NicaNotes: What If It Happened Like This in the US?

Women sesame farmers in Nicaragua taking in the harvest

What If It Happened Like This in the US?

By Kathleen Murdock and Becca Mohally Renk

(Kathleen and Becca work with the Center for Development in Central America, a project of the Jubilee House Community in Nicaragua.)

We have had a good many people to write us and ask us what in the world is going on in Nicaragua as they read all the international reporting. This is our attempt at trying to put the recent arrests in a way that people living in the United States might better understand.  We found that if we did comparisons that maybe other people can get a feeling of what this little nation that we love so much is doing.

First let us explain some before we get to the comparisons between Nicaragua and the U.S.

 

  1. USAID and other U.S. government entities have sent astronomical sums of money to NGOs for a poor country of only 6.5 million people. A comparison of the wealth of the two countries makes the figures even more outrageous. Nicaragua’s GDP is around $12 billion, while the GDP of the US is around $21 trillion—that makes the U.S. economy more than 1,750 times larger than Nicaragua’s. We multiplied the figures of money sent to Nicaragua by 1,750 to show what an equivalent sum would mean in the U.S.
  2. When we compare populations we have adjusted this way: Nicaragua has 6.5 million people, the U.S. has 331 million. This number represents 8% of the population.

 

What if Russia sent $281 billion to U.S. non-governmental organizations?

That is the equivalent – adjusting for the country’s GDP – of what has happened in Nicaragua since 2015. USAID has sent $160, 586,742 to Nicaraguan NGOs mainly for “independent media” and “democracy and citizenship training for youth.”

 

What if Russia put $17.5 billion into Fox News, Breitbart and Infowars? 

That is the equivalent of what has happened in Nicaragua since 2009. USAID has spent at least $10 million on opposition media outlets for “media strengthening programs.” Many of these outlets are extremely well-funded fringe operations with no more journalistic integrity than Alex Jones.

What if, instead of just one day, the January 6th attack on the Capitol had stretched to months of daily violent protests, and the insurrectionists had set up road blocks effectively paralyzing the country, leading to the loss of 6.2 million jobs? What if we later found out the insurrectionists had been funded by China?

In 2018 Nicaragua went through a similar scenario when opposition protests turned violent, then armed groups set up roadblocks throughout the country that became epicenters of violence, including torture and murder. The roadblocks crippled the economy and caused the loss of 130,000 jobs, which was catastrophic for Nicaragua. The opposition and its media apparatus blamed the government for the violence but police and Sandinistas were targeted and attacked, and now investigations are showing who was funding this violence in Nicaragua – the U.S. government.

What if the Q-Anon Shaman were let out on a general amnesty for all those involved in the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol, then he declared he wanted to be President of the United States and travelled to China to openly lobby its government to put economic sanctions on the U.S. and was arrested for treason on his return? Would the headlines read “Biden Regime Arrests Presidential Candidate?”

This is essentially what is happening in Nicaragua. On June 8 Felix Maradiaga was charged with violating laws against treason and arrested. “Maradiaga, a Harvard-educated Aspen Fellow who is a long-time recipient of NED funds through his own NGO, became notorious during the 2018 coup attempt as one of the masterminds of the violence. He benefited from the amnesty granted by the government in 2019 to all those involved in crimes related to the 2018 violence, and since then he has been traveling to the U.S. and international organizations, openly advocating for sanctions to be imposed on his country.” (Source: Rita Jill Clark-Gollub)

What if the Trump Foundation had received $12.3 billion from Russia?* What if, when asked how that money had been spent, Eric Trump refused to provide an accounting of the funds, announced the closure of the Foundation, transferred remaining Foundation funds into his personal bank account, declared he wanted to be President of the United States and when charged with money laundering, he disputed that by saying the Trump Foundation had already been audited by Russia and they found no malfeasance?

This is what has happened in Nicaragua.  Cristiana Chamorro, daughter of former President Violeta Chamorro and Director of the Chamorro Foundation, has been charged with money laundering and placed under house arrest after refusing to account for the at least $7 million the Foundation received from U.S. government bodies in recent years which was allegedly channeled to opposition media outlets. Chamorro has been accused of transferring funds from the Foundation account into her personal bank account. She disputed the charges against her with this statement, “The US State Department rejected the charges of money laundering against the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation based on audits they conducted that did not find evidence of money laundering or diversion of funds.”

But what is the current situation really like for average Nicaraguans? Let’s keep the comparisons going for better understanding.

 

What if free health care were a right for every U.S. citizen? It is for every Nicaraguan, from general care, chronic and specialized care, medicines, exams, kidney dialysis and cancer treatment.

What if only 23,170 people in the U.S. had died from COVID? That’s 7 per 100,000 people, the number that have died in Nicaragua, according to a new study by U.S.-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation that calculates COVID deaths adjusting for “excess” deaths.

What if every U.S. citizen had the right to a free education from preschool right through college and graduate school? Every Nicaraguan has that right.

What if every U.S. worker was given one month’s paid vacation, 13 paid holidays, and an extra month’s pay each year and pregnant women were mandated two months of paid maternity leave? Every Nicaraguan worker has these rights.

What if 50% of all candidates for public office in the U.S. were women? Nicaraguan law requires it. In fact, Nicaragua ranks 5th overall in the world for gender equality, 1st in women heading government ministries, 3rd in the world for political participation of women, and first out of 153 countries for educational attainment and health and survival. (Source: World Economic Forum and UN Women)

What if the U.S. deeded all lands west of the Rockies to First Nations? In recent years the Nicaraguan government has titled a full one-third of its territory to 300 Indigenous communities to be communally owned and managed.

What if 80% of the US population received a government subsidy to cover 45% of their electrical bill? 80% of Nicaraguans do.

What if 84% of the electricity the U.S. produced were renewable? 84% of Nicaragua’s energy production is renewable.

What if 26.5 million U.S. citizens were given title to houses or land? In Nicaragua half a million people have been titled land or homes since 2007, either new to them or family land that had lacked legal title.

What if police forces in the U.S. were demilitarized and trained in a community policing model? Nicaragua’s largely unarmed police force works with young people to promote a culture of peace which includes home visits to at-risk youth, community counseling sessions, organizing and running sports programs, teaching vocational classes, technical training, GED programs and even financing start-up businesses together with at risk youth.

 

These phenomenal improvements to quality of life are the reasons that Nicaraguans support the government – a recent poll showed that 77% of the population believes the Sandinista government is working for the good of the general population of Nicaragua.

But the U. S. government is committed to overthrowing the will of the people – as we know from a leaked U.S. State Department paper (RAIN), which laid out how the U. S. government would fund NGOs and opposition leaders, how they would use gangs to disrupt the peace and safety of the citizenry, and how they would declare the election a fraud, among other distasteful actions.

The last 150 years of Nicaraguan history is filled with examples of the U. S. interfering in its affairs.  It continues.

We do not believe that the U. S. government would stand by and do nothing if it were Russia or China doing the same thing to them. Do you?

 

Dear Nica Solidarity Activist,

There’s now a new discussion group dedicated solely to Nicaragua.  (Of course, the U.S. is causing problems in countless other Latin American countries, but this group is for Nicaragua solidarity activists.)

To join: <https://groups.google.com/g/nicanet>

To post: <nicanet@googlegroups.com>

This Google group is the Nicaragua Network’s public forum for exchanging ideas and information among solidarity activists who are anti-US intervention in Nicaragua.  It’s a group for people who support Nicaragua’s sovereignty and the Sandinista Revolution.

As administrator, I will approve all posts before publishing them.  Posts are limited to topics, articles, and discussion about Nicaragua.  Sorry, but posts about other countries or about matters that do not include Nicaragua explicitly will not be approved.

We Nicaragua solidarity activists sometimes don’t know what other solidarity activists are doing to support Nicaragua.  This is a great way to share your news, reading lists, upcoming programs, etc.  We await your submissions!

Please join the group and send in your contributions.

In solidarity,

Arnie Matlin for Nicaragua Network—a project of the Alliance for Global Justice <https://AFGJ.org>

P.S.  Some people sign up without problems.  Others get an error message.  If you have a problem signing up, just send me a message and I’ll manually add your name to the Google group.  <ahmatlingvcp@igc.org>

 

The CIA: Attempting Coups in Nicaragua with Tax Dollars Through US Agencies and Corporate Foundations

by Nan McCurdy, originally published in Dissident Voice

Since the Sandinistas won the 2006 election their anti-poverty policies have had enormous success.

The country is 90% self-sufficient in food. 99% of the population have electricity in their homes that is now generated with 70+% green energy; International financial Institutions including the World Bank, the International Development Bank and The Central American Bank for Economic Integration praise Nicaragua for its excellent, efficient project execution. it has one of the best health systems in Latin America praised by the International Monetary Fund, with 20 new state of the art hospitals since 2007 achieving one of the lowest Covid mortality rates in the world. Poverty, extreme poverty, maternal, child and infant mortality have all been cut at least in half. Nicaragua is number one in the world in both women in politics and women in ministerial positions and it is fifth in gender equity behind the Nordic nations.

Many more advances for the majority of the population in education, housing and infrastructure have resulted in huge wins for the FSLN in the last two elections (2011 and 2016) and polls indicate that in the November 7 presidential elections they will garner at least 60% of the vote with at least 70% voter turn-out. Some 95% of the adult population have identity cards needed for voting. If the US public knew what this nation, impoverished by nearly 200 years of US war and aggression, has been able to achieve in fourteen years it would surely encourage them to demand better education, infrastructure and universal health care in the United States.

To prevent similar acts of sovereignty by small nations still considered colonies by the United States, the CIA prepared the way for the 2018 coup attempt and has never stopped trying to overthrow the Sandinista government since. The CIA uses US agents, many who pass themselves off as journalists or activists, as well as those eternally stationed at the US embassy; it has provided millions of dollars to hundreds of Nicaraguans acting as foreign agents as well as their nonprofit organizations that conspire against the Sandinista government like those recently arrested for money laundering, fraud and requesting foreign intervention.

The US helped grow the pro-US anti-Sandinista media in Nicaragua

Much of the US-directed propaganda apparatus was designed and funded by the US after the FSLN won the 2006 elections ending 17 years of three US-directed governments. A subversive front of newspapers, magazines, television stations, radio stations, websites, news agencies, and social media pages was formed. Journalists and media outlets were paid by the US (millions through the USAID, NED, IRI and US foundations) and much of it was administered by the Chamorro family media cartel, specializing in fake media campaigns to try to promote anti-Sandinista hatred and mistrust of the government.

Part of this has been known for some time. For example, in May, 2018 during the coup, Tom Ricker of the Quixote Institute described 55 NED grants awarded between 2014 and 2017 for US$4.2 million “as part of a U.S. government-funded campaign to provide a coordinated strategy and media voice for opposition groups in Nicaragua. NED grants fund media (radio, social media and other web-based news outlets) and opposition research. In addition, strategies targeting youth get substantial funding, along with programs seeking to mobilize women’s and indigenous organizations. Though the language is of support for “civil society” and “pro-democracy” groups, the focus on funding is specifically to build coordinated opposition to the government.”

US propaganda funds for 2018 coup channeled through Chamorro family media dynasty

On June 2, Journalist William Grigsby on his news analysis program, Sin Fronteras, revealed (see below) US documents which show that the CIA openly channeled US$16.7 million for the coup attempt, between February 2017 and July 2018, through the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation whose director Cristiana Chamorro is part of a famous family of oligarchs that count eight members as previous presidents; she is also the daughter of former president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro. She and her uncle are owners of the only daily, La Prensa, funded by the US for pro-Contra lies since the 1980s. Her brother Carlos Fernando has his own media empire. US funds to the VBCHF support these family businesses. Her now-deceased husband, Antonio Lacayo is widely considered to have exercised great power during her mother’s presidency from 1990 to 1997 overseeing some 7 billion dollars in privatization of state property, as well as privatization of education and health care. During the early 90s you couldn’t get so much as an aspirin at a government hospital without paying for it.

Chamorro Family, 1990s, Cristiana and Antonio Lacayo are on the right , laprensa.com.ni

The US$16.7 million was given by US agencies and foundations specifically to finance media terrorism [lies, fake news and distortion to foment assassinations and hate, destabilize and create chaos] to incite and maintain the coup attempt. The Chamorro Foundation also received €679,530 from European government-financed organizations during this period. The attempted coup left more than 200 families in mourning, thousands of people traumatized as well as much destruction and severe damage to the economy resulting in the loss of at least 130,000 jobs.

The Foundation’s Director, Cristiana Chamorro, was accused by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of money laundering, and given house arrest on June 2, 2021. She closed the Foundation in February of this year saying she didn’t want to comply with the “Foreign Agents” law passed in October 2020, similar to, but not as strict as, the 1938 US Foreign Agents Act. Under the Nicaraguan law, organizations receiving foreign funding must report that funding and how it is used – thousands of nonprofits are doing this with no problem.

According to Grigsby and Liberal Party news analyst, Enrique Quiñones, there was still at least US$7 million in the Foundation account when she closed it and this money appeared soon afterward in three of her personal banks accounts.

The US$16.7 million given by the CIA during that short time-span was just the money given for fake news – to fund every kind of news media, programs, social media and to directly fund individuals. Many millions more were provided to other nonprofits and “Human Rights” organizations. It is telling that in a country of 6.3 million people there are four human rights organizations – all funded by the US government and one was even founded by the US government in the 80s to cover up for the Contra.

Within that US$16.7 million, US$9,409,853 was provided by USAID for individuals, projects and media. The National Endowment for Democracy gave the Foundation US$564,134 for a project “promoting independent journalism and freedom of expression” in November 2017.

The Soros Foundations – owned by New York-based tycoon George Soros – also financed fake news in Nicaragua through several organizations that are known to fund destabilization efforts around the world: US$6,722,325 was given by two of the Soros Foundations: US$6,148,325 by the Soros Foundation for the project, “independent and transparent journalism” given in March 2018 a month before the coup began, and $574,000 in July 2018, the month the coup was defeated, by the Open Society Foundation for the “independent journalism and citizenship” project.

The 2017-2018 funding of opposition media and journalists through the Chamorro Foundation by USAID, NED and Soros Foundations – US$16,696,312 million provided just before and during the attempted coup is a small part of funding provided by agencies like USAID, NED, IRI, Freedom House and foundations, like those of Soros with close ties to the Council on Foreign Relations.

USAID spent US$160 million on agents and agent organizations to try to topple the Sandinistas

The US began major destabilization attempts after the Sandinistas won the 2006 elections.

The bigger picture on USAID financing for destabilization in recent years is that it gave US$160 million to opposition organizations and individuals between 2015 and early 2021, information still available by year on the web; however, much information about recipient organizations has been removed. Most information about NED money has also been removed.

Official US documents presented by Grigsby in July 2020 provide more detailed evidence about which nonprofits and individuals benefitted from US$30 million right before the 2018 coup.

Breaking the Yankee Propaganda Apparatus

The USAID says this about their role in Nicaragua:

USAID/OTI partnered with independent media to operate and produce more targeted digital content during the political crisis. The program enabled independent media to preserve and promote democratic discourse, absent further economic destabilization or dramatic state intervention.

In a recent article Rita Jill Clark-Gollub writes:

Anyone who has been watching Nicaragua knows that these supposedly “independent” media in Nicaragua have been the main source of Nicaragua news reported here in the United States. In other words, in my country most people get information about Nicaragua from the CIA!

New laws passed in 2020 (a Foreign Agents Law and a law against terrorism, coups and inciting foreign intervention, which the US vilifies even though they are similar but less punitive than those of the US), and the recent arrests of US Foreign Agents are actions to try to limit US intervention and prevent coup attempts. The US will still get money to their agents, but it won’t be nearly as easy as before and this will limit their ability to carry out the kind of terrorist actions they did in 2018.

William Grigsby on June 2 described what is happening right now in Nicaragua:

[We are] breaking the heart of the Yankee propaganda apparatus in Nicaragua, which was their main way of intervening, now, for the elections – influencing public opinion with lies, instilling fear, instilling hatred in order to try to defeat the Sandinistas. This whole operation that is being carried out from the prosecutor’s office as a spearhead is just that, to destroy the propaganda apparatus of US imperialism.” He asked what all the journalist agents in Nicaragua will do without the salaries they were getting. “Are they committed enough to actually do independent journalism?

 RAIN: the CIA destabilization plan in progress now

Nevertheless, Uncle Sam will still continue efforts to destabilize the country. US ambassador Sullivan is constantly seen meeting with the agents, even denounced by President Daniel Ortega:

This goes for the Yankee ambassador (U.S.) and other ambassadors; they like to meddle everywhere and want to make decisions for us; the Yankee ambassador (Sullivan) parades his candidates, promoting them as if he were Nicaraguan… The Yankee ambassador should not get involved here, nominating candidates, pressuring political parties so that the political parties accept the candidate the Yankee wants, the Yankee ambassador should not forget, Nicaragua is sovereign, Nicaragua belongs to Sandino…

In July 2020 William Grigsby received a USAID document leaked from the embassy. It details in couched terms US destabilization plans for “transition” in Nicaragua and even the contracting of a US company to head it all up. RAIN – Responsive Action in Nicaragua has since been deleted, but not before it was archived. RAIN is a blatant plan for destabilization and overthrow of the democratically elected government of Nicaragua. It is likely that much of what the US has financed in the last year is part of the RAIN plan.

The USAID document establishes three scenarios that they call “democratic transition in Nicaragua:”

RAIN will pursue these activities against a variety of scenarios generally falling under three categories: 1. Free, fair and transparent elections lead to an orderly transition [the US candidate wins] 2. A sudden political transition occurs following a crisis [a coup leads to a US backed government] 3. Transition does not happen in an orderly and timely manner. The regime remains resilient in the face of domestic and international pressure. It is also possible that the regime may remain in power following electoral reforms and a fair election, but without changes to the rule of law or democratic governance [i.e. without changes that benefit US corporations].

It is clear from the RAIN document that the U.S. government realizes that the Sandinistas will win the 2021 election by a large margin: that is another reason they have provided millions to agents, organizations and fake news media, hoping that they can put a dent in the 60% Sandinista win predicted in the polls, or to undermine the elections altogether.

The long-time US agents under investigation for very serious crimes are not leaders: there has not been even one small protest since the arrests began June 2 because those arrested have no “pueblo.” People know that the US funded the very violent coup attempt through them – and hold them accountable. The foreign media tout them as presidential candidates, which they are not. When some of them saw that they might be arrested they ran to try to inscribe with the CXL (Citizens for Freedom) party as pre-candidates thinking this might protect them from detention. They all had the opportunity to form new political parties, but they didn’t even try because they don’t have enough members to fulfill minimal requirements. And more importantly, 17 parties are participating in the November 7 elections that don’t receive foreign funding.

And while the United States wastes millions of tax-payer dollars destabilizing the country, Nicaragua effectively and efficiently makes social and economic advances lauded by international organizations and banks, like universal health care, education, affordable housing, social infrastructure, gender equity, conversion to green energy, natural disaster and climate change mitigation, free recreation, and job creation with the creative and popular economy. The majority of the safest population in Central America with the lowest Covid mortality rate and the lowest emigration rate, who are healthier, better educated and housed, with electricity and potable water, whose food is locally grown and available at a decent price, with parks, fairs, pools and sports stadiums to enjoy their free time, are unlikely to let Uncle Sam influence their vote in November.

 

Briefs

By Nan McCurdy

More Vaccines Arrived

The Ministry of Health announced on June 15 that 120,000 doses of the SPUTNIK V vaccine against COVID-19 had been received and will be used to continue the COVID-19 National Voluntary Vaccination Program This is the second shipment, part of the 1.9 million doses to be received by Nicaragua through the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). (Nicaragua News, 16 June 2021)

Mobile Clinics Take Consultations and Surgeries to 820 Communities

The Health Ministry announced that as part of the “My Hospital for my Community” Health Campaign, medical brigades and mobile clinics from departmental hospitals will carry out 40,180 medical consultations and schedule surgeries in 820 communities this week, benefiting some 60,000 inhabitants. (Nicaragua News, 21 June 2021)

33,360 New Businesses Created since 2019

Vice President Murillo presented the monthly report on growth of new small businesses noting that 1,172 were created between May 16 and June 15 of this year, generating 5,860 new jobs. These new small and medium size businesses are in sectors such as sale of food products, miscellaneous stores, veterinary clinics, transportation services, mechanic workshops, carpentry, hardware stores and tourism services.  A total of 6,672 businesses have been established this year, creating 33,360 new jobs in the country. (Nicaragua News, 17 June 2021)

281 Water and Sanitation Projects for the South Caribbean Region

US$222 million will be invested over the next 10 years to bring 281 water and sanitation projects to the people of the South Caribbean Coast, executive president of the Emergency Social Investment Fund, Nuevo FISE, Virgilio Bravo announced during the Plenary of the Autonomous Regional Council of the Southern Caribbean, with the first projects to be inaugurated in 2023. (Radio La Primerisima, 21 June 2021)

New Hospital in Quilaií to Be Inaugurated in August

Representatives of the Ministry of Health made a visit on June 15 to evaluate progress of the “Bello Amanecer” Primary Hospital in Quilalí, Nueva Segovia Department. The new Hospital is 92% completed and will become fully operational in August, benefiting some 50,000 inhabitants in 54 communities. The US$7.4 million project is being financed through the General Budget. (Nicaragua News, 16 June 2021)

Central Bank 2020 Cooperation Report

The Central Bank published the 2020 Official Cooperation Report, highlighting that foreign cooperation reached US$1.2 billion, of which US$938 million (75.9%) was for the public sector and US$300 million (24. 1%) was for the private sector. In 2020, official assistance increased by US$254.3 million (25.9%) with respect to 2019, with an increase of US$314 million directed to the public sector, and a decrease of US$59.8 million to the private sector. In 2020, US$989.8 million of foreign assistance came from multilateral sources (80.1%) and US$245.7 million from bilateral sources (19.9%). Compared to 2019, multilateral cooperation increased by US$277.0 million (38.9%) and bilateral cooperation decreased by US$22.7 million (-8.5%). By resource modality, US$1 billion corresponded to loans (88.1%) and US$147 million to grants (11.9%). Compared to 2019, loan disbursements increased by US$242.7 million (28.7%) and grants increased by US$11.6 million (8.6%). Resources went to construction (US$331.3 million), public administration (US$223.0 million), social services, health and education (US$191.9 million), electricity, gas and water (US$172. 9 million), financial intermediation (US$114.9 million), manufacturing industry (US$111.7 million) and other sectors (US$89.8 million). The main sources of cooperation to the public sector were: CABEI (US$321.6 million), IMF (US$186.8 million), IDB (US$154.1 million), World Bank (US$72.5 million), European Union (US$36 million), European Investment Bank (EIB) (US$34.3 million), Taiwan (US$27.9 million) and OFID (US$21 million). US$829.2 million (88.4%) corresponded to loans and US$108.6 million to grants (11.6%). (Informe Pastran, 21 June, 2021)

Nicaragua Subsidizes Affordable Housing

The president of the Chamber of Developers (CADUR), Félix Baltodano, announced that interest rates for the purchase of new homes have dropped from 30%-15% down to 9% and the premium to buy a home has also dropped. “The reactivation of mortgage credit from the country’s commercial banks, with historically low interest rates was a fundamental step to reactivate the development sector. The goal of the sector in 2021 is to build 3,000 houses, 2,000 more than in 2020,” he said. The co-director of The Nicaraguan Housing Institute (INVUR), Olivia Cano, emphasized that the urbanization sector is boosted by government subsidies for home purchases in 21 private projects that were certified by INVUR as low-income housing. “INVUR provides incentives like US$2,000 toward the down payment, tax exemption on construction materials, 10 years of subsidy on the interest rate, which allows purchasers to have a fixed rate for 10 years and lowers the monthly payment,” Cano said. (Informe Pastran, 21 June 2021)

World Food Program Recognizes Nicaragua

A May report from the World Food Program on Nicaragua’s emergency response after hurricanes Eta and Iota in 2020 acknowledges the government’s response and attention for communities. It specifies that with the Ministry of Education and the government disaster response organization SINAPRED, the WFP completed the distribution of take-home rations consisting of a 15-day supply for three people of oil, rice, beans and flour (or corn, depending on the area) to affected families with children in school in Jinotega, Nueva Segovia, Rivas and the North Caribbean benefiting 64,023 families, some 192,069 people. While the expansion of the school meal program continues to more than 1.2 million children, the WFP also helped some 199,100 children from 2,400 schools located in other communities affected by Eta and Iota, the report says. In May, WFP and the Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) delivered seeds, bio-inputs and tools to 10,381 people.  (Informe Pastran, 17 June 2021)

Rural Schools with Internet

The Ministry of Education inaugurated the installation of wireless internet at the José Santos Zelaya Educational Center in Matiguás. In addition, they inaugurated the Regional Games of the VIII FES Sports Cup and held workshops on different areas of art, culture, tradition and creativity development throughout the country. Many rural schools now have internet. (Informe Pastran, 17 June 2021)

CABEI President on Twitter

“CABEI [Central American Bank for Economic Integration] is the bank of Central America and we do not condition our assistance on assessments other than economic ones. We are a bank born out of the conviction of the need to work together since 1960; the mission of working for a better Central America is still valid.” Dante Mossi, CABEI President, on Twitter. (Informe Pastran, 17 June 2021)

Miguel Mora Investigated in Relation to a New Coup Attempt

On June 20 Miguel Mora was arrested and is being investigated under Article 1, law 1055, for inciting foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs, requesting military intervention, organizing with financing from foreign powers to carry out acts of terrorism and destabilization, calling for economic boycotts and sanctions against the State of Nicaragua and its citizens. He is being held during a 90-day investigation for crimes committed in 2021.  In 2018 Mora called for a “Noriega-Panama” type invasion – requesting the US “take out’ the Presidential family. He also demanded that the coup-mongers go after municipal worker Bismarck Martinez, who was then tortured, kidnapped and killed in June 2018. He also suggested the opposition go after a 22-year-old unarmed community police officer, Gabriel Vado. Vado was kidnapped, tortured and burned alive. Mora spent a short amount of time in jail but benefitted from the Amnesty of June 2019. (Radio La Primerisima, Barricada, 21 and 22 June 2021)

Wife of Former President Aleman Arrested

On June 21, Maria Fernanda Flores Lanzas, wife of former President Arnoldo Aleman, was arrested and remains at her home under police custody, investigated under Law 1055 for requesting foreign interference in Nicaragua’s internal affairs. (Radio La Primerisima, 22 June 2021)

The Opposition Tried to Play with National Sovereignty

On June 17 Liberal deputy Wilfredo Navarro, said on Channel 4’s En Vivo magazine, that “here they have tried to play with national sovereignty, to play with the fundamental rights of the people and have called for intervention as though that were a game.” He went on to say, “Historically US interventions have been the result of Nicaraguans asking for the US to give them the power they cannot get through the will of the people.” New laws like the Foreign Agents Law “are based on [similar] US and the European laws to establish control so that criminal acts do not occur, such as money laundering and other types of crimes that are generated by uncontrolled … foreign resources.” Navarro continued, “Here we are not investigating crimes committed during the attempted coup or the amnesty period, nor are the laws being applied retroactively. The laws are applied from their approval and publication in the Gazette. From then on if you commit a crime under one of those laws, the weight of the law applies to you. Money laundering … has become a crime in recent years in part because there are international conventions that oblige us as a country to be updating our legislation against money laundering.” (Informe Pastran, 17 June 2017)

COSEP Salaries Paid for by the United States

Analyst William Grigsby on Sin Fronteras, June 18, revealed documents showing that the US government, through the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights, based in Washington, DC, pays for the salaries of COSEP (Superior Council of Private Enterprise) employees including Michael Healey and Jose Adan Aguirre. They are each paid $8,000 a month. The IIREHR also paid for lawyers for the opposition and for materials during the coup. Grigsby said that workers were let go last week since they no longer have access to the US money. (Sin Fronteras, 18 June, 2021)

Government Investigating FUNIDES and Its Board

Juan Sebastian Chamorro, president of the Nicaraguan Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUNIDES), was arrested last week and is being investigated for alleged money laundering, fraud and violating Law 1055 by requesting US intervention in Nicaragua. FUNIDES and its 13 Board members are also under investigation for laundering money, as well as for violating Law No. 1055 (requesting foreign intervention). None of the 13 have yet been arrested. They are some of the wealthiest Nicaraguans, most from the old oligarchy, major stock holders and/or presidents of corporations and banks; at least three were ministers or Central Bank Presidents under Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, Arnoldo Aleman or Enrique Bolaños. The list includes Humberto Belli, Jaime Montealegre, José Antonio Baltodano, José Evenor Taboada, and Mario Arana. (Sin Fronteras, 18 June, 2021)

USAID Does Not Provide Aid; It Promotes Coups

Two Nicaraguan media outlets, Radio La Primerisima and Informe Pastran, picked up an article by our own Nan McCurdy. This is some of what the North American activist and friend of Nicaragua said in her article: “Since the Sandinistas won the 2006 elections, their anti-poverty policies have been a great success”… “Nicaragua is 90% self-sufficient in terms of food. Ninety-nine percent of the population have electricity in their homes, 70 percent generated with green energy. International financial institutions, such as the World Bank, the International Development Bank and the Central American Economic Integration Bank praise Nicaragua for excellent and efficient implementation of projects.”

She goes on to say, “The CIA uses U.S. agents, many of whom pose as journalists or activists, as well as those eternally stationed at the U.S. embassy; it has given millions of dollars to hundreds of Nicaraguans acting as foreign agents, as well as to their non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that conspire against the Sandinista government, like those recently arrested for money laundering, fraud and requesting foreign intervention. Much of the propaganda apparatus was designed and funded by the United States after the FSLN won the 2006 elections, ending 17 years of three U.S.-directed governments. A subversive front of newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, websites, news agencies and social networking pages was formed.” McCurdy then says that “while the United States wastes millions of tax-payer dollars destabilizing the country, Nicaragua effectively and efficiently makes social and economic advances lauded by international organizations.”  [In English: https://dissidentvoice.org/2021/06/the-cia-attempting-coups-in-nicaragua-with-tax-dollars-through-us-agencies-and-corporate-foundations/  In Spanish: https://radiolaprimerisima.com/opinion/la-usaid-no-ayuda-da-golpes-de-estado/ ]. (Informe Pastran, 22 June 2021)

Covid-19 Report for Week of June 15 to 21

The Health Ministry reported there were 162 new registered cases of Covid-19, 149 people recuperated and one person died. Since March 2020 there have been 6,402 registered cases, 5,988 people recuperated and 190 deaths. (Nicaragua News, 22 June 2021)