Nicaragua suppresses opposition to ensure one-party election, critics say

The Guardian UKA Nicaraguan government crackdown on free speech, opposition parties and foreign diplomats has been condemned as an attack on civil liberties to bolster one-party rule.

With less than five months to go until the country holds a general election, former Sandinista guerrilla leader Daniel Ortega looks almost certain to win a third presidential term unimpeded after the latest assault on opposition leaders.

The supreme court last week ousted Eduardo Montealegre as leader of the main opposition party, the Independent Liberation party (PLI), in a move widely criticized as politically driven ad criticized by international observers and the Catholic church.

A statement signed by the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference said that “any attempt to create conditions for the implementation of a single-party regime in which ideological diversity and political parties disappeared is harmful to the country”. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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