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Nicaragua: Post-Election Violence and Accusations of Fraud

After the municipal elections on November 9 in Nicaragua, there were conflicting claims of victory by the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) led by President Daniel Ortega and the Liberal Constitutionalist Party. The opposition accused the FSLN of massive election fraud and which resulted in street demonstrations and protests. The two groups clashed in the streets of the capital city of Managua making way for much uncertainty.

Photo of PLC sympathizer burning a doll representing the FSLN taken by Jorge Mejia and used under a Creative Commons license

The Nicaraguan blogosphere provides an X-ray of what is happening within the country. One can see the political lack of restraint on both sides, something that can be seen in the following posts from various Nicaraguan blogs:

The blog Contra La Dictadura [es] (Against the Dictatorship) writes about what might happen as a result of these confrontations, which could further divide the country.

Como una mancha de aceite el orteguismo avanzará sobre cada espacio y cada rincón de la sociedad, poseyéndolo y contaminándolo todo. La poesía será simple, usará las figuras poéticas que gustan a la primera dama y será hecha usando un vocabulario muy reducido, para que hasta los más simples entre los simples puedan entenderla. La novela desaparecerá por elitista y complicada. La danza será popular. El trato de la gente de nuestro pueblo, confundida y envalentonada será vulgar y agresivo. El tono claro de la piel, del cabello y de los ojos será mal visto y tratado con hostilidad.

Like an oil stain, Orteguismo (movement of Daniel Ortega) will advance over each space and each corner of society, owning, and contaminating everything. The poetry will be simple, using poetic language that the First Lady always enjoyed, and will be used with a very limited vocabulary, so that the most simple of the simple can understand it. The novel will disappear because it will be elitist and complicated. The dance will be popular. The treatment of our confused and daring people will be vulgar and aggressive. The clear tone of skin, hair and eyes will be seen badly and treated with hostility.

Rodrigo Penalba of Barricada [es] republishes a speech made by the FSLN campaign chief, who is celebrating the victories and the actions of the youth. Penalba then posts videos showing how some pro-government youths participated in acts of confrontation that contradicts the words of the campaign official.

There are other bloggers taking a more “netural” position, or even one of pessimism, such as Nimrod of Y ahora ¿de qué vamos a hablar? [es], who is not sure whether or not there was fraud:

Desde antes de las elecciones se hablaba del posible fraude. Hay varias teorías de cómo se haría, algunas expuestas de formas muy razonables por gente muy respetable y en otras hasta se incluye el elemento informático como clave de la trama, siendo el que más me ha llamado la atención hasta el momento. Por supuesto que el bando de los acusados también se defiende, exponiendo sus propios argumentos, válidos todos desde sus respectivas perspectivas.

Even before the elections, there was talk of possible fraud. There were many theories of how they would have done it, some possible and reasonable ways were mentioned by very respectable people, and others included the informational element as key to the plot, which was what attracted the most attention. Of course, those accused also defended themselves, presenting their own arguments, completely valid from their respective perspectives.

Leonel Delgado is a little more realist to the situation and is skeptical of all, as he writes in his blog Notas Poco Rigurosas [es]:

Y así yacemos en el disenso bajo la iniciativa de la clase política (no muy confiable), los diarios (las decepciones) y los obispos (las comparsas).

And that is how we lie under the design of the initiative of the political class (not very trustworthy), the newspapers (disappointment) and the bishops (celebrations).

How will this political war affect the economic aspects? Raúl Isaac Suárez of the blog Econoscopio [es] has some thoughts:

Recapitulemos entonces:

1. Menor nivel de comercio interno por disturbios.
2. Menor inversión por aumento del índice riesgo país.
3. Retiro de la cooperación bilateral y multilateral para apoyo presupuestario
4. Baja del petróleo y de la cooperación venezolana.

Estos 4 factores pintan un panorama negro para el futuro cercano de la economía del país. Lo único bueno que sacaremos es el descenso del nivel inflacionario. Gracias a la caida del precio del crudo. Pero creo que aún así los efectos adversos serán más fuertes que los beneficiosos. Hay que reflexionar sobre esto.

Let's review:

1. Smaller levels of internal commerce due to the conflicts
2. Lower investment due to the increase in the country's risk index.
3. Withdrawal of bilateral and multilateral cooperation for budget support
4. Decrease in petroleum (prices) and Venezuelan assistance

These 4 factors paint a dark picture of the country's economy in the near future. The only positive that we can take is the decrease in the level of inflation. Thanks to the fall in the price of crude oil. Even with that, the adverse effects will be stronger than the benefits. We must think about this.

Pepitorias [es] writes and suggests the following:

La situación que en estos días está viviendo Nicaragua necesita de un análisis un poco más profunda, que deje a un lado la confusión, las denuncias, los epítetos y el calor que surge de las elecciones municipales recién pasadas, y que al contrario trate de abordar lo que está pasando desde un punto de vista más amplio y estructurado.

During the situation that the country is going through, Nicaragua needs analysis a little deeper that sets aside the confusion, denouncements, the insults and the heat that has emerged after the recent municipal elections and instead try to address what is happening from a wider and more structured point of view.

To learn more about what is happening and in the Nicaraguan blogosphere, please visit Blogs Nicaragua [es].

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