As Ortega Tightens His Grip, Nicaragua Braces for Volatile Elections

A defaced mural of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in Catarina, Nicaragua, May 7, 2018 (AP photo by Moises Castillo).
A defaced mural of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in Catarina, Nicaragua, May 7, 2018 (AP photo by Moises Castillo).

It’s hard to imagine that three years ago, Nicaragua was rocked by huge anti-government protests that paralyzed the country before being ruthlessly quashed. Today, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of vaccines, the capital, Managua, is abuzz with activity. Shopping malls are teeming, while the intersections are crowded with beggars and vendors. Everyday life in this Central American country seems to have returned to normal. Visible scars of the 2018 unrest remain only in the form of graffiti, although many of the protest slogans have been daubed over with pro-government messages proclaiming, “The commander remains”—a reference to President Daniel […]

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