The streets of Nicaragua's main cities were empty and almost every store remained unopened during Thursday's nationwide strike which was considered a success by opposition leaders, it was reported.
Nicaragua's protracted political crisis, which has lasted well over three months, is impairing economic growth, according to the central bank. Central bank chief Ovidio Reyes said the initial 4.9% growth forecast in gross domestic product (GDP) for 2018 could fall as low as 1% if ongoing protests continue to disrupt daily life.
Nicaraguan national police and armed pro-government civilians laid siege to a symbolically important neighborhood that has recently become a center of resistance to President Daniel Ortega's government. Government forces began advancing on the Monimbo neighborhood in the city of Masaya before dawn Tuesday.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday deplored and condemned the ongoing violence against civilians, including against students, in Nicaragua.Speaking on behalf of Mr. Guterres at the UN Headquarters, Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that “the use of lethal force is not only unacceptable but is also in itself an obstacle to obtaining a political solution to the current crisis”.
The Nicaraguan opposition will intensify its pressure against President Daniel Ortega on Thursday, with a demonstration and a general strike, but the government, in counteroffensive, prepares its revolutionary commemoration march towards Masaya, the most rebellious city in the country where at least 14 people died last weekend due a raid between pro-government paramilitary and protesters.
14 lives claimed the increase of violence in Nicaragua, which is about to break the the dialogue to resolve the crisis that left some 250 dead in almost three months of protests against President Daniel Ortega.
Three people were shot dead in the city of Masaya as security forces and para military groups tried to regain control of the area, a human rights group reported on Tuesday, the two-month anniversary of political unrest that has shaken Nicaragua.
As the crisis worsens in Nicaragua, pressure on the part of society that demands the resignation of President Daniel Ortega remains. This generates that, in many cities like Masaya, the streets are blocked with more than 200 barricades while their neighbors organize to guarantee security and collect food for the protesters who are entrenched, resisting the paramilitary siege against the city. However, there has been an overflow of passport applications in recent weeks.
By Gwynne Dyer (*) - From the Ceausescus in Romania (overthrown and shot 1989) to the Mugabes (removed in a non-violent military coup 2017), husband-and-wife teams running authoritarian regimes seem to have a particularly high casualty rate. And now it may be the turn of the Nicaraguan team: President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice-President Rosario Murillo.
Nicaraguans were back on the streets in their thousands on Sunday to protest what they called a government breach of a two-day truce agreed during Church-mediated peace talks. Students at a university in northeastern Managua claim police attacked them during a demonstration outside the campus on Saturday night in which four students were shot and injured.