BREAKING NEWS: This is what's happening in Nicaragua right now. Many of you know that Nicaragua holds a special place in my heart, so I created this video to inform and educate people who aren't aware of the current happenings in Nicaragua or the history that led up to these recent events. The situation is not getting the proper media attention it deserves, so I wanted to do my part to share what's going on in a country I love with the rest of the world. You can also watch and share this video on Facebook and YouTube.
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Video Transcript & Credits
The situation is getting serious in Nicaragua right now. Peaceful protests turned violent with at least 25 killed by the hands of government police and military, including a reporter named Ángel Gahona who was shot and killed during a Facebook live broadcast on Saturday.
But first, let's backtrack…
This is Daniel Ortega the President of Nicaragua. This is his wife who he appointed Vice President last year.
Ortega first led Nicaragua from 1979 to 1985 as the rebel leader of the Sandinista Party which took control of the country from the previous President Anastasio Somoza Debayle, who Ortega criticized and fought against for being a dictator. Nicaragua wanted a real democracy and Ortega fought to give them one – or so he said.
Then in 1984 he was voted the actual President of Nicaragua in a legit free election, winning with over 60% of the vote. He was off to a good start.
He served one term from 1985 to 1990 but many Nicaraguans had issues with his Marxist-Leninist practices.
During this term, Ortega confiscated wealthy Nicaraguans' second homes, took over their businesses, and gave them to the government. Nicaraguans affected by these actions rightfully got pissed.
US also wanted Ortega out of office, and President Reagan funded a rebel group called the Contras to go to war against Ortega, resulting in a civil war and the death of over 30,000 Nicaraguans.
Ortega lost support and was defeated in the next election by Violeta Chamorro. Most people would've stopped here, but not Ortega.
He ran for President again in 1996 and lost. And then again in 2001 and lost. But he kept going and eventually won his seat in the 2006 election with 38% of the vote.
Things were going okay for Nicaragua during this term. He learned from his mistakes when he was younger and this time around did a lot more to help the country and improve living conditions for Nicaraguans. He made himself rich in the process but Nicaraguans, even those who didn't support him, turned a blind eye because the country was on the up and up, and for once they had a real democracy.
That is until Ortega removed the two-term Presidential limit in order to serve a 3rd term, declared himself President for life in 2016 in a rigged election, and appointed his wife as Vice President.
Ortega's opposition had started to have enough.
Fast forward to April 2018.
Many Nicaraguans want President Ortega and his Vice President wife out of office and this time they're not taking no for an answer.
Protests began last week after Ortega's April 16th announcement which revealed his newly reformed law to increase social security taxes while simultaneously cutting pension benefits.
This was the straw that broke the camel's back for Nicaraguans who opposed Ortega and they took to the streets in protest on April 18th. Social media brought momentum to the movement which was met in response by the government with violence.
Peaceful assembly quickly escalated into rioting, looting, and acts of violence. The US Embassy issued a Level 3 Travel Alert for Nicaragua and many expats, tourists, and even Nicaraguans are fleeing the country.
A few days later on April 23rd, Ortega revoked the social security tax resolution in an attempt to bring peace back to the country and satiate his opposition, but this time compromise might not be enough.
The situation is far from over and despite Ortega's attempt to censor the media from reporting what's going on in Nicaragua, many brave Nicaraguans are keeping the world informed via their Facebook pages and social profiles. You can follow along with Nicaragua via hashtags #SOSNicaragua #SOSINSS #upoli. And in the meantime, send them your prayers.
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