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Nicaragua:  Between revolution  and  democracy CEPAD, October  2010 Felix Maradiaga-Blandon
Overview <ul><li>Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America </li></ul><ul><ul><li>130,373 km 2  (about the size o...
A legacy of volatility and conflict <ul><li>Between 1856 and 1990, Nicaragua experienced more than 70 violent political up...
The Open Wounds of a betrayed Revolution <ul><li>According to conservative estimates, 150,000 lives were lost in Central A...
<ul><li>Recently, a declassified secret report of the now extinct East German Stasi secret police revealed that Sandinista...
DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION AND POST-CONFLICT RECONSTRUCTION
Peace Agreements and Disarmament
Nicaragua’s Economic Evolution  (1970 – 2006) Total and Agricultural Real GDP during Different Administrations (USD of 200...
External Debt as % of GDP  (1970 – 2006) Source: World Development Indicators, World Bank AVERAGE DEBT AS % of GDP (1970-2...
Foreign Direct Investment  (1970 – 2006) Net Inflows, Current USD Source: World Development Indicators, World Bank AVERAGE...
Conservative Reforms <ul><li>Open Economy  </li></ul><ul><li>Reestablishment of private property rights </li></ul><ul><li>...
Challenges to Economic Development <ul><li>Massive public debt resulting from confiscations </li></ul><ul><li>Government s...
<ul><li>Less than 3% poverty  reduction in 16 years of  systematic conservative  reforms </li></ul>
Social Indicators <ul><li>Nicaragua is still catching up with its neighbors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lowest per capita income...
Source: Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness Agricultural products are Nicaragua’s biggest exports Agricultural Prod...
Democracy and Institutions <ul><li>Nicaragua’s position on the 2006 Economist Intelligence Unit’s  Democracy Index was 5.6...
High Corruption and Low Legitimacy
The Aleman and Ortega “Pact”
Higlights of the Ortega Administration  <ul><li>Elected in November 2006 with 38% of the vote </li></ul><ul><li>Reforms of...
The Imposition of “Orteguism” <ul><li>Two independent political parties were declared “illegal” </li></ul><ul><li>Article ...
DEMOCRACY UNDER FIRE
News coverage of the current political crisis <ul><li>El País (España) . 21/04/2010 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.nytim...
Is There Any Hope?
 
DEMOGRAPHIC BONUS
Civil Society is playing a central role in pushing for democratic reforms
Thank you!
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Overview of Nicaraguan Current Affairs

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This is an overview of Nicaraguan current affairs as presented at the October 2010 PC(USA) Nicaragua Network meeting.

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Transcript of "Overview of Nicaraguan Current Affairs"

  1. 1. Nicaragua: Between revolution and democracy CEPAD, October 2010 Felix Maradiaga-Blandon
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America </li></ul><ul><ul><li>130,373 km 2 (about the size of New York State) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nicaragua's Bosawas Biosphere Reserve protects 1.8 million acres of Mosquitia forest (almost seven percent of the country's land mass) making it the largest natural reserve to the north of the Amazon. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8 % of the country is covered by water, </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. A legacy of volatility and conflict <ul><li>Between 1856 and 1990, Nicaragua experienced more than 70 violent political upheavals. (Montalvan, 2002) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>US Intervention: 1909 - 1933 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Somoza Dictatorship: 1936 - 1979 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Nicaragua Revolution: 1979 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Civil War: 1980 - 1990 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Democratic Transition: 1990 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Imposition of “Orteguism” </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Open Wounds of a betrayed Revolution <ul><li>According to conservative estimates, 150,000 lives were lost in Central America (1980 – 1989). </li></ul><ul><li>In Nicaragua, the exact toll has never been officially revealed by authorities, but objectively speaking it can probably be calculated at around 35,000 dead. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Recently, a declassified secret report of the now extinct East German Stasi secret police revealed that Sandinista authorities had reported 19,000 victims between 1980 and 1986. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the country was only three million inhabitants at the time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is equivalent to the United States losing over 4 million lives in a single war. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION AND POST-CONFLICT RECONSTRUCTION
  7. 7. Peace Agreements and Disarmament
  8. 8. Nicaragua’s Economic Evolution (1970 – 2006) Total and Agricultural Real GDP during Different Administrations (USD of 2000) Source: World Development Indicators, World Bank 1 st Somoza’s Presidency Triunvirato 2 nd Somoza’s Presidency Junta de Gobierno (Ortega) Daniel Ortega Violeta Barrios Arnoldo Alem án Enrique Bolaños AGR GDP / TOTAL GDP (1970-2004) = 23.5% Average.
  9. 9. External Debt as % of GDP (1970 – 2006) Source: World Development Indicators, World Bank AVERAGE DEBT AS % of GDP (1970-2004) = 242.69%
  10. 10. Foreign Direct Investment (1970 – 2006) Net Inflows, Current USD Source: World Development Indicators, World Bank AVERAGE FDI (1970-2004) = 58.8 Million USD
  11. 11. Conservative Reforms <ul><li>Open Economy </li></ul><ul><li>Reestablishment of private property rights </li></ul><ul><li>Legislature ratified DR-CAFTA 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Resumed IMF-required PRGF reforms </li></ul><ul><li>Reached highest level of exports since 1979 </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural exports increased significantly 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Maintained fiscal discipline (particularly 2002 -2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Reached highest level of foreign reserves in history </li></ul><ul><li>Second safest country in Latin America. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Challenges to Economic Development <ul><li>Massive public debt resulting from confiscations </li></ul><ul><li>Government still paying for successive banking crises </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public debt servicing rose from 17% to 20% total spending </li></ul></ul><ul><li>800,000 children cannot attend elementary school due to inadequate funding </li></ul><ul><li>Highly vulnerable to external shocks (natural disasters, commodity prices) </li></ul><ul><li>Constitutional Reforms of 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Corruption </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Less than 3% poverty reduction in 16 years of systematic conservative reforms </li></ul>
  14. 14. Social Indicators <ul><li>Nicaragua is still catching up with its neighbors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lowest per capita income; estimated 48% below poverty line (2005) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Among the lowest literacy rates in the hemisphere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weak infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lagging health indicators </li></ul></ul>1 Source: World Bank Estimates Indicator Belize Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Panama Nicaragua GNI per capita (Atlas method US$) 2004 est. 3,940 4,670 2,350 2,130 1,030 4,450 790 Literacy (15+ years) 77 96 80 69 80 92 77 Life expectancy (years), 2003 71.2 78.6 70.4 66.1 66.1 75 68.8 Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000), 2003 33 8 32 35 32 18 30 Access to improved water source (% population) 91% 97% 82% 95% 90% 91% 81% Telephone lines: fixed & mobile (per 1000), 2003 317.3 274.4 292.0 134.7 (2000) 72.4 389.5 122.5
  15. 15. Source: Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness Agricultural products are Nicaragua’s biggest exports Agricultural Products Hospitality and Tourism Fishing and Fishing Products Processed Food Jewelry, Precious Metals and Collectibles Transportation and Logistics Communications Services Other
  16. 16. Democracy and Institutions <ul><li>Nicaragua’s position on the 2006 Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index was 5.68, on a scale of one to ten, placing it 89th among the 167 countries evaluated and making it, according to The Economist a “hybrid regime.” </li></ul><ul><li>The other three nations in the Americas that fell in this category were Ecuador, Venezuela and Haiti. </li></ul>
  17. 17. High Corruption and Low Legitimacy
  18. 18. The Aleman and Ortega “Pact”
  19. 19. Higlights of the Ortega Administration <ul><li>Elected in November 2006 with 38% of the vote </li></ul><ul><li>Reforms of Law 290 </li></ul><ul><li>Alliance with Venezuela </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over $420 million/year “off-budget” aid </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Electoral Fraud of November 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Attacks against Civil Society </li></ul><ul><li>Re-election </li></ul>
  20. 20. The Imposition of “Orteguism” <ul><li>Two independent political parties were declared “illegal” </li></ul><ul><li>Article 147 of the Constitution declared “unconstitutional” </li></ul><ul><li>Imposition of Executive Decree 3-2010 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Appointment of Justices and Magistrates via presidential order without Legislative consent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ De facto” legislative blockade </li></ul>
  21. 21. DEMOCRACY UNDER FIRE
  22. 22. News coverage of the current political crisis <ul><li>El País (España) . 21/04/2010 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/04/20/world/AP-LT-Nicaragua-Congress-Protests.html?_r=1&ref=americas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Washington Post: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/20/AR2010042004296.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/04/leftist_thugocracy_in_nicaragu.html   </li></ul></ul><ul><li>El País (España) . 21/04/2010 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/control/poder/judicial/agrava/crisis/Nicaragua/elpepuintlat/20100421elpepuint_14/Tes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>El Heraldo – Honduras </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.elheraldo.hn/Mundo/Ediciones/2010/04/21/Noticias/Simpatizantes-de-Ortega-atacan-sesion-opositora </li></ul></ul><ul><li>La Prensa Libre - Guatemala </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.prensalibre.com/internacionales/Oficialistas-atacan-oposicion-Nicaragua_0_247775280.html </li></ul>
  23. 23.
  24. 24.
  25. 25.
  26. 26.
  27. 27.
  28. 28. Is There Any Hope?
  29. 30.
  30. 31.
  31. 32. DEMOGRAPHIC BONUS
  32. 33.
  33. 34. Civil Society is playing a central role in pushing for democratic reforms
  34. 35. Thank you!
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