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LASC Statement: Nicaragua in Crisis

category international | worker & community struggles and protests | press release author Friday October 19, 2018 22:22author by LASC - Latin America Solidarity Centre Report this post to the editors

Press Release -LASC - 11th Oct 2018

LASC, as an organisation with a mission to expose injustice in Ireland and Latin America and to stand in solidarity with the people of Latin America who are resisting oppression and are struggling to create a fair and inclusive society, shares the concerns of many of our members in relation to the current situation in Nicaragua.

We recognise the long history of international solidarity with Nicaragua from Ireland, particularly during the 1980’s. Not only did Irish people participate in brigades that went to work in the country, but widespread support was generated at popular and political level in Ireland for the Sandinista struggle in the face of US interventionism. However, recent years have seen a hardening of repression by the Ortega regime, successor to the Sandinista government of the 1980s.

We condemn in the most forthright terms the violent repression of the recent civilian protests by the Ortega-Murillo regime. Since the student protests began in April 2018, over 300 people have been killed and over 2000 injured.

Reports from both local human rights groups (CENIDH – Nicaraguan Human Rights Centre; Humboldt Centre-Nicaragua; ANPDH Nicaraguan Pro-Human Rights Association); and international human rights bodies (The United Nations High Commission on Human Rights; Amnesty International; The Inter American Commission of Human Rights),together with a stream of witness and victim testimony flooding social media, all point to an unmistakable trend of both direct State repression and State facilitation of armed paramilitary groups. (Human rights reports have also pointed out up to 20 members of the police force killed in the violence.)

The April student protests in Nicaragua were a major turning point. Evidence of worsening corruption and authoritarianism have been accumulating in recent years in relation to the Ortega-Murillo regime, and recently even staunch Ortega supporters such as Pepe Mujica of Uruguay, have come out calling on the regime to stand down.

We are aware that right-wing forces will also be criticizing the current regime in Nicaragua with very different agendas, but this under no circumstances justifies the degree of current violent state repression, that is both unacceptable, and unworthy of the legacy of liberation struggles of the past, including in Nicaragua.

We feel it was particularly noteworthy the Open Letter to the Ortega-Murillo government in July 2018 signed by 700 international intellectuals and activists condemning what they called “an illegitimate and criminal government that has usurped the Sandinista legacy” and making a public call to “save the honour of the past and to rescue and protect the emancipatory seeds of the future, that today are being jeopardised”.

We also share international concern that the introduction of new anti-terrorism laws in Nicaragua in July, purportedly to comply with international standards, are just another weapon of repression by the State to clamp down on dissent by means of legal persecution and criminalisation. The anti-terrorism laws contain broad definitions of terrorism and support for terrorism that allow them to be used against anti-government protesters.

Given the history of US intervention in Nicaragua, we oppose any form of interference by the US government, particularly through the National Endowment for Democracy. We demand total respect for the Nicaraguan people’s right to self-determination.

LASC, with the support of Afri http://www.afri.ie/ – Action from Ireland, will be holding a public debate on the situation in Nicaragua on Wednesday 24th of October at 7pm in the Teachers Club in Dublin where we invite members and the broader public to participate in a debate on the current situation in Nicaragua. https://www.facebook.com/events/735879690087000/

En Español:

LASC, como una organización con la misión de exponer la injusticia en Irlanda y América Latina y solidarizarse con los pueblos de América Latina que se resisten a la opresión y luchan por crear una sociedad justa e inclusiva, comparte las preocupaciones de muchos de nuestros miembros en relación con la situación actual en Nicaragua.

Reconocemos la larga historia de solidaridad internacional con Nicaragua desde Irlanda, particularmente durante los años ochenta. Los irlandeses no solo participaron en las brigadas que fueron a trabajar en el país, sino que se generó un amplio apoyo a nivel popular y político en Irlanda para la lucha sandinista frente al intervencionismo estadounidense. Pero los tiempos han cambiado, y mucho.

Durante los últimos años hemos visto un endurecimiento del régimen de Ortego, gobierno sucesor al gobierno Sandinista de los años ochenta. Condenamos en los términos más directos la represión violenta de las recientes protestas civiles por parte del régimen de Ortega-Murillo. Desde que las protestas estudiantiles comenzaron en abril de 2018, más de 300 personas han muerto y más de 2000 han resultado heridas.

Informes, tanto de grupos locales de derechos humanos (CENIDH – Centro Nicaragüense de Derechos Humanos, Centro Humboldt-Nicaragua, ANPDH Asociación Nicaragüense Pro Derechos Humanos); y organismos internacionales de derechos humanos (Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, Amnistía Internacional, Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos), junto con una ola de testimonios de testigos y víctimas que inundan las redes sociales, apuntan a una tendencia inequívoca no sólo de represión violenta directa de parte del Estado, sino también de la facilitación estatal de grupos armados paramilitares. (Los informes de derechos humanos también indican que hasta 20 miembros de la fuerza policial murieron en la violencia.)

Las protestas estudiantiles de abril fueron la gota que colmó el vaso en Nicaragua. Las evidencias de corrupción y autoritarismo han estado acumulando en los últimos años en relación con el régimen de Ortega-Murillo, y recientemente, incluso partidarios incondicionales de Ortega como Pepe Mujica de Uruguay, han venido pidiendo al régimen que se retire.

Somos conscientes de que las fuerzas derechistas también criticarán el régimen actual en Nicaragua con agendas muy diferentes, pero esto de ninguna manera justifica el grado de represión violenta del estado, que no solo es inaceptable, es también indigno del legado de las luchas de liberación del pasado, incluso en Nicaragua.

Era particularmente notorio, y queremos subrayar, la Carta abierta al gobierno de Ortega-Murillo en julio de 2018 firmada por 700 intelectuales y activistas internacionales que condenan lo que llamaron un “gobierno ilegítimo y criminal que hoy usurpa la memoria sandinista” y haciendo un llamado público a “salvar el honor” del pasado y de “rescatar y cuidar las semillas emancipatorias del futuro, que hoy se han puesto en riesgo”.

También compartimos la preocupación internacional de que la introducción de nuevas leyes antiterroristas en Nicaragua en julio, supuestamente para cumplir con los estándares internacionales, es otra arma de represión del Estado para reprimir la disidencia por medio de la persecución legal y la criminalización. Las leyes antiterroristas contienen definiciones de terrorismo y apoyo al terrorismo amplios que les permiten ser utilizadas contra manifestantes antigubernamentales

Dada la historia de la intervención Estadounidense en Nicaragua, nos oponemos a cualquier forma de injerencia por parte del gobierno de los Estados Unidos, en particular a través de la Fundación Nacional para la Democracia (National Endowment for Democracy). Exigimos el respeto total por el derecho del pueblo nicaragüense a la autodeterminación.

LASC con el apoyo de Afri – Action from Ireland, está organizando un debate sobre la situación en Nicaragua el miércoles 24 octubre a las 7 de la tarde en el Teachers Club en Dublin donde invitamos a los miembros, y al público en general, a participar en un debate público sobre la situación actual en Nicaragua. https://www.facebook.com/events/735879690087000/

Ends

Related Link: http://lasc.ie/news/lasc-statement-on-the-nicaraguan-protests/
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