URGENT: Tell Congress – No Sanctions on Nicaragua!

Dear Friends:

We need to take action to stop new sanctions on Nicaragua.

We thank you in advance for taking action by calling your Representative’s DC office and local offices (find phone number on Representative’s website) as well as by sending emails to your representative.

Background: We just learned that a companion bill to the Renacer Act that will be voted on soon in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be brought to the House Foreign Affairs Committee any day. Those funding destabilization in Nicaragua are pressuring to get more sanctions right away, on top of the Nica Act.

When you call, please tell them that Nicaragua is doing quite well and you don’t want sanctions on Nicaragua. Please give your message to the person who answers the phone and ask them to please take notes. Then you could ask to speak with the foreign policy or legislative aide and also leave a message on their voicemail. You could include your name and number and request that the Aide return your call. See helpful information below:

 

And if you don’t have time to make a phone call, please contact your Representative by email. Below is an easy way that takes only five minutes. Please see that information further below.

Thank you for taking action!

 

Brief script for your phone calls:

I want Representative ——– to vote no on the sanctions bill against Nicaragua entitled RENACER, Reinforcing Nicaragua’s Adherence to Conditions for Electoral Reform. (1) Nicaragua does not pose any threat to the United States. It is a small nation of 6.3 million, in the bottom ten countries in arms. (2) This bill would harm the Nicaraguan people, especially the most vulnerable, by blocking development aid from international financial institutions.  (3) The bill also appears to pressure the country to choose new leadership favored by the US, but I believe the Nicaraguan people should select their own leaders.  (4) In contrast to other Central American countries, Nicaragua is functioning very well – for example, very few migrants are coming to the US, and the poverty rate has been cut in half.

Other ideas:

  • If you speak to the aide or someone else in the office you could ask, “Has the Congressperson taken a position on this bill?” If they say they’ll have to check, ask them to get back to you with the answer.
  • Please forward this email to supportive people in your network, and add a note asking them to take action.

 

To send an email to your representative fill in the blanks here:

 

ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS

Feel free to use these talking points to tailor your message when you speak with your representative, the Aide or whoever picks up the phone:

This new sanctions bill is meant to reinforce the Nicaragua Investment Conditionality Act (Nica Act) of December of 2018, whose purpose was to cut off access to development financing from the World Bank, the IMF, the Interamerican Development Bank and others. It was not to be used to block pro- poor loans (loans for poverty-related items), though it is being used exactly for that purpose.

It was expected that President Biden would review US policies towards Central America to distinguish himself from the previous administration.  His team announced their priorities, concentrating Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, to address their severe problems of corruption, poverty and violence, which has continued to force thousands of desperate families to go north.

Nicaragua did not qualify as a priority with those criteria. Nicaraguans are not marching north. Compared to its northern neighbors, statistically it has 0 people migrating to the US. That’s because it has the lowest homicide rate in Central America according to international organizations like the UNDP; there are no gangs or drug trafficking cartels; the armed forces of the US and Nicaragua used to work together to stop the flow of drugs to the US. Nicaragua continues to be a retention wall against cocaine going north and money to pay for it going south, with drug and money busts every week.

The World Bank, IMF, International Development Bank and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration have all affirmed that their Nicaragua portfolios are managed with transparency and efficiency contributing to poverty reduction and economic development, especially in health, education, water, energy, roads and sanitation.    Nicaragua was one of the few developing countries that achieved the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Yet recently, one of the heads of the US armed forces stated that Nicaragua poses a serious threat to the national security of the Unites States, which does not make any sense, given that Nicaragua is the third poorest country in Latin American, is in the bottom ten countries in the world in armaments, and Nicaragua’s priorities for her people are the elimination of poverty, to achieve 100% food security, 100% renewable energy, and the best health system in the region.

It would be much more useful for our country to study how Nicaragua has achieved the following in the last 14 years in order to understand how best to help the rest of Central America and even our own people in the US.

Nicaragua’s strategic response to the pandemic has resulted in the lowest number of infections and deaths per capita, and the highest recovery rate in the region (and in the world) whilst keeping all of its borders open under rigorous safety protocols.

Nicaragua has developed an exceptional emergency response and mitigation capacity as seen this past November with Hurricanes Eta and IOTA, the most devastating hurricanes to hit Nicaragua in 40 years.  Days before, the Nicaraguan government 100,000 emergency volunteers were mobilized, 160, 000 people evacuated, 1195 shelters and 2,300 safe houses identified before the hits and supplies of food, mattresses, medicine, water, etc. were sent days earlier.   No deaths were attributed to ETA but 16 died in IOTA, unfortunately all related to people who refused to leave their homes or went back against advice

Social gains over the past 14 years include:

  1. Poverty reduced to 48.3% to 24.9% and extreme poverty from 17.5% to 6.9%.
  2. Nicaragua is connected physically by the best highways in Central America (and in the top five of Latin America, according to the World Economic Forum.
  3. 99% of the population will have electricity by the end of 2021 (2006- 54%) and about 80% will be generated from renewable sources (26% in 2006). 65% of pop in 2006 had access to potable water, 91.8% in 2018 and projections are 95% in 2023
  4. Best hospital system in the region. 19 new hospitals were constructed, 8 more are now under construction, and there are 6045 doctors now compared to 2,715 in 2006.  The country´s health budget has risen 319% since 2006.
  5. Illiteracy rate under 5%
  6. Nicaragua is 5thin the world in gender equity (World Economic Forum)
  7. Maternal and infant mortality have been cut by more than half since 2007
  8. Nicaragua has a high level of food security. It produces 90% of the food their people eat and lunch is provided free to all students in public schools

Ironically, there has been no shortage of US AID funding for the people who directed the terror campaign, manned the violent roadblocks, and shut the country down by not allowing trucks to pass through from Costa Rica to Honduras for over three months in an attempt to effect “regime change” in April of 2018.  These so-called popular protests quickly turned into months of terror and destruction fed by years of preparation in the use of social media to stoke the initial flames.  Those three months caused more economic damage than the pandemic and the hurricanes combined.

Now is not the time to promote more destabilization in the region.  Instead, Nicaragua´s government has expressed the need to promote a green alliance between developed and countries that are trying to develop, in order to face the combined consequences of climate change and the Covid 19 pandemic.  The world urgently needs peace, security, stability and a new economic order giving priority to life, health, and the fight against poverty.   We need a just and responsible world, with countries who cooperate and complement each other – not sanctions, which are aggressions in violation of the Charter of the United Nations to which the US is a signatory.

CLICK HERE TO ALSO SEND A MESSAGE TO YOUR SENATOR!