Nicaragua's right wing opposition renews efforts to destabilise the country

NSCAG News | on: Monday, 19 December 2016

With a popular approval rating of less than 1%, the MRS (Sandinista Renovation Movement) is calling for new elections to be held in Nicaragua, echoing the mantra of its allies in the United States administration who have expressed ‘deep concern’ about the ‘flawed Nicaraguan electoral process’.

The continued efforts of the MRS and its allies serve only to undermine social justice and democracy in a country which has undergone a remarkable transformation since 2007.

It is the MRS, a member of the ironically named ‘Broad Front for Democracy’ who went running to their US allies in September of this year. MRS President Ana Margarita Vijil took active part in a delegation of Nicaraguan right-wing political leaders to meet with one of the most right-wing members of Congress, Iliana Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban-American who has consistently used her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to attack the UN and promote policies to destabilise Latin America, particularly Venezuela and Cuba.

The reason for the meeting was to call on the US Congress to pass the NICA Act, which, if it were to also pass the Senate and be signed by the President, would require the US to vote against loans to Nicaragua in the World Bank, IMF, and other international financial institutions (IFIs). If passed by the new US administration in January, the NICA Act would threaten to roll back all of the social programmes implemented by the FSLN Government since 2007 and condemn thousands upon thousands of Nicaraguans to decades of poverty and hardship. It also has serious implications for the whole region.

The MRS claim that the Nicaraguan people have rejected the result of the Nicaraguan elections and that there is growing opposition to Daniel Ortega and his Government. The reality is that the FSLN Government enjoys a level of popular support (over 70%) that Western leaders can only dream of. Its social programmes aimed at the elimination of poverty and hunger have been praised by the UN and its agencies, its economy has grown at some 4.5% (the third highest in Latin America) and the November elections drew praise from a group of Latin American electoral experts including Raul Alconada, a former foreign minister of Argentina, who noted that the level of participation in the November elections was higher than the average in Latin America and highlighted the fact that it would be a challenge ‘of the first order in any country to reach what has been achieved in Nicaragua’.

For more information about the Nicaraguan elections, there are a number of articles on the website of the Alliance for Global Justice which may be of interest

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