the Long Battle Against US Imperialism

Photo by eric molina | CC BY 2.0

As of June 28, the death toll in Nicaragua has reached 285, with more than 1,500 wounded. The country is divided, trying to make sense of the violence and the political climate that surrounds it. In the United States, making sense of the current narrative is nearly impossible. It seems that there is one narrative passing through the mainstream news cycle on repeat like an echo chamber. According to this narrative, President Daniel Ortega is authoritarian. He cut pensions. People protested. Ortega responded violently, killing still climbing numbers of protestors. Ortega must go, and the United States must support him, in the name of democracy. But reality is rarely that simple. This article is not a defense of the Ortega administration. It does not seek to condone or overlook the recent deaths. It is an attempt from one human being to another to push against the walls of this echo chamber and give historical context to the current conflict.

The misinformation – or, at best, the careful curation of facts—surrounding the recent protests begins with the pension cuts that sparked the conflict. Contrary to the current narrative, the pension proposalsdid not originate with Ortega’s administration. In response to the budgetary shortfall of Nicaragua’s social security fund (the INSS), the IMF proposed cutting benefits by 20% and raising the retirement age to 63 (or even 65) from 60, among other changes. Ortega’s administration rejected…

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