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History repeats itself in Nicaragua

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This past week the country of Nicaragua has seen one of their largest protests since the country’s Civil War in 1960s and 1970s.

Daniel Ortega became the president of Nicaragua in 2007 and has been in power ever since. He first became the coordinator of the Junta of National Reconstruction in 1979 and became president in 1985 until 1990 when they began doing elections again. He is part of the political party Sandinista National Liberation Front which is a socialist party similar to the one of Hugo Chavez, former president of Venezuela.

Recently, President Ortega has tried to change the social security system that increases the contributions of workers and reduces the pension for retired workers; this caused an outbreak by the citizens of Nicaragua.

Minerva Velasquez who works for admissions and records office in Skyline is Nicaraguense and shares her opinion on what’s really happening in her home country.

“The problem with the social security system in Nicaragua is that they were using the money for other institutions and to build other infrastructure. Some of the members of the administration have been using the money for their own personal purposes. They then found out that there is not enough money left over for its actual purpose, pensioning those that are retired,” Velasquez said. “So, now, they are requesting that the people provide more money from what little they have. They need to take more money from the people that are still paying into retirement, and also take money from the pension of those that have already retired.”

She also explains that this problem happened years back in Nicaragua when Anastasio Somoza was the dictator and was overthrown by the Liberal-Conservative Junta, which the current President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega was apart of.

“When I heard the news of what was happening in Nicaragua, I felt like I went back to the past to similar situations during the Somoza dictatorship. We lived similar situations during that time,” Velasquez said. “It’s like a flashback into the past with the difference being only that Ortega proclaims a ‘Sandinista ideology’ but he doesn’t follow through with any of his promises. I feel a sadness, many people gave their lives to change the country, and many people are still hoping for a change. I hope that those lives that were given were not given in vain.”

The students of Polytechnic University located in the city of Managua have been the most disappointed with the change that President Ortega has been trying to implement. They have brought a lot of attention to the situation and have led a protest to make their voices heard that they do not agree with this.

Skyline chemical biology major Martha Marquez shares her thoughts about what is going on in Nicaragua.

“I have heard that there have been several deaths due to this fact. I do not agree with all these,” Marquez said. “And I think that violence is not the way to try to solve conflicts. It hurts to hear that countries are using violence causing deaths of innocent people and creating an environment of hostility where people do not feel safe.”

Another Skyline student expresses his opinion. Microbiology major Adrian Barrera explains he doesn’t seem to understand why the U.S. won’t cover topics that are happening in his home country.

“It saddens me how little coverage this has received here in the U.S. I remember many times before people would mention some atrocity happening in some corner of the world and I would not have heard of it,” Barrera said. “They’d be surprised and shocked, and now I finally understand what that feels like when that corner of the world is my country.”

Since seeing this uproar from the students, the president has decided to stop trying to change the social security system to put an end to the violent protest. As of now, the citizens are protesting peacefully and have asked for the president to resign.

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History repeats itself in Nicaragua