Many news sources are not covering the events that have been taking place in Nicaragua over the last several weeks. People are fighting for a justice, for a system of change, they are fighting for freedoms that many others take for granted. So what is happening in Nicaragua?
A thirty year period of period of relative peace was turned over within a weekend. Protests, sparked by the announcement of social security changes, have been proving the people of Nicaragua are not willing to back down. President Daniel Ortega announced a social security program change that would assure tax payers put more money in to the program, while decreasing the payouts coming from the program.
Once Nicaraguans took to the streets to protest this sentiment, the president’s wife (who is also the Vice President) took to calling the protesters “bloodsuckers” and “criminals”, among other derogatory names. So although eventually Ortega back down on the social security changes, the protesters did not back down. The damage has been done and people are fighting.
People are fighting for a right to be heard, for a right to have their government represent them and who they are. This protest was not about social security changes. Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and people are worn down. They are ready for change.
Having been in office for 11 years, President Ortega was originally doing some good in helping bring change to a country that so desperately need improvement. In the process of this change Ortega managed to make himself quite rich, to which the Nicaraguan people turned a blind eye. After all, the changes taking place were helping the country, so what if the president takes a little extra for himself?
All of this quickly shifted when President Ortega removed the two term limit to serve a third term. Shortly after that he declared himself president for life in 2016, and appointed his wife as Vice President. Suddenly the people has seemed to revert back to the dictator ways of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. The civil war that they fought so hard thirty years ago is back to the same place.
Once a nation has seen the harm that can be done by a dictatorship and has seen it as recently as thirty years ago, they cannot stand back and watch it happen again. The people of Nicaragua are not willing to rest. The protests, no longer about the social security changes, are growing stronger because the people are standing up for their voice. There will be no rest among the protesters until Daniel Ortega steps down.