Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, March 22, 2023


Nicaragua shuts down business group in latest crackdown on dissent

MANAGUA (Reuters) – Nicaraguan authorities closed down the country’s largest business association on Monday, the latest blow in a years-long crackdown on any opposition to the government of President Daniel Ortega.

Once a key business player and ally of the increasingly authoritarian Ortega, the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP) has in recent years become a target of the former Marxist rebel’s entrenched government.

The government stripped COSEP of its legal status in resolutions published on Monday in the government’s official bulletin, blaming bureaucratic shortcomings.

“They did not complete the registration validation process, presenting inconsistencies in the information,” the official bulletin said.

An alliance between Ortega and Nicaragua’s top business executives broke down after the government waged a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests in 2018, during which more than 360 people died mostly at the hands of police and other security forces, according to tallies by rights groups.

COSEP’s two most recent presidents were detained and convicted on treason charges in a trial many international observers decried as politically motivated retribution.

Both men were among the more than 220 political prisoners released and expelled to the United States last month, nearly all perceived Ortega critics that the president derided as foreign mercenaries.  

(Reporting by Ismael Lopez in Managua; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Matthew Lewis)


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