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But in a matter of weeks, everything changed. Social unrest has revived painful memories of the Nicaraguan civil war.

Civil War in Nicaragua - The Cold War

The report, which covered the period from April 18 to Aug. Investigators found evidence of systematic repression involving violations of due process and freedom of expression, arbitrary dismissal of civil servants, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings, amid various other violations. Yet while the U. In addition to the human toll and the erosion of the rule of law, the crisis has created serious problems for Ortega, who once enjoyed the highest approval ratings of any president in the hemisphere.

Nicaraguan Revolution

Now Nicaragua increasingly looks like a country on the brink of a breakdown. What Happened To Daniel Ortega? Few decisions seem to be made without her approval, making it clear that she is calling the shots. Wheelock cited Mr. But critics say that while the president used money and oil from Venezuela to win over the poor, he also bought up television stations and took others off the air.

Fears of a Civil War Have Faded, but Nicaragua’s Crisis Is Far From Over

He gave plum jobs to union officials, effectively silencing voices of dissent. Middle-class groups and opposition parties often held protests, but they were beaten back by pro-government mobs and largely stifled.

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So it was all the more remarkable last week when Mr. Protests exploded. University students, who were already angry over a forest fire at a natural reserve that the government failed to extinguish, rallied against the changes.

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Then they were met by pro-government mobs that attacked them. Students died at the hands of the police, human rights groups say, inciting even more protests. Then Mr. Ortega and Ms. Murillo dismissed the protesters as little groups of right-wing gangs.

Can Nicaragua’s Military Prevent a Civil War?

More and more people joined the protests. And while the opposition movement is huge, it does not have any clear, national leaders, making it even more difficult for Mr. Ortega to tamp down.

On Sunday, when Mr. Ortega rescinded the social security measures, he failed to mention the students who died in the protests, focusing instead on how the demonstrations had been infiltrated by gangs that looted stores. The speeches by Mr.


The Contra War took place in the Central American nation of Nicaragua and lasted approximately from to The war began as a series of rebellions against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua that that overthrown the Somoza dictatorship in The various factions and armies involved in the Contra War against the Sandinistas cooperated very loosely and in general had their own agendas, which greatly hindered their common goal of removing the Sandinistas from power.

Although the Sandinista government was not universally popular within Nicaragua, the Contra forces squandered many opportunities to win the people of Nicaraguan over to their side by engaging in alleged atrocities and human rights abuses. The republican administration in the United States led by president Ronald Reagan saw the Contras as a convenient tool for removing the Sandinistas from power in Nicaragua.

However, Congress and the American people did not share this view and the administration found that they were increasingly restricted in the ways that they could arm and finance the Contra forces. Eventually, what is known as the Iran-Contra scandal was made public, bringing much disrepute to the Reagan administration.