Daniel Ortega

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

There is another political crisis raging in Latin America besides Venezuela. That’s Nicaragua, where the authoritarian regime has all but criminalized independent journalism. But one Nicaraguan journalist exiled in Miami has won a measure of revenge.

Maria Bakkalapulo / Special for WLRN

Recently, Nicaraguans gathered at the statue of their national poet, Rubén Darío, in the eponymous Ruben Dario Park in Sweetwater.

What began as a small gathering grew too close to 500 people within half-an-hour. The passionate crowd was wearing blue and white, the colors of their national flag - which has become a symbol of rebellion against the current government. Many held poster boards with pictures of Nicaraguans either killed or jailed over the last nine months for protesting against president Daniel Ortega.

Alfredo Zuniga / AP via Miami Herald

For the second time in a week, a Latin American Supreme Court justice has denounced a left-wing authoritarian president. This time the country is Nicaragua – and this time the judge is calling the regime "a state of terror."

ALFREDO ZUNIGA / AP VIA MIAMI HERALD

President Donald Trump is signing into law a bill to cut off resources to the government of Nicaragua and provides sanctions against countries that assist the Central American nation.  

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Miami Republican who co-sponsored the bill, said in a press release that the legislation “supports the Nicaraguan people in their demands for rule of law, human rights and free, fair elections by denying resources to their oppressors.”

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The U.S. just slapped heavier economic sanctions on the Nicaraguan government for its violent repression of protesters. Among the Nicaraguans denouncing that regime here in South Florida is the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Luis Enrique. Known as the “Prince of Salsa,”  Luis Enrique today lives in Miami – where his new protest anthem “Mordaza” is a popular hit.

Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

Nicaragua’s political unrest ignited again Sunday – and a teenager was killed during an anti-government demonstration in Managua, allegedly by security forces loyal to President Daniel Ortega. A top student leader of the movement against Ortega came to Miami Monday night – to a standing ovation.

Alfredo Zuniga / AP via Miami Herald

Nicaragua’s political violence is now forcing people to flee – and many are coming to South Florida. Organizations here are helping them find ways they can stay here.

AP

Many Central America observers say this past weekend was disappointing for democracy in the region. In Nicaragua and Guatemala, critics charge the country’s presidents are behaving like the dictators of Central America’s past.

As the months-long crackdown on opponents of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega drags on, the small independent press in the country is coming under harsh attack.

One reporter has been killed, and dozens more say they have been beaten and threatened. Many reporters have fled or quit the profession. But a determined group of journalists remains.

They include reporters like Julio César López Chavarría.

Anthony Vasquez / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Nine years ago this summer, leftist Mexican politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador called on his country to censure another country.

That other country was Honduras. Right-wing politicians there, backed by a right-wing oligarchy and military, had just staged a coup that ousted leftist President Manuel Zelaya – who was flown into exile in his pajamas.

Alfredo Zuniga / AP via Miami Herald

The past few days in Nicaragua have been some of the bloodiest since protesters began calling for the removal of President Daniel Ortega in April. International human rights groups – and Nicaraguans in South Florida – are calling on the world to do more.

Alfredo Zuniga / AP

Human rights groups say the number of anti-government protesters killed by security forces in Nicaragua has risen sharply in recent days. That's prompted a key anti-government activist – who had fled to Miami – to go back to Nicaragua.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

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