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Daniel Ortega has settled down as Nicaragua prepares for elections

Twenty years ago, Violeta Chamorro beat Daniel Ortega in a Nicaraguan election. This month, Ortega arrested a Chamorro girl as part of an unprecedented scandal for opponents seeking to open her fourth consecutive season.

This powerful soldier decided his goals one by one before voting in November. As of June 2, Ortega has arrested four presidential candidates, a businessman and two opposition leaders. The building permit is also issued to the president of the American Chamber of Commerce.

“It is clear that he is running the farm without any objections,” said José Miguel Vivanco, director of the Americas Division’s advocacy group Human Rights Watch.

Ortega’s first sight was Cristiana Chamorro, whose mother defeated a Sandinista rebel in the 1990 election. Accusers of money laundering, which she denies, were arrested.

Arturo Cruz, a former US ambassador, was next. He was arrested after arriving at Managua airport in connection with a lawsuit filed by Ortega late last year – one of which battery of oppressive methods was designed to move protesters following protests in 2018, when another 450 people died.

Then came Félix Madariaga and Juan Sebastián Chamorro, Cristiana’s cousin, both accused of forcing foreigners into their homes.

All four were elected in the November 7 election when Ortega, 75, who came to power after the Sandinista Revolution that overthrew US dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979, wants another five-year term. He ruled from 1989-1990 and has been in power without interruption since 2007.

Violeta Granera, the defendant, José Pallais, the former foreign minister, José Adán Aguerri, the former head of the Cosep resort, were also arrested. Amcham leader Mario Arana, a former banker, has gone into hiding.

Daniel Ortega is a man who can do anything to remain in power – there is no limit to the amount of oppression he can wield, ”says Bianca Jagger, a Nicaraguan human rights activist.

One expert, who asked not to be named in order to protect his colleagues in Nicaragua, said Ortega’s actions were “to end the election”. Or as Jagger said: “What you see is Daniel Ortega who will not participate in the decisions he has lost.”

In fact, Ortega increased its arms embargo in May, placing his FSLN party in charge of voting. He removed the spectators and supported the opposition of the opposition parties.

Ortega’s more advanced methods are unlikely to be seen due to the increased fear. Grieving leaders were fired from the protests in 2018 and Ortega has strengthened the country ever since. As a local said: “He oversees everything.”

Ortega has strengthened Nicaragua since the ceasefire in 2018 © Inti Ocon / AFP via Getty Photos

Workers and political leaders expect the US to continue. Nicaragua was joined by former United States Secretary of Defense John Bolton called the “troika of violence” near Cuba and Venezuela, but “Ortega has had years of neglect from the US and other countries… “without illumination,” said María Bozmoski at the Atlantic Council, a think tank.

Despite U.S. sanctions against allies and officials – including his wife Rosario Murillo, vice-president and spokesman for the government, and some of his children – Ortega has held his nose in Washington.

Cristiana Chamorro was arrested while Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, was attending a regional convention in Costa Rica. Some were arrested while Kamala Harris, the vice president, was in Mexico.

However, “the only card left in the US”, says Laura Chinchilla, former President of Costa Rica. “Biden’s credibility is on the verge of collapse.”

Julie Chung, assistant secretary for the Western Hemisphere, he wrote that “Nicaragua is living all over the world and moving away from democracy”.

The US says it will reconsider Nicaragua’s trade in the US if it fails to make free and fair elections. But a pause for Cafta-DR trade union they can repay.

“Keeping Nicaragua at Cafta is like injecting blood into a dying patient and giving him fresh air,” Bozmoski said. But after Nicaragua was suspended, “half a million people could be affected by their livelihood [export-oriented] free zone. The services would need to be available ”.

Chinchilla urged lenders to “close the tapes” while Vivanco called for “the destruction of big looters” to end Ortega’s rule.

But a U.S. ambassador to the United States said that even if they were to work, it would “impose a risk on poverty in the region where we want to take action” and could even migrate to Central America.

More than 100,000 Nicaraguans fled to Costa Rica during the 2018 protests, but numbers reaching the US border, still small, were only slightly higher, the ambassador added.

Ortega’s rule in the country, including the military and police forces, provides him with security, but things cannot change.

“I don’t really know what’s going to happen,” the adviser said. “But I hope he didn’t.”

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