One year on, Nicaragua’s opposition continues struggle against President Ortega

One year on, Nicaragua’s opposition continues struggle against President Ortega

Today, Nicaragua’s Blue and White National Unity coalition is expected to hold demonstrations to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the

nicaragua one year protests

Photo: AP/Alfredo Zuniga

Today, Nicaragua’s Blue and White National Unity coalition is expected to hold demonstrations to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the start of protests opposing President Daniel Ortega.

On Tuesday, the country’s national police denied the opposition’s permit application, continuing the effective ban on protests that has been in place for months. Regardless, demonstrators are expected to take to the streets. Violence between anti and pro-Ortega factions can be expected; 325 people have been killed and more than 2000 injured by government forces since the protests–– originally sparked by opposition to the president’s plan to cut social security benefits–– began last year.

Talks between the coalition and government began in late February, following Ortega’s agreeing to release political prisoners. However, as prisoner releases proceeded slowly, opposition frustration led to further protests, resulting in more arrests and the collapse of talks.

Going forward, expect continued guerrilla protests–– flash-mob style demonstrations where swarms of protesters take to the streets and disperse quickly to avoid arrest–– and violent suppression from Ortega’s forces. Though popular opinion is against the president, he will remain in power as long as he retains the support of the state’s security forces.

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