Less than a year ago, Republicans and Democrats came together to support the RENANCER Act to limit the catastrophic dictatorship of Nicaragua under the regime of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo. In Nicaragua, businesses are extorted by mafia-like police officers, Catholic leaders are persecuted for supporting democracy, residents (even Americans) are detained and sentenced for decades, and civil society organizations have been shuttered. This family dynasty has criminalized democracy, ensuring that freedom of expression, political participation, movement and beliefs are legally eliminated. Nicaragua’s president and family have turned Nicaragua into a rogue state.
The Ortega-Murillo regime has eliminated all forms of political and social pluralism. The termination of nearly 2,000 non-profit organizations, of which 600 were regularly active was another act against freedom of association. These organizations were working on much needed social development projects, half of which were based on education. The material losses — in a country where children have few opportunities, and the average education is below fourth grade — amount to at least $200 million USD a year (excluding the expulsion of 56 international non-profits) affecting nearly 1 million beneficiaries. However, the impact is not only material, but ideological. The regime, in particular Ortega’s wife, has redefined the rules of education, subordinated learning to the dynasty’s creed of obedience, banned books and literature as sacrilege, even claiming that deviating from the regime constitutes exclusion from public services (including access to health) and a criminal act of conspiracy against the state.