After three months of demonstrations end, Nicaraguan workers face further repression and imperialist threats
23 July 2018
Last week, the armed forces controlled by the Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSLN) government of Daniel Ortega swept through the main pockets of blockades and resistance, including the Autonomous National University and the city of Masaya—historically a bastion of support for the FSLN. The government deployed hundreds of armed squads of police and paramilitary squads to violently clear entire towns, many guarded with road blockades made up of cement blocks.
According to the special investigative committee set up by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR), at least 11 protesters died between Monday and Wednesday, bringing the total of people killed to 277 and more than 2,000 injured in continuous demonstrations since April 18. The IACHR also reports dozens of kidnappings of demonstrators during the last two weeks.
Peasants who had travelled to Managua, León, Masaya and other cities to man the blockades have mostly left. Leaders of the Anti-Canal Peasant Movement, which composed the Civic Alliance dominated by the business chambers and US-financed opposition groups, are openly discussing an armed struggle against the government, raising the prospect of a new civil war three decades after the war between the FSLN government and the US-backed Contra guerrillas.
The demonstrations triggered an economic downturn, shifting projected growth for 2018 from 4.9 percent, one of the highest in the region, to 1 percent, according to the Nicaraguan Central Bank. Other economists expect an economic contraction. At least 60,000 jobs were lost, including about 20,000 workers whose continued employment funds the social security…