Nicaragua

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COMMENTARY

Here’s the most surprising – and most amusing – development after last week’s failed attempt to stoke a military uprising in Venezuela.

According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the U.S. and Cuba may actually sit down to negotiate a solution to the disastrous and dictatorial rule of socialist Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

Raquel Idiáquez was cooking dinner with her uncle when she noticed something was wrong. He'd been visiting her in Seattle from Managua, Nicaragua, and that evening of April 15, 2018, he kept leaving the kitchen to take an urgent call.

"I saw him getting a little nervous and going to his phone more frequently than usual," says Idiáquez, 28. "Then he just came to me. He was like, 'I gotta leave tomorrow.' "

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

President Trump’s national security advisor came to Miami on Wednesday to announce more get-tough measures on Cuba. But some re-tightening of Cuba policy - particularly a cutback in remittances to the island - will get more jeers than cheers from many Cuban-Americans.

Nicaragua's government says it will release hundreds of opposition protesters who have been detained in the months since anti-government protests began nearly a year ago.

Mediators made the announcement Wednesday in Managua.

The government of President Daniel Ortega made the promise in order to restart talks with the opposition that had been stalled since security forces made more detentions over the weekend.

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.

A leading Nicaraguan journalist has left the country following a police raid on his newsroom last month.

Carlos Fernando Chamorro, editor of the online publication Confidencial, announced on Sunday that he has gone into exile in Costa Rica, citing suppression of independent press under Nicaraguan 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."

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Immigrant caravans – and family separation. Venezuela and Nicaragua rocked by refugee and human rights crises. Someone not named Castro becoming president of Cuba; Brazil and Mexico electing populists as presidents – one of them with a big reputation for sexism. But women surging big at the polls, too.

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.

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