120 million votes, and are or have been in government. The Forum (16 June 2021) has issued a robust statement in support of Nicaragua’s sovereignty stating as false the allegations of “arbitrary detention of opposition figures”.[8]

The Puebla Group, a body that assembles a large number of regional political leaders set up jointly by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Alberto Fernandez, presidents of Mexico and Argentina, respectively, issued a manifesto in February 2021 expressing support for Nicaragua (as well as Cuba and Venezuela) and condemning the aggression, external interference, and destabilisation these nations have been subjected to by the U.S.[9] Among the Group’s members are Lula, Dilma Rousseff, Evo, Rafael Correa, Fernando Lugo, Ernesto Samper, Leonel Fernandez, Luis Guillermo Solis and Jose Luis Zapatero, former presidents of Brazil (two), Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Spain, and many other prominent politicians.

Furthermore, the Executive Secretary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP), Sacha Llorenti, also condemned the aggression and the illegal sanctions against Nicaragua (and Cuba and Venezuela). Llorenti praised the “lessons of dignity given by the Nicaraguan people to the world” and paid tribute to them for the “achievements [of] the Sandinista Revolution.”[10] He was attending a celebration of the 42nd anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution held in Caracas. ALBA-TCP is a radical coordination founded in 2004 that includes Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Grenada and the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Though in Europe opposition to U.S. aggression is strong, it is less so than in Latin America. Foreign affairs are dominated by the European Union’s abject and systematic capitulation to U.S. foreign policy (on Latin America, and the world). Thus we have witnessed the shameful spectacle of Europe’s recognition of Guaidó as Venezuela’s ‘interim president’, and the European Parliament, led by the nose by Spanish extreme right wing Vox party, to issue condemnations of Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia. The latter for the temerity of bringing Jeanine Añez to justice, key player in the 2019 coup against Evo and directly responsible for the repression perpetrated against Bolivians during her illegal 11 months in office.

Since the EU supports every violent assault against democracy in the Americas, it would be coherent to have supported the Trump-inspired assault on Washington’s Capitol. On January 6, 2021, the U.S.’s extreme right applied techniques of “regime change” at home as the televised violent storming of the Capitol showed. The assault was carried out by armed, extreme right-wing (white supremacist) thugs, almost identical to U.S.-led efforts in Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Cuba, which involved not recognition of election results, incessant spread of fake news, questioning the credibility of state institutions, fanaticization of supporters, all aimed at bringing about a crisis seeking to prevent the proclamation as president of the real winner.

Conclusion

Supporting any form of U.S. interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation under U.S. attack, by calling for ‘the international community to act’, or by (un)wittingly parroting U.S. State Dept. narrative on that nation, is tantamount to legitimising U.S. policy of “regime change”.

Were it not for U.S. aggression and interference, countries such as Nicaragua would have taken off and developed democracy and social progress, as the short national sovereignty intervals (1979-1990 and 2006-2018) have demonstrated. Cuba, for example, is an educational, sport, medical and biotechnological power, even though it has lost US$144 billion. (that is, the equivalent of 10 Nicaraguan economies at current prices) in the past six decades due to the U.S. blockade. Imagine how Cuba could have developed and multiplied its generous solidarity contribution to the world if it had not had to endure the criminal Yankee blockade.

Taking from its 1909 intervention, the U.S. maintained Nicaragua militarily invaded from 1912 until 1933, exerted direct control during the Somoza dictatorship until 1979, that when the Contra War (1980-1990) and the neoliberal governments (1990-2006), are added, the U.S. systemically curtailed or annulled Nicaragua’s national sovereignty for 97 years in the 20th century! If we add U.S. aggressive 19th century expansionism in the Caribbean, including the U.S. mercenary incursion of William Walker in 1856 –when he took power by military force and restored slavery -, poor Nicaragua has been under the U.S. imperial thump for over 140 years!

Nicaragua is entitled to embark on its own alternative path of development that, as a matter of sacrosanct moral principle, must be determined by Nicaraguans only without any external interference, and above all, in peace.

U.S. hands off Latin America, U.S. and hands off Nicaragua!

Endnotes

[1] Nicaragua – USAID, corporate non profits and CIA coup attempts – http://tortillaconsal.com/tortilla/node/11930
[2] Benjamin Waddell, Laying the groundwork for insurrection: A closer look at the U.S. role in Nicaragua’s social unrest, Global Americans, 1 May 2018, https://theglobalamericans.org/2018/05/laying-groundwork-insurrection-closer-look-u-s-role-nicaraguas-social-unrest/
[3] M Blumenthal & B Norton, “How US govt-funded media fueled a violent coup in Nicaragua, The Grayzone, 12 June 2021 – https://thegrayzone.com/2021/06/12/coup-nicaragua-cpj-100-noticias/
[4] Name comes from the Somozas, a brutal dictatorship whose family led a US-protected and US-supported dynasty for 43 years, characterized by the assassination of opponents, repression, torture, vicious undemocratic practices and huge amounts of corruption.
[5] The only way to end economic hardship in Cuba is to lift the blockade, Tribune, 17 July 2021, https://tribunemag.co.uk/2021/07/the-only-way-to-end-economic-hardship-in-cuba-is-to-end-the-us-blockade
[6] Under pressure from the ‘Vietnam syndrome’, these US Republican administrations circumvented Congressional and public opposition to wars, they resorted to drug trafficking and selling secretly and illegally weapons to Iran (The Intercept, 12 May 2018 – https://theintercept.com/2018/05/12/oliver-north-nra-iran-contra/
[7] J M Franzoni, Social protections systems Nicaragua, ECLAC, https://repositorio.cepal.org/bitstream/handle/11362/4059/1/S2013119_en.pdf
[8] Comunicado defensa de la soberanía de Nicaragua, https://forodesaopaulo.org/comunicado-en-defensa-de-la-soberania-de-nicaragua/
[9] Manifiesto Progresista del Grupo de Puebla, 10 February 2021, https://www.grupodepuebla.org/manifiestoprogresista/
[10] https://www.albatcp.org/en/2021/07/20/nicaraguan-people-has-given-lessons-of-dignity/


Briefs
By Nan McCurdy

Changes in the Electoral Calendar
The Supreme Electoral Council extended the deadline for the period of correction, resignations and substitution of candidates, the provisional publication of candidates and the period for challenges until August 26.  As for the provisional publication of candidates, it will be on September 1. The period for challenges will run from September 2 to 4 and the resolution of the challenges for the date of September 7. “The second change approved by the CSE is the change of the starting date of the electoral campaign, which will now run from September 25 to November 3 of the current year. (Informe Pastran, 12 August 2021)

Change in PLC Vice Presidential Candidate
Liberal leader Mayra Consuelo Argüello is the new candidate of the Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC) for the vice-presidency of Nicaragua on a ticket with presidential candidate Walter Espinoza. Argüello. The director of public relations of the PLC, Cristian López, confirmed that Argüello has been registered with the Supreme Electoral Council and they expect her to be ratified in the publication of the candidacies. (Informe Pastran, 19 August 2021)

Poll Shows More People Will Vote for the FSLN
The predisposition to vote for the FSLN is 66.7% for the November general elections, according to the opinion poll by M&R Consultores announced August 17. 85.7% of Nicaraguans surveyed by M&R Consultores consider that the elections are very important, while 78.5% affirm that they will probably vote. The rating of the work done by President Daniel Ortega is 70.6%. 76.8% consider that there is respect for fundamental rights in Nicaragua. 69.5% is the index of political predisposition for the FSLN and 26% for the opposition. “Party political sympathy places the FSLN with 57.9%.  See details: https://radiolaprimerisima.com/noticias-generales/destacado/aumenta-intencion-de-voto-para-fsln/
(Radio La Primerisima, 17 August 2021)

La Prensa and Its Executives Investigated for Fraud and Money Laundering
The National Police reported August 13 that an investigation has begun of Editorial La Prensa Sociedad Anónima and its directors for the crimes of customs fraud and laundering of money, goods and assets, to the detriment of the State of Nicaragua and the Nicaraguan society. According to a press release, agents of the Judicial Assistance Directorate, accompanied by officials from the General Directorate of Customs Services (DGA), the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, searched the warehouses of Editorial La Prensa S.A., which remain under police custody. The National Police found many large rolls of paper in the newspaper’s warehouses located on the north highway. The authorities are dismantling the newspaper’s lies that they didn’t have paper to publish the newspaper because the government had blocked the raw material to continue with the publication of the newspaper. The police note indicates that the relevant investigative procedures are being carried out and the file will be forwarded to the competent authorities for prosecution and determination of criminal responsibilities. See photos and video: https://radiolaprimerisima.com/noticias-generales/destacado/investigan-a-la-prensa-y-directivos-por-defraudacion-y-lavado-de-dinero/ (Radio La Primerisima, 13 August 2021)

US$64 Million for Forest Conservation
The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) [formed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] signed a US$64.1 million financing agreement for the Bio-CLIMA Project to promote forest conservation and restoration in the Bosawás nature reserve and the Río San Juan biosphere. The total cost of the project is US$116.6 million; the GCF will provide US$64.1 million, of which US$38.0 million is a loan and US$26.1 million is a donation; CABEI will finance US$44.2 million through its Poverty Reduction and Economic and Social Exclusion Program (PRPEES). “In addition, there will be a US$8.3 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). “We are pleased with this agreement with which we reinforce our commitment to support Nicaragua in its efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change in a particularly vulnerable area of the Caribbean Coast,” said CABEI Executive President, Dr. Dante Mossi. (Informe Pastran 12 August 2021”

OAS Ambassador’s Statement on Indigenous People’s Day
The Nicaraguan Ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alvarado spoke at the OAS special session on the occasion of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, recalling that Nicaragua is a multiethnic and multicultural nation. “We celebrate the legacy of our Caciques Diriangén and Nicarao and so many other Miskito, Mayangna, Ulwa and Rama leaders, who never surrendered to colonial oppression and whose strength and wisdom inspired national independence, anti-imperialist struggle, the Sandinista Popular Revolution and the autonomy of the peoples of the Caribbean Coast and the construction of a genuine Nicaraguan democracy,” he said. He said that the government of Nicaragua has implemented “important programs such as the Mother Earth Program, which has allowed the demarcation and titling of 23 territories of the native and Afro-descendant peoples between 2007 and 2021, incorporating 314 communities that cover a territorial extension of more than 37,859.32 km2, with more than 205,315 inhabitants, 31% of the national territory, more than any other country in our hemisphere. Technical and higher education has been strengthened, which is free through the National Technological Institute (INATEC), the community and intercultural universities, BICU and URACCAN and the Open Online University of Nicaragua (UALN) of the National Council of Universities. In the area of health, the ancestral knowledge and practices of indigenous peoples have been integrated into the Family and Community Health Model (MOSAFC), which guarantees greater investment in health infrastructure, professional training and comprehensive organization of the health sector, encouraging participation of all actors (midwives, healers, traditional doctors, brigadistas, nurses, doctors, wise men, etc.) in the intercultural management of health in indigenous communities.” Delegation of Nicaragua to the OAS. (Informe Pastran, 12 August 2021)

500,000 Businesswomen Financed by Zero Usury
The government microcredit program Zero Usury during the last 14 years, has significantly helped thousands of women to lift their families out of poverty, said the program’s director, Leonor Corea, on Channel 4’s En Vivo Magazine. “During all this time we have seen how women are advancing, evolving in their businesses, learning how to get a loan, how to know if they are actually making money, or if they have to change to another business to obtain profits,” she explained. “Cumulatively, we have half a million women who have received an average of three credits,” explained Corea. She stressed that this segment is moving the national economy by creating thousands of small urban and semi-urban businesses. (Informe Pastran, 13 August 2021)

Loan to Reduce Contamination in Lake Managua
A loan for 18 million euros was approved August 12 by the National Assembly for the Lake Managua Sanitation Program which will benefit the inhabitants of the capital and two other municipalities. The objective is to reduce the contamination levels of water discharged into the southern basin of Lake Managua and improve environmental conditions in Managua, Tipitapa and Ciudad Sandino, for 2.6 million inhabitants. The loan agreement was signed between the Government of Nicaragua and the KFW Bank of Germany and will be executed over four years by the National Water and Sewerage Company (ENACAL). The mega-project has different components, among them: Improve the drinking water supply in Tipitapa, with the construction of 12 wells in the community of Tisma, with storage tanks and the installation of 12 kilometers of pipelines; the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant in Managua; the construction of a new sewage treatment plant in Ciudad Sandino; and the addition of 7,000 new wastewater connections, among others. (Radio La Primerisima, 12 August 2021)

900,000 families with Government Electricity Subsidy
The president of the Nicaraguan Energy Institute (INE), José Antonio Castañeda highlighted that more than 900,000 families receive an electricity subsidy thanks to the government. Castañeda presented before the National Assembly the 2020 management report in which he explained that this subsidy is for families that consume fewer than 150 kilowatts per month. He added that in 2020 the government spent US$69 million on this subsidy. Some 64,000 retirees also benefit from the subsidy. The official also mentioned the 17% reduction in the electricity tariff over the last year and noted that, in 2021, the country will reach 99% electricity coverage. The transmission system of high voltage lines has been extended by 2,838 kilometers. From 2006 to date the number of consumers has increased from 629,000 to 1,257,000, an increase of 101%. (Informe Pastran, 13 August 2021)

Some 9,000 Residents of Chinandega With Potable Water
The Water Company (ENACAL), reported August 13 that the drilling and equipping of a new well located in Tonalá is finished and the well is operational. With the entry into operation of the well, the drinking water service is improved for some 1,650 families (8,910 people) of Tonalá and Puerto Morazán. (Radio La Primerisima, 13 August 2021)

Bismarck Martinez Housing Program Growing
Managua Mayor Reyna Rueda pointed out that last month the government delivered another 100 houses to their new owners in the Bismarck Martinez program in the Villa Jerusalén urbanization. “With these 100 houses we now have 1,300 houses in Villa Jerusalén. The goal is to reach 4,000 homes this year. We are delivering the homes with electricity, potable water, and its main streets attended to.” Rueda noted that this is another emblematic program that has no parallel in Latin America, where a family can acquire a decent home without a down payment or a co-signer and for US$40 a month. (Informe Pastran, 13 August 2021)

Government Built or Facilitated 123,190 New Houses
This year, the government, through INVUR, started a series of unprecedented affordable housing projects as part of the poverty reduction efforts, INVUR co-director Olivia Cano told INFORME PASTRAN. “In this phase of the revolution 123,190 new houses have been built,” said Cano, recalling that under the Sandinista administration a special law for the promotion of housing construction was approved in 2009. “Today, having a house is an achievable project, because we have different programs to be able to access housing: there are government incentives that bring housing to those families that, until some time ago were not subject to credit and because of that did not have the right to housing. We are currently developing 35 housing projects, of which 5 are for home improvements. In 2021 we will have 1,700 new homes.” she said. 130 housing projects are being executed this year in 110 municipalities. (Informe Pastran, 17 August 2021)

Luciano Garcia Robbed Exiled Coup Leaders
The Nicaraguan exiles in Costa Rica are upset with Luciano Garcia because of money he has stolen and the purchases he has made that have turned him into a potentate overnight. The “Chanito chanchito”, as he is called by the plotters of the 2018 failed coup attempt, was the owner of a small clothing store in a shopping mall in Nicaragua. But after receiving US$1.114 million from the US government, supposedly to attend to the exiles in Costa Rica, he suddenly became the owner of mansions, several vehicles and three luxury meat outlets, among others. In 2017, Luciano García bought the presidency of the NGO “Hagamos Democracia” (Let’s Make Democracy) which is financed by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the civic arm of the CIA; the National Democratic Institute (NDI); International Republican Institute (IRI); USAID and nations of the European Union. These groups decided that “Chanito” would be the new president of Hagamos Democracia, and they themselves are the ones who have been showering him with money to the point of turning him into a millionaire, which has made the exiled coup leaders furious. In one publication these former leaders ask if any of the exiled coup perpetrators in Costa Rica have received even one of the courses allegedly offered by Luciano García through Hagamos Democracia, in order to guide them on how to overthrow President Daniel Ortega. They also extracted copies of documents from public institutions in Costa Rica that prove “Chanito Chanchito’s” millionaire investments. See here some of the documents published on Facebook by the Nicaraguan coup perpetrators exiled in Costa Rica: https://radiolaprimerisima.com/noticias-generales/destacado/luciano-garcia-les-robo-a-cara-pelada-a-terroristas-exiliados/ (Radio La Primerisima, 17 August 2021)

COVID 19 Report Week of August 10 to 16
The Health Ministry reported that last week there were 303 new registered cases of Covid, 279 people recuperated and there was one death. Since March 2020 there have been 8,496 registered cases, 7,877 people recuperated and 198 deaths. (Radio La Primerisima, 17 August 2021)