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tv   Hudson Institute on Nicaragua Protests  CSPAN  August 8, 2018 12:13pm-1:47pm EDT

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on two sources. inside election, and he also publishes for rollcall. roger from virginia, democrats line. caller: good morning, guys. i have a comment. i was wondering if donald trump would release his tax forms to let us know he really is the true president and doesn't have ties with russia that >> this segment and all of today's program is that c-span.org. we take you live to the hudson institute in washington for their discussion on the recent civil unrest and protests in nicaragua. >> democracy was prevalent in the hemisphere dictatorships have shrunk to oblivion. or so it was believed.
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well, that was then. today democracies are still vigorous and prevalent, however they remain a few open wounds that each state call for increased attention and action in the hemisphere. countries,ar, two nicaragua and venezuela are back to murdering and jailing their citizens. managua have become the killing fields of latin america. in nicaragua, for weeks, hundreds of young men have been demonstrating in managua and other cities. they seek real democracy, not the dictatorial hammer. thise fortunate to have of
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three outstanding speakers to discuss with us the maladies of nicaragua and the reaction of the hemisphere organizations to the tragic picture of this nation. the first to speak will be one of the most prominent journalists and intellectuals in latin america, might distinguish friend and old boss, former ambassador to costa rica to the united nations. by thatbe followed -- politics.r of he is one of the most sought-after specialists to discuss his research on the effects of political institutions and democratic stability in policymaking and
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governments in latin america. finally, we are very honored to a nicaragua and youth leader and activist he was a hit his experience under the ortega regime. after the presentations we will open a period of questions from the public. kelly, our to shawn director of public activities for his very valuable assistance. he and his staff. also very important,-dr. john walters for his backing and counsel. thattt any further
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this is in today's new york times. tragedies, we get a full page of the new york times. in today's edition. that is the good news, i guess. >> thank you very much for your kind words. especially for your unconditional and long-lasting friendship. i have never been his boss really. he was a conservative to the iwspaper accused to edit that
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-- i used to edit and costa rica. ofe decided to prepare a set slides and graphics about the situation in nicaragua to organize the basic topics i would like to cover. i think the hudson institute for the invitation and for you for being here. refer first to the element that contributed to the of anon in nicaragua autocratic -- that lasted until the beginning of the mid-april of this year. then i would like to live for to erodeappened in order to that this article and create the
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turmoil nicaragua now faces that the regime is undertaken against its population. that will be the third. finally, i would like to look a little bit into the future with all the risks such an exercise includes. bitrder to discuss a little what options there could be for the situation in nicaragua. and ofsk ourselves, course everything am going to talk here is limited for the second time. i have to be very selective. but what has been the building blocks of the regime of daniel 2006 whennicaragua, he first became elected up to
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now. he has been reelected twice by different maneuverings. first because of the decision of the constitutional court for now a continuous reelection. they drove an amendment of the constitution. p an amendment to the constitution. there are different factions. there has been continuously a deliberate and successful effort either to or co-optcontrol different sectors of the nicaraguan society. that has worked with some political parties with the private sector and also sometimes of the catholic church and the angelic in church --
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angelican church up to now. this has deduced at the same time an increasing control of institutions in nicaragua with the complicity of the liberal constitutional party, one of the partiesonal led by a former president. ortega was able to take control of the judiciary, the directorate tribunal, the comptroller's office and other major institutions in nicaragua. at the same time they started to parties tosition the extreme of not allowing candidates in the 2016 election. with the church the relations have been accidental, but
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was opposed cardinal to ortega and his family. but now the church is taking a different turn and have become, as we will see, one of the major sources, not exactly of opposition but of independence and counterpoint to the government. rebellion that started in april, the evangelical church was closed to that close to church was close were taken but that has changed. depending on your attitudes of political parties of the churches. at the same time of independent and takingsociety control of the news media in nicaragua.
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media -- by buying media from phones from venezuela, and trying to repress the independent media. the major tv networks in controla either own or by the ortega family. we also had election manipulation. almostreally open and impossible to hide in the 2016 presidential and congressional elections. there have been -- this is a very important, a collusion between the government and the major business sectors in aprilgua that lasted from of this year. it was a very peculiar arrangement. it was an institutionalized arrangement by which ortega and
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a big business people of nicaragua agreed about certain rules for procedures in nicaragua. we could say that nicaragua was very business friendly, but without institutions the give certainty to the business friendship. the business sector of nicaragua and also some international investors that have invested in a factory in nicaragua have been to some extent enjoying a very good relations with ortega up to this. they have provided coverage to ortega and have been influential with international sectors in order to avoid the imposition of sanctions against some governmental officials in nicaragua.
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then we also have the massive inflows of venezuelan subsidies. those did not go through the butonal -- of nicaragua, through some public-private partnerships and corporations. basically controlled by the ortega family. veryhen there has been a wise maneuvering with the international sectors. the nicaraguan army has good the -- in panama for drug trafficking that pleased the u.s. government along the years. upy have had good relations to april the secretary general of the organization of american states. contrary to what has happened with venezuela, where they are
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beginning repression, the secretary-general to the strong position against the region -- the regime. using all this setup and --ecially the venezuelan toy have been able interpersonal dealings and preemptivism with some sectors of nicaraguan society. this is been a key element of the authoritarian or the suffer oppression of nicaragua. i would add to that there has been some reasonable economic growth in nicaragua. an average of 5% in the whole eriod. p i would also say a good
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management of macroeconomics. we can say the only real independent institution in nicaragua up to the point now is the central bank. it has remained as such until now. the other thing i would like to cover is what is happening in the meantime. we have elections. the 2016 presidential and congressional elections. we had a municipal elections for 2017, and the manipulation and repression of independent candidates in both elections verywas so open that the weak institutional and democratic legitimacy the regime pretended to have weakened a lot elections.e
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there have been different calculations about what degree was.nipulation according to the electoral tribunal controlled by ortega, it was probably 35%. some groups say it was 65% and 70%. massive -- that nicaragua faced. they have eliminated subsidies that affected public finances and the ability of the government to provide sources of preemptive is an -- preemptivism, and parted with the weakening of the pension system presented a major defiance to the government. breakdowned the first
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with the private sector. the government wanted to impose new taxes and the government decided to go ahead with the reform of the pension system, stimulated by the international monetary fund. systemnt ahead with that without consultation with sectors of the population. all this started with the quid pro quo that ortega and the business sector had established. you have to add to that the massive corruption in nicaragua e tohich you need to liv make business to a certain extent. to repression and lack of legitimacy of of the electioy sectors started to take more
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opposition and approach to the regime. organized peasant movement theicaragua has been at forefront. one element that affected the attitude of peasants was the canals.d grand in 2013 and 2014, nothing has happened in terms of construction. what has happened is a lot of stateas extricated by the in order to give it to the supposed chinese coast version -- chinese -- in charge of the canal. 2014, the government said by
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2020, nicaragua would be operational. at least 300-5000 vessels would vessels would be -- that has not happened. -- especially of the extricated from their land. does not have influence right now. mexico, brazil, argentina, peru -- i will not include coaster rico -- include costa rica. it is important because of the tradition of costa rica.
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uruguay is governed by a left us sure.eftist -- i am not the u.s. is not happy with the ortega regime, but has been happy with the behavior of the someaguan army and business interests of the u.s. have had businesses in nicaragua . there are some sectors of churches in the u.s. that has good relations with churches in nicaragua that has had good relations with the ortega regime. how gives us a signal on
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able ortega has been in managing relations internationally. it resembles, to a certain extent, the situation of men will ortega -- of man well -- of 1980's.rtega in the he was able to work with everyone. -- everyone come up to a point where it was unsustainable. on april 18, it fell. surprising, but it fell. it is difficult to comprehend, but it happened.
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basicallytion is included in this slide. reform of the pension system , increase theage contributions,, and -- cut divisions, and -- everything was against the people. the businesses had to gradually to it. -- had to contribute to it. a undiscriminating thatssion against those provoked a civil rebellion that united more repression. there has been at least 317
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people killed in nicaragua. in a shortising period of time in a country that 6.5 million.ion of rapture of the business sector up until now. a coalition was created by students, peasants, political parties. the business sector was there. the church try to mediate a dialogue to look forward to a political solution. most sectors asked for early elections. ortega rejected and the dialogue was saved. as repression increased, the has taken arch
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asong opposition as well another church along the atlantic coast. has changed in its attitude. international coverage of ortega is weak. a july 18, a command repression against the population. on august 2, it established a in order to look for a solution for the situation of nicaragua. -- insecurity is a major
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concern. andonly of leaders activists, but of normal people and business sectors. severe impact on the economy. been -- earlier on the part of the international community than the .ressure put on venezuela has taken -- there hasons -- migration,es of a
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which has in up to costa rica. i will show you a couple of things i think are important. according to a foundation, they of employmentloss up to now, the speculation was made on july 27. jobs out of a working population of roughly 3 million people. of that population, according to the official data, which is
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unbelievable, 3% is unemployed. under employment. if you take 250,000 people out populationve working and 8% of between 7% jobs lost up to july 27. the trend continues. estimate made by -- this blue line is the gdp increase of nicaragua in the last year. 2018 and twon for scenarios they took into account was one assumes there is some political way to leave the
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crisis. in that sense, economy wi 0.3% -- to 30%. the political turmoil continues in they estimate 12% of gdp nicaragua this year. being a costa rican, migration is important for us. we do not have the more. we do not intend to have a war. as you can see, this is the asylum requests in costa rica fence may it until now -- may 8 until now. data.is a trick with this
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not all of those requesting asylum to costa rica are newcomers. some have been living in costa --a for some time, me but sometime, maybe four years and they are using their frequent status to grant asylum. not all entering ask for asylum. some enter a legally or illegally and live with their families. inar, 344,000 june. bar corresponds to requests of asylum by nicaraguan
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s in costa rica. the yellow and is venezuela -- yellow one is venezuela. the green one is north-central america. the other one is columbia and other nationalities. requests oft no political asylum, we have jumped requests. number of what might happen -- what might be the way out? four possible scenarios -- the idea one, very difficult to area elections under
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strong supervision and institutional reform that grains piece -- that grants peace that the election will be fair and the old political party could compete. ortega has rejected that, up to this point. he said that will be the equivalent of a coup d'etat. he has rejected it. another possibility is the dialogue starts. so far, it has not started. there is some institutional reform that creates confidence and de-escalates the turmoil in nicaragua and there is a with somey to remain kind of way out until the election is set for 2021.
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re-creationuld be a other previous -- in circumstances causing the private sector -- convincing the , trying totor convince international sectors the same. the fourth is outright dictatorship. so far, the dictatorship in little byhas been little. of, it is an open place dictatorship, hard repression, disregard for the international system. whether you can keep that situation or not is difficult to answer.
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if we look at venezuela, you can say it is possible to remain in that situation for many years. it will if you have the sources of repression and international pressure is more political than economic. so far, it has been the case. what are some of the leverages we can use? the catholic church is important. all the churches, but the catholic church is the most inanized, massive religion nicaragua. strong international pressure that goes beyond the political and goes into the trade, financial pressures against nicaragua. it is unlikely, but possible. the total economic downfall of nicaragua is unlikely also. the economy is strengthened --
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has -- the economy has shrin ank. it is something that could be sustained for some time. the attitude of the business sector is important. the organizational capacity of the position is another major issue. so far, the opposition has been fragmented deliberately by the regime, but not necessarily a lot of confidence among different sectors of the opposition. it is a problem we have to face. that is all a lie to say. i am sorry if i went beyond time. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> thank you for hosting the event. i study the politics of countries. it will be my focus today. nnternal dynamics of nicaragua politics and what has led up to this moment and how it venezuela, which the master has referred to. comparative political scientists , our main focus of study is
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democracy. samuel p huntington propose an idea a third wave of democratization. politicald -- scientists are seeing what some of us are calling the third reverse wave of democracy. we have seen a lot in the press across theountries world, including the united states. the public's attitude toward the democracy is in different than what we have seen in the past, stressing development. governments take advantage of this to push
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authoritarian agendas, especially in weak ones. political systems move from being a strong democracy to a hybrid regime. butlectoral democracy, playing a basketball game where once you have 10 players and you have two. notcan compete, but it is free and fair. at other extreme, operate dictatorship whether it is full-scale, repression of the population. start on a positive note. danielcaragua, is what governments through the world and turkey,
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venezuela, poland, have attempted. he has taken the country from a hybrid regime to dictatorship. that is the negative. the positive is the student-led is a glowingent theeption to trend. they are the bright spot. are people willing to fight and die for their country and democracy. that is what i want to keep in mind as i talk about the bad things that have happened. that is a really good thing we can take away from this. how did this begin? in bassett are ulibarri -- ibarri explained
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this. made changes to the social security system. when you think, so what? the change in social security in any country is really difficult. fromgenerated opposition two private sector lobbies. as people took part the biggest show of unrest to face the government
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sense ortega retook power more than a decade ago -- since ortega retook power more than a decade ago. his reaction was a brutal crackdown. he used her military go after protesters. this fan to the flames of protest. more of the country took side of protesters and try to defend or recover nicaraguan democracy. governmente of the and protesters appear to have of the weaknesses government and its inability to allow any type of democratic tourism in society -- democratic
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pluralism in society. a commission said the government has killed 317 protesters. it has disappeared 600 of them, supposedly. thousands have been hurt and hospitalized. protesters were killed is 448. we are talking a major crisis in the country. how did it begin? .hat is the important thing it is not just changes to the social security system. this has been a long time coming. there has been a slow erosion of democracy in nicaragua since 2007. presidentga and the x -- and the ex-president -- ortega was never a committed
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democrat and never was. he is a democrat of convenience of vocation.ne sinces what he has done 2007. he concentrated power of the executive branch with additional changes in 2007. he adopted a law criminalizing abortion, consistent with his traded platform, but dissension and opposition. in 2008, he harassed opposition parties during municipal elections. it will be a pattern he follows through the 10 years that follow, which gets rid of any coherent opposition. a take strategy to divide opposition. under circumstances any win -- or atuld
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the minnesota level. -- at the municipal level. announced ars .uspension of money in aid in 2009, a constitutional ruling strikes -- morale is -- morales bolivia. in he copies what others did to get limits.residential term
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journalists continue to harass him in 2009. in 2010, he issues a degree allowing appointed officials, including numbers of the supreme council tolectoral remain in their posts at the end of their term. he is extending the same lack of limits on their power as he did to his own power the year croniesallowing his to stay in power. the decree preserves -- he was afraid of the supreme court ruling against him running for consecutive terms, reversing the decision his colonialist supreme court ruled in 2009. in september, they hold the removal of the ban on consecutive presidential terms.
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2011, he wins, but it is a controversial reelection in which there are claims -- credible claims of fraud. there are transparency issues and other irregularities through the election. the supreme electoral tribunal shows a clear lack of neutrality during this process. he consolidates power. overwhelmingly. they take over local governments . there is increasing politicization. cannot berganizations heard. in 2014, the national assembly the -- changes the constitution. it is to run for an additional term.
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2015, members of the opposition marching downtown call for free and fair elections are responded with tear gas. we are seeing a culmination of 10 years of oppression in nicaragua. going -- ire pages have two more pages of stuff going on in 2016 and 2017. the protests seem to come out of nowhere. they did not. they came out of 10 years of s being beencaraguan down and repressed by this government. something innocuous as social security reform is symbolic. it is a government making a decision that people oppose it. it is the straw that breaks the camel's that. back.el's
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it demonstrates what the country is up against. ortega hasons where thesupreme court disallow primary opposition from running in congress. that is what this movement is up against. how did ortega get away with this for 10 years? that is an important component to understand his sources of support. it is not he controls everything and rules through the military. his party retained significant support with nicaraguans for a reason. one -- economic growth. government-backed programs help reduce poverty. nicaragua is noticeably less
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crime-ridden. -- crime-ridden than its northern neighbors. the homicide rates will increase this year. in southe lowest america, even in costa rica. --salvador's murder rate under a -- rate was significantly higher. policies -- the --ernment getting rid of
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ortega forged alliances with an important community. criticism ofhis the united states. he gets away because he has private sector enablers. nicaraguanalliance -- history is a series of alliances. outside of political parties, it is whoever is governing forms alliances with what other major -- with other major groups. withs an alliance he makes the country's council business chambers. he violates other things. securityng the social tax them without consulting business leaders was the final straw.
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ortega, who comes to power as this freedom fighter against this dictatorship has become it. that is are other comparison. he concentrates public and private resources in the hands of his family, close associates. member whomportant accumulated a large degree of wealth. -ownedtrols state apparatuses. force. repression and sporadically, but he uses it. on april 18, when the protests starts, he goes full on. what has happened? we know the death, injuries, missing, and disappeared. the government, according to a
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commission is responsible for 90% of deaths -- of 98% of deaths. 123,000 nicaraguan are seeking asylum in costa rica. you are asking another small country to absorb another 12 less ifylum-seekers or they live in costa rica already as you suggested. the tourism industry has been wrecked. jobs.0 have lost their
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consequences -- there has been mistrust, social-political polarization. offer poore things for nicaraguan future no matter if ortega leaves now or in 10 years. markarquis has left -- the societyeft on -- the response of the government is similar to dictatorships in the early 1990's.nd to does this compare venezuela?
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are at least four. uses partega amilitaries to suppress protesters. there are people -- they are people who align with the who have arms and uniforms and are paid for by the government. not formally, but the government sends money to bank accounts and people belonging to those groups are able to take the money out of the bank. it is an indirect transfer from the government to the paramilitaries. the troops going and,
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,rying to dissemble roadblocks killing people, kidnapping people, and violating human rights. in some sense, the government has one iota of plausible hey, it is to say the army, the police. we do not know who these people are. even though they know who they theand they are giving financial resources to them to operate. it is a lot like venezuela. cities are financed by the government that have access to semiautomatic weapons. in some cases, government training. in 2014 and 2017, big events in venezuela.
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two, ortega retains the loyalty of the armed forces. how in the world can the government continued to exist unrest in thel of country and economic problems the country is facing? you have the support of the army. those people are the ones able to call the shots. as long as ortega can retain the loyalty the weight maduro has in venezuela, it seems likely he will ca continue in office. ortega has shown a willingness duro to remain in power. whether or not the exit cost is too hot or he is addicted to power, he does not want to step down. it means he is willing to kill his own population, innocent people, babies, children in order to remain in power, like
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venezuela. tragically, nicaragua's opposition is weak and unprepared to govern like venezuela's. i say this with respect to the protest. they need to not only protest the leader of their country, but come up with a plan to govern the day after. maybe we can talk more about this in the question-and-answer. what are the differences? enjoy oil wint asls --oil windfalls maduro. power.nomic things are moving at a anster rate in nicaragua th
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venezuela. occurred april 18. an organization has formed a special community to investigate special abuses. the u.s. treasury department has already sanctioned three nicaraguan officials. these are actions taken since april 18. that is remarkable in terms of the international community reacting rapidly. luxembourg and another european country has also withheld donations to nicaragua as a result of the human rights abuses. that is good. maybe it means there is momentum for change in the country.
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what does the future tell us? your scenarios, ambassador. those are all possibilities. opposition has to learn from venezuela. it has to learn from the fragmented opposition from olivia. it has to learn -- from bolivia. it has to learn from these other instances of authoritarian leaders taking control of institutions and those oppositions confronting the leaders. often times, they are heterogeneous. there is very little to hold together besides the hatred for the medical leader. -- the political leader. is international community able to continue exercising pressure on nicaragua, it is hard to imagine ortega will be
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able to i remained his hold on power. a is not enjoy the limited oil resources as one does. you do not want nicaragua to -- either. the opposition must a united. that is the most important thing. stay the opposition, as it did in 1990, allowing the tradition to government and a plan for the day after. plan forto develop a what happens. ortega dies tomorrow, what does the opposition do? you do not want a series of small groups of leaders competing for power you may we see in venezuela. there needs to be a leader to step -- leader and everyone to step behind that leader for a plan for government.
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it is the students who are there bravery and the push for justice and democracy is inspiring. with international pressure, andcially economic pressure diplomatic pressure on members of the sandinista government, and with nationwide protests, it could lead ortega back to the negotiating table he stepped away from. i hope there will be positive changes soon. it will take the international community plus protesters plus important politicians to step forward. thank you. [applause]
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>> good afternoon. i am sure none of you want to hear me speaking spanish. -- speaking english.
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thanks so much for all of you being year. and the hudson institute. [speaking spanish] i would like to thank these three gentlemen because there are very few people who are nicaraguan who are aware of what is going on in my country. fewerre that can do -- they did a big work
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of the analysis of the situation. thank you. the current dictatorship of ortega was founded upon two deals. in 1998, one saw the party the economy of the political parties as well as the institution alley of the national assembly. he agreed to give all of that in exchange for his freedom.
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big businessmen in the other deal were willing to negotiate democracy and the right to govern in order to exchange political favors and guarantee a good economy. what was happening with the big as mrs., they were it's changing democracy and leaving people -- --h the democracy, they were what was happening with the big businesses, they were changing democracy and leaving people hang to dry.
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in leo of the agreements in 1998, the sandinista party started to consolidate their power. they were patient and secretive in doing so. they learned how to pull the right strings and create the ideal scenario for the 2006 elections, making ortega's victory imminent. [speaking spanish]
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ortega's triumph, the with the began working theate sector, leaving marginalized without good education. meanwhile, the rich consolidated their fortunes and a higher command of the national army created their own businesses and everyone was selling the souls for political favors. on april 19 of this year, everything changed. for the first time, my generation started to resist the authority of the regime.
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the youth and university students took to the streets, , traffic circles, and universities in protest. [speaking spanish] we took to the streets with ferocity and. bravery. it cost the lives of hundreds of university students and youth. the freedom we decided to fight for was a high cost from the first day. we understood between the bullets and tear gas, nicaragua had to be rebuilt. we realized in between pain and
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,eath and the smell of blood this was our golden opportunity to end the corruption that held it up. in a court -- in nicaragua, there is no true clinical opposition to the regime after oppositionalf the union. the acting parties act as parasitical organizations that feed themselves on the resources of the state and serve as political distractions of what is going on.
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[speaking spanish] for the first time ever, university students, farmers, blue-collar workers have come together to demand democracy from the streets, from every place in the country, articulating may want new ideas politically that will form the new structure of the new nicaragua.
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[speaking spanish] what has been happening for the past 113 days does not follow political lines of right and left. uprising fromanic all the oppressed. the civic revolution comes from the public force from all of the masses who were relegated to the margins when it came to seeking political decisions and limited to basic forms of work and inequality. we have organized into a wide front looking for three principles -- three political
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principles. first, construct a democratic system that is inclusive where everyone matters and is respected. [speaking spanish] secondly, the reinstallation of the state of law. each power of the states should be independent and neutral. the will of the people should be what the kate -- what dictates every decision. third, true and impartial justice on all levels.
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our justice system should be formed from strict following of the law, not whatever the judge in power determines to be true. [speaking spanish] the continuation of this dictatorship is a huge threat on nicaragua. the continuation of this dictatorship will create a monotriangle. poverty, death, and migration.
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seen throughout the decades, the exodus. beginning two years ago, venezuelan immigration has skyrocketed. 22,000pril, more than nicaraguan have immigrated to costa rica. --ortega remains in power massive immigration, organized crime and drug trafficking, and connection with russia and iran. is chaos.
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thank you. [applause] ambassador daremblum: we still have a few minutes, so we will take questions from all of you. we will begin on the left. >> hello. for your interesting presentations. i did not hear any mention to ld eventuallyun cou play in this crisis.
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it has been said the beentary-general has silent on this matter. could you please tell something what this, your opinion on the role of the un could be, considering the rejection of the nicaraguan to the actions the oas has moved forward? >> i might refer to that because i have been in the un for several years. rolen could have a major to play. let's keep in mind so far, the united nations'commission for
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human rights has denounced. the use oficized repression in nicaragua. established group in august 2 open one of many possible ways for the incorporation of the un in looking for a resolution. ortega has rejected any measure for the oas. it as anassified peopleent as the un and who wanted to talk -- who want a etat.d'
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-- for opening an international and for supervision accompaniment of that as a possibility. themay keep in mind, during 1980's when a crisis was at its peak, both the un and oas played a major role along with central american countries and some latin american countries. be resemblance of that could established. ofdepends on the attitude what ortega maybe. positionn, taking a is difficult. the balance of forces is different than the one in the oas.
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the nonaligned movement is important. censeutocratic regimes' pre in the u.n. -- presence in the so it's not a very clear possibility. i think it could create a positive role in the future. >> thank you. i'm the former spanish ambassador. while you have pointed out that ortega doesn't aim to be ready to abandon power. unfortunately what happens to all the haters, do you see any possibility of him considering some of the options that you pointed out in negotiating his
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change of attitude or do you think at the end of the day is nothing but exile for death for a dictator. thank you. death -- exile or death for a dictator. thank you. when we were moving forward with the protest. we understood that we weren't going to achieve everything from the street. that brought us to washington, d.c. for the first time two months ago with that visit we were able to get three officials sanctioned.
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we became the country with the most sanctions. this had a direct consequences for the regime. that has been waiting about two years to be approved by the senate. it is very important because it punishes acts of violence. and violations of human rights. think thatulous to
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united states should continue to as amoney to nicaragua bilateral cooperation while the state from the dictatorship -- state, the dictatorship, continues killing their own people. nicaraguambassy in allowed for vehicles and resources that have been donated to the national police. be used to assassinate, kill and hunt nicaraguans. the act puts the brakes on.
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on all economic relations that this country can have with economic -- with nicaragua. as long as violence continues. this is the only way that ortega will sit down and negotiate. >> what happens to dictators -- had to leave office -- how do they leave office? they exile or they die. what ortega has done has created an enormous game of chicken in which she has raised those exit costs by repressing people. after killing euro and publication -- killing your own
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population you to become a hard-line dictator or go into factorscause of other or your killed buyer own state security forces. those seem to be the likely landing spots for him in my opinion. thanks. >> any questions on the right? >> very interesting. i particularly appreciate the presence of somebody who is trying to do the right thing for his country and i do believe that the u.s. has to play a key role in this and i do believe leverage isnomic very important. i think your remarks -- i call
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on my country to step in. not with an invasion. . i would like to see the exposure of the corruption of the ortega regime. where are his bank accounts? where is his money back of what crimes is committing? financial crimes. not just in his country. he's breaking international laws. i think this type of political pressure can almost force the u.s. to take further steps. because he's either going to have to leave and i don't know where he will leave that he's probably thinking about this. he probably has money stashed away. or he's going to have to be overthrown. i don't know if you can comment on this. thank you.
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>> i think you are right of course. totally right. what i think the economy of nicaragua's stronger at the same time weaker than venezuela. they don't have this natural resource that is oil. but the state has not taken control of the economy. it has been minutes from the macroeconomic point of view in a responsible way. and thirdly it is more diversified than the economy of venezuela. depends on time it foreign trade for its subsistence. it's a very small economy. it depends a lot on financial influence from lending
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as theations such inter-american development bank and others. also bilateral cooperation. theourse many members of nicaraguan political and sending a stuff have used the international financial for their benefit. i think the u.s. could put a lot of pressure. the u.s. should oppose any financing of nicaragua by while thereitutions is no real democracy in the country and repression continues growing. it has at least three years old it was approved by the house of representatives in 2017.
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but it's pending in the senate. so that could be a good step forward. systeming the financial all the prompting of the international financial system comes through the u.s. when you produce that as leverage. >> i will just add my cynical i'm not sure there's a political will to do those things. it took a lot for the united states to act against venezuela my my ownas a lot in opinion to do with the significant venezuelan population can especially south florida. so domestic political pressures have influenced an international decision and there is not a
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significant nicaraguan population in the united states and so it's going to be up to people like victor and other to come to washington to come to washington and put pressure on the government to act. week at the heritage foundation. i'm nobody. i know nothing about politics. i just live in nicaragua and i became -- became friends with victor during the protest. in my meeting at the heritage thatation i became aware there is u.s. tax money still being sent to nicaragua. that is something we should definitely work on. this should not be happening. that is something that came to our attention during the meeting i had last week.
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>> the united states has a history of reporting the so-called -- >> can we get your name? i'm can. i produce a tv show called civil discord. the united states has a history of supporting so-called color revolutions around the world. 90% of nicaragua's invoice of arms and munitions come from russia. >> i just had a meeting last last year russia opened a satellite tracking station in nicaragua. this year on may 8 they signed a whichndum with nicaragua caused a spanish newspaper to ask will nicaragua become russia's cuba of the 21st century. could there be a connection between these developments and >> inrest in nicaragua? think i'm the person who is
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tasked with answering this question. i don't believe so. nicaraguans byof all indications are not influenced by that. more so i would say china and russia. especially china's proposed inter-oceanic canal. cause of smaller protests over the past two years. china seems to play a larger role. i think it could turn itself into the cuba of this century. for this not to happen this country has a big role to play. is economy in nicaragua
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highly dependent on the relationship it has with the united states. this country and its economy is what maintains nicaragua's economy. russia is not interested in sending checks to nicaragua to keep their economy afloat. but the external policies of consider that it's
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better to maintain economic ortega will stay in power as long as he can. consider that it's better to>> he's 72 though. understand that ortega through the years has been able to consolidate all of the sectors of power. because he sleeps every day hugging the private sector.
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in the private sector businesses live on the relationships they have with the united states. if our government turns its back , and the ortega private sector will take the side of the people of the country. ly so.und meeting with david said. he was the late director of intelligence under obama years ago. he is retired cia. 100%s telling me that he leads the cuba is behind what's going on in nicaragua right now. and they are backed by russia. his professional opinion was that cuba is very much involved.
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on the ground in nicaragua. >> one last question. in that case i thank you very much for having been here with us this afternoon. and i believe that our extremely deserves a final round of applause. [applause] >> next on c-span we will stay live and take you over to the gathering of the association for education and journalism.

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