This Central American country demands that all unilateral, coercive, and illegal measures imposed on nations, institutions, or individuals must be eliminated.
An unprecedented and relentless attack is unfolding against Nicaragua’s government and people driven by false narratives advanced by right-wing, U.S.-financed media outlets and “opposition” figures.
In the light of evidence that has been presented against certain individuals, and organizations, related to the crimes of money laundering, fraud, treason, and seditious conspiracy, the Office of the Nicaragua Attorney General began an investigation into the dealings of Cristiana Chamorro, and her Violeta Barros de Chamorro Foundation for Reconciliation and Democracy (FVBCH), which received tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars through USAID, NED, IRI, and other U.S. government agencies, that were then transferred through corporate, and personal accounts to Chamorro family members, including her brother Carlos Fernando Chamorro (CINCO, Confidencial), and her uncle Jaime Chamorro Cardenal (La Prensa); as well as to other affiliated organizations such as Channel 10, Channel 11, Channel 12, and Vos TV, Radio Corporacion, and the Cafe con Voz radio show; as well as online outlets 100% Noticias, Articulo 66, Nicaragua Investiga, Nicaragua Actual, BacanalNica, and Despacho 505.
The purpose of the Attorney General’s investigation, therefore, is to determine, whether Cristiana Chamorro and her FVBCH have committed any crimes as related to Law No. 1040, which requires organizations to report any funding they receive from abroad, and Law No. 1055, that protects the Nicaraguan People against the crimes of treason, and seditious conspiracy.
The investigation is being conducted in a thorough, and transparent manner, with periodic updates being published in a timely manner to inform the Nicaraguan People of its progress.
It is important to highlight that similar legislations exist throughout North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean, Europe, and the rest of the world; and governments have zero tolerance for crimes of this nature.
Consider, for example, articles 2381 through 2390 of the U.S. Legal Code that contains definitions, and punishments related to the crimes of treason, misprision of treason, rebellion or insurrection, seditious conspiracy, advocating the overthrow of the government, registration of foreign organizations, activities affecting Armed Forces in general and during the war, and recruiting for service against the United States; all of which are federally prosecuted, and may entail punishments that range from death to imprisonment, to fines, and to the prohibition from running for public office.
Any attempt, therefore, by a national or foreign actor to undermine an investigation of this nature, must also be viewed amid the standing legislation and perceived as an outright attack against the principles of respect for the rule of law, democracy, national sovereignty, and self-determination in Nicaragua.
Nicaragua’s best practices related to democracy and citizens’ participation include:
(1) Ongoing citizens’ education campaign in Spanish, English, Miskito, and Mayagna, prioritizing voters’ registration, and actively promoting voting as a civic right and responsibility;
(2) Continuous expansion of the network of voting stations in order to include the most remote communities;
(3) Strengthening of the communal voting system, in which voting stations do not exceed 400 citizens, allowing for a greater familiarity among voters;
(4) Representation of all political parties among the members of each voting station;
(5) Training and certification of Political Party Monitors that are within the voting stations during the voting process, and while ballots are being counted;
(6) Legal reforms, and policies aimed at ensuring a 50 percent participation of women in all publicly elected spaces;
(7) Technical improvement to voters´ identification card to ensure a “one person one vote system”, including detailed biometric photography, registration number, bar codes, watermarks, among others; and
(8) Continuous updating of the general voters´ list in order to integrate new citizens, and remove those who have changed address or have died.
On May 4, the Nicaragua National Assembly also enacted Law 1070, Law of Reforms, and Additions to Law 331, Electoral Law, following a consultation process between the Parliament’s Special Committee and the representations of the 19 registered political parties that exist within the country.
Electoral Reforms were aimed at ensuring Coherence, and Harmony between the Electoral Law, and the Constitution in the light of the 2014 reforms, ensure gender equality, promote the use of new information, and communications technologies, update relevant electoral cartography, strengthening civil registration processes, protect the rights of political parties, and political alliances, and ensure respect for the rights of sovereignty, self-determination, and national independence.
In May, a new Supreme Electoral Council was also elected and it includes one-third of members from outside of the FSLN, and is also one of the most diverse electoral bodies in the region, with several indigenous, and afro-descendant magistrates, and boasting a female majority.
The new Electoral Law prohibits political parties from accepting foreign funding from any source or in any shape or form. However, the State of Nicaragua will allocate 1 percent of the General Budget of the Republic to reimburse the expenses of the electoral campaign incurred by the political parties or alliances that take part in Elections.
In accordance with provisions of articles 4, and 10, subsection (5) of Law number 1070 “Law of Reform, and Additions to Law 331, Electoral Law”, the Nicaraguan Supreme Electoral Council prepared and approved in consensus with the political parties the Electoral Calendar, which was published in the Official Gazette on May 11, 2021. The following are the key dates of the calendar:
May 12: Registration application for the constitution of Political Party Alliances.
July 24-25: Citizen’s verification in the Electoral Registry.
August 18: Definitive publication lists. of the candidate
August 21 to November 3: Electoral Campaign Period.
September 8: Last day for changing of addresses in Electoral Registry.
October 10: Appointment of the members of the Voting Stations.
November 7: Suffrage, and transmission of results.
November 25: Proclamation of the elected.
POLITICAL PARTIES, and ALLIANCES
As of May 14, under the Electoral Calendar, 19 national and regional political parties have been duly made up and registered to take part in the 2021 elections, either individually or in an alliance.
The list of national political parties includes:
1. Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC)
2. Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN)
3. Independent Liberal Party (PLI)
4. Citizens for Freedom (CxL)
5. Nicaraguan Resistance Party (PRN)
6. Conservative Party (PC)
7. Christian Unity Party (PUC)
8. Alternative for Change (AC)
9. Alliance for the Republic (APRE)
10. Nicaraguan Christian Way (CCN)
11. Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance Party (ALN)
12. Nationalist Liberal Party (PLN)
13. Christian Restoration Party (PRD)
Besides, there are six regional parties:
14. Coastal Unity Movement Party (PAMUC)
15. Yapti Tasba Masraka Nanih Aslatakanka (YATAMA)
16. Yapti Tasba Masraka Raya Nani Movement Party (MYATAMARAN)
17. Indigenous Multi-ethnic Party (PIM)
18. Autonomous Liberal Party (PAL)
19. Moskitia Pawanka.
Eleven parties requested to run in alliances, two in the “Citizens for Freedom” alliance led by Citizens for Freedom, and nine in the “United Nicaragua Triumphs” alliance led by the FSLN.”
On May 18, the legal status of the Conservative Party (CP) was canceled, because its legal representative presented a resolution on 9 May, deciding NOT TO TAKE PART in the electoral process, which constitutes a violation of the Electoral Law, that establishes “refusal to take part in a convened election is an explicit cause of cancellation of the legal status of any given political party.”
The legal status of the Democratic Restoration Party (PRD) was also revoked given this party did not register changes made to its statutes and by-laws.
THE SO-CALLED OPPOSITION
As expressed above, the registered parties and alliances are abiding by the provisions of the Constitution, and the Electoral Law, and are working tirelessly to take part in the November Elections.
A few individuals, however, that have not registered or been selected as the presidential candidate of any political party, have been falsely claiming to represent the “true Nicaragua opposition,” undermining the efforts of the political parties, and aiming to disqualify any candidate that may arise.
The only thing that these opposition usurpers share in common is their allegiance to the government of the United States of America, and the fact that they have directly or through their respective NGOs, received millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money through USAID, NED, IRI, and other agencies, aimed at overthrowing the elected government of President Daniel Ortega Saavedra.
For their actions, several of these individuals are currently being investigated by the Office of the Nicaragua Attorney General, in the framework of Laws No. 1040, and 1055. As the Attorney General’s investigation, in part, calls into question the use of funds provided by foreign governments, high-level officers of these governments have sought to sidetrack its progress, seeking instead to focus international opinion on the “possible candidacies” of the accused, instead of on the likelihood that the resources of its people are being used to destabilize an entire nation, even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These governments are also lobbying, and pressuring the Members of the Organization of American States (OAS), with the purpose of approving resolutions that interfere in the internal, and sovereign affairs of Nicaragua, in what can only be considered a gross violation of the Purposes and Principles of International Law, the UN Democratic Charter, and the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
THE WAY FORWARD
Nicaragua is committed to the celebration of free, fair, and transparent general elections this Nov. 7. In this regard, Nicaragua must demand noninterference by any foreign government, given an opinion or declaration expressed by a foreign government, can affect the proper implementation of the electoral process.
Regarding the ongoing investigation of the Attorney General against individuals that are being accused of crimes of money laundry, fraud, treason, or seditious conspiracy, the Government of Nicaragua states that a thorough investigation carried out without interference from national or foreign actors and that yields a fair verdict, is the only result that can contribute to Peace, Reconciliation, the Rule of Law, and Democracy in Nicaragua.
As a good neighbor and member of the international community, Nicaragua does not represent a threat to any country of the world. On the contrary, Nicaragua has always aimed to establish bilateral relations based on mutual respect, solidarity, and cooperation.
Within the American Hemisphere, Nicaragua is a key ally in the fight against drug trafficking, and organized crime, as it continues to implement the successful containment wall strategy with its partners. Nicaragua does not contribute significantly to irregular migration, as it aims to create the conditions to boost local production, promote Central American economic integration, and attract investments that generate jobs for its people at home.
Nicaragua also stands proudly with the Peoples, and Governments of Central America, and the Caribbean, which are among the most vulnerable to the effects of Climate Change.
As Nicaragua continues to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, it has repeatedly called for justice, and equality regarding access, and distribution of the vaccines, denouncing any attempt to hoard the available doses and calling for greater international solidarity.
Finally, Nicaragua demands that all unilateral, coercive, and illegal measures imposed on countries, institutions, or individuals must be eliminated. Reiterating that the application of such measures in times of pandemic raises their illegality to the level of a crime against humanity. The only legal sanctions are those of the United Nations Security Council.