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Its Time for Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega to Resign

There was a moment in history when Daniel Ortega represented the hopes and aspirations of the Nicaraguan people to end the brutal and corrupt reign of the Somoza family. That is why it is so sad, and a bit ironic, to see that he is now the one brutalizing the people that once looked to him as their savior. Since 2006 when he won the Presidency, he and his wife, Rosario Murillo, who he made Vice-President, have slowly crushed all opposition to their rule even changing the constitution so they could remain in power.

Opposition to Ortega began about 2 months ago after he proposed changes to the nation's social security system, but spread across the country and intensified after security forces opened fire on protesters. More than 300 people have been killed since then, most by police officers and paramilitary units loyal to Ortega. This week, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights sent a team to Nicaragua to investigate the violence. And opposition to Ortega has now spread to Masaya, the famous revolutionary stronghold from which Sandinista rebels launched their final assault on the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in 1979.

If there is anything left of the man who led the Sandinistas, he and his wife will resign to save the people of Nicaragua a full-scale revolution. Before the violence, Nicaragua was seen as one of the most secure countries in Central America because it had successfully fought off the drug cartels. As a result, it had been drawing new private investment and tourists were discovering its beautiful beaches and quaint colonial cities. Continued violence will set the nation back a decade or more and further impoverish its people who are some of the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.

President Ortega, step aside for the good of your people.

Photo Credit: Fundscion Ong DE Nicaragua


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