“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
~ Psalm 46:1
May 15, 2018
Over the past two weeks, protests have continued throughout major cities in Nicaragua as citizens have continued to voice their opposition to the current government. According to personal sources, road blockages due to the protests coupled with an unofficial national strike have greatly limited public transportation in the country (Rogers, 2018).
We are thankful to report that the meeting that was promised between President Ortega, other government representatives, and civic leaders has been announced to take place tomorrow, Wednesday May 16 at 10:00 a.m. (11:00 CST). According to the Associated Press, an international civil rights group has been invited to visit, though a date for their visit has not yet been set. The Nicaraguan Council of Bishops will help mediate the talk on Wednesday.
Please pray that God would direct this time, guide the Christian leaders who have a voice in this meeting, and that it would be a productive and peaceful meeting where all sides can unite for the common good of the people of Nicaragua. Please also pray that, meanwhile, God would place a hedge of protection over all of Nicaragua, and that history would not repeat itself in the loss of life that occurred just 30 years ago.
April 30, 2018
We are thankful to report some good news since our original story on the political situation in Nicaragua. According to an article by the Associated Press, many student and lecturer protestors have been released after they were put in prison for their participation in last week’s protests against the president’s social security reforms (The Associated Press, 2018). We are also prayerful that a dialogue between President Ortega and church leaders will lead to positive change in the country (100% Noticias, 2018). Tens of thousands peacefully marched on Saturday, April 28th in Managua, Matagalpa, and Leon in order to voice their demand for justice to be served to those who took the lives of protestors in the original protests against the social security reforms (Galeano, 2018). As reported by the Associated Press, “Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes told demonstrators in the capital that Nicaragua’s church would give President Daniel Ortega’s government one month to reach agreements that satisfy society’s demands following last week’s convulsion of protests and looting” (Galeano, 2018). Violence has subsided so much so that the Department of Education announced it was safe to re-open schools last Wednesday, which has helped return Nicaraguan families to their usual routines (Galeano, 2018).
Please join us as we continue to pray alongside our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua for peace and justice in their beloved country.
April 23, 2018
Our hearts at 18ten are heavy concerning the current political situation in Nicaragua. We trust that God is sovereign and ready to help in this time of need, and ask that you would join us in prayer for our Oasis de la Gracia ministry partners in Diriamba, Nicaragua and for the country as a whole.
Much like the situation in other countries across the world, Nicaragua’s Social Security fund is nearing insolvency. Recently, the President of Nicaragua set forth a reform proposal that both increased taxes for this fund and reduced the benefits paid out of this fund, including for those already retired (The Associated Press, 2018).
Due to these changes, as well as a long-held belief among some that this insolvency resulted from government mismanagement, protestors took to the streets in Managua and other cities across Nicaragua last week. Sadly, these protests led to violent confrontations between the protestors, the police, and other counter-protest groups over the weekend. Both sides blame each other for the violent escalations. Some sources say as many as 25 protestors have been killed in response to their participation (A. Diao, 2018).
As of yesterday, the proposal was cancelled. According to President Ortega, the country’s National Social Security Board, voted down the proposal after discussions with local business leaders (Diao, 2018).
Christians in Nicaragua are praying fervently for peace and stability to come to the situation and to the country. Many members of Nicaragua’s older generation are those who lived through the country’s last Revolution (1980s), and, therefore, many are strongly discouraging any violent demonstrations against the current government. However, the possibility of further unrest remains very real. Even today, university unions are planning to stage another protest at 3:00 pm in the country’s capital to voice their disapproval of the current president’s policies and actions.
In an effort to protect the public, the government and other organizations are encouraging people to stay home and off the streets. Public schools have suspended all classes for this week. Oasis de la Gracia has also cancelled its classes for the week and is encouraging its staff and students to stay home and stay safe. Let’s join our Christian brothers and sisters in prayer for peace, stability, and justice in Nicaragua.
Associated Press. (2018, May 14). Church sets dialogue with Nicaragua’s government this week. Retrieved from http://apnews.com/
Rogers, J. (2018, May 14). Phone interview.
Associated Press. (2018, April 22). Nicaragua’s president cancels social security overhaul. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com
Diao, A. (2018, April 22). Nicaragua’s President Withdraws Social Security Reforms That Sparked Violent Unrest. National Public Radio. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/
Associated Press. (2018, April 24). Nicaragua Releases Some Student Protesters to Lower Tensions. ABC News. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/
Galeano, L. (2018, April 28). Tens of thousands march for peace, justice in Nicaragua. Associated Press. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/
100% Noticias. (2018, April 29). National dialogue, without set date or time. 100% Noticias. Retrieved from http://100noticias.com.ni