How Nicaragua’s revolutionaries descended into dictatorship

Nicaraguan opposition leader Cristiana Chamorro has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of money laundering in what she believed to be a politically motivated case.

Chamorro was “one of seven presidential candidates” arrested ahead of last November’s national elections BBC reported. She was “seen by many in the opposition as their best hope of victory” by incumbent Daniel Ortega, who won a fifth term as president with 75% of the vote.

Chamorro was arrested shortly after announcing that she was going to face Ortega, on charges of “abusive leadership” and “ideological falsehood” during her tenure as head of a media foundation.

“Five Honorable People”

Chamorro belongs to one of the most famous families in Nicaragua. Her father, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, was editor-in-chief of the newspaper La Prensa – which opposed the rule of the autocratic Somoza family from 1936 to 1979 – until he was shot in daylight in 1978. Her mother, Violeta Chamorro, became Latin America’s first female president in 1990, ending Ortega’s first 11 years as president.

During her money laundering trial, which took place behind closed doors, Chamorro “remained defiant,” the BBC said. According to the opposition news site 100% communicationsShe accused the court of trying to “smear my name” and warned “they will not succeed”.

Her brother Pedro Joaquín and three former employees of the Media Foundation were also sentenced to between seven and 13 years in prison. Chamorro told the court that “five honorable persons” were accused of a crime they did not commit.

She joins several dozen opposition figures who were “imprisoned and convicted by the Ortega government on similar charges ahead of last November’s elections.” The Independent called. The president has “targeted non-governmental groups” across the country, “cut off their foreign funding, seized their offices and canceled their charters.”

Ortega, a hero of the country’s fight against the US-backed Somoza family, has long claimed that the groups he has targeted in recent years “collaborate with foreign interests that wanted him out of office.” removed,” the newspaper added.

The Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, which closed in January 2021, had provided training for local journalists while campaigning for more freedom of expression in Nicaragua.

The newly imprisoned opposition leader’s work as head of the foundation led to her being accused of promoting “ideological falsehood” and “destabilizing the government” during her trial. France 24 called.

“Revolution eats itself”

Ortega was a key figure in the Sandinista revolution that toppled the Somozas and became Nicaragua’s leader in 1979. After being defeated by Chamorro’s mother in the 1990 elections, he returned to power in 2007 and has been in office ever since.

“Thousands fled into exile from the Nicaraguan security forces violently crushing anti-government protests in 2018″ Al Jazeera called. Ortega repeatedly claimed the demonstrations were “a foreign-backed coup attempt.”

The international community has strongly condemned the 2021 elections with the EU specify that Ortega’s victory lacked “legitimacy” as the vote took place “without democratic guarantees”. The bloc called on him to release all political prisoners immediately and “return the sovereignty of Nicaragua to the Nicaraguan people.”

those of the United Kingdom Global Ambassador for Human RightsRita French, has also attacked his government, saying it is “deeply concerned by the deteriorating human rights record in Nicaragua and the lack of progress in political dialogue.”

French also called for the “release of political prisoners” and urged “the Nicaraguan government to end the repression of its citizens and to cooperate fully with international human rights organizations.”

Nicaragua “does not command much attention abroad,” Alma Guillermoprieto wrote in The New Yorker. But “in the late years of the Cold War, the world focused anxiously on events there.” A “motley army”, the Sandinistas, managed to overthrow the “dictatorship of the Somoza family dynasty and its brutal Guardia Nacional”.

It’s a “David and Goliath” story, she continued. “Progressive socialist guerrillas, undogmatic and handsome” defeated a powerful Washington-allied enemy and promised “their supporters” a lasting “solution to the region’s endless problem of poverty and inequality.”

More than four decades after that victory, however, “the revolution is eating itself”. Ortega has “crushed civil society” and jailed many of his “former comrades” to consolidate his power and maintain his influence.

“For those old enough to remember,” added Guillermoprieto, Ortega’s leadership “looks more and more like the Nicaragua of Somoza, the ousted dictator.” How Nicaragua’s revolutionaries descended into dictatorship

Fry Electronics Team

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