Nicaragua

Wilfredo Lee / AP via Miami Herald

The Trump Administration’s year-long efforts to dislodge authoritarian regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba have so far failed. That’s raised frustrations among South Florida’s exiles. And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Miami on Thursday to address their anxieties.

Oscar Navarrete / AP

Human rights groups say Nicaragua’s authoritarian government has been uncompromisingly brutal toward protesters. But the regime made a more lenient gesture on Monday – if only to help improve its dismal international image.

Paz Nicaragua Foundation

Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans have fled their country’s political violence since last year. Most are now refugees in Costa Rica - and Nicaraguans in Miami are raising funds for them Friday evening with a unique art auction.

Alfredo Zuniga / AP

Nicaragua is back in the headlines. The news is once again dark –  and it seems to dash hopes of resolving the Central American country’s long political crisis.

Susan Walsh / AP

COMMENTARY

When he was Undersecretary of State in the early 2000s, John Bolton insisted communist Cuba had an “offensive biological warfare research and development” program.

Cuba did have an advanced genetic engineering, biotech and vaccine complex. And Cuba was still ruled by Fidel Castro, a despot capable of such nefarious doings. Still, there was no evidence, and none ever surfaced, that cash-strapped Cuba was exporting anthrax instead of vastly more profitable meningitis vaccines.

But that sort of hawkish illusion, or delusion, is what the world came to expect of Bolton – whom President Trump fired this week as his national security advisor.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

COMMENTARY

During the Cold War, the U.S. quip about almost any Latin American dictator was that “he may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”

YouTube

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."

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