September 28 2016
by Chuck Kaufman
Nicaragua – A model to follow
Central American Parliament Secretary, Deputy Carlos Gonzalez (El Salvador) said the regional parliament wants to learn more about Nicaragua’s successful Community Public Safety Model. He said, “The United Nations and other international organizations have recognized the successes of the Nicaragua Model. We believe that other countries in the region should try to replicate some of the key components of this successful experience to improve public safety in Central America.” (Nicaragua News, Sept. 26)
Recycling entrepreneurs generate millions for the Nicaraguan economy
David Narvaez, president of the Network of Recycling Entrepreneurs (REDNICA) announced that recyclable products generated more than US$19.6 million in exports in the first 8 months of 2016 and said, “recycling is increasingly contributing to the national economy.” (Nicaragua News, Sept. 19)
Nicaragua’s innovative tourist development
Nicaragua continues its innovative tourist development project which preferences small and medium local businesses with the announcement by the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute (INTUR) and the Production Bank (BANCO) of a fund for low-interest loans to Granada tourism businesses. The colonial city of Granada received more than 400,000 visitors in 2015. Businesses will be able to apply for loans of between US$3,000-$30,000.(Nicaragua News, Sept. 20)
190,000 rural families benefit from Nicaragua’s Food Production Package
Nicaragua Ministry of Household Economy (MEFCCA) Director Maria Auxiliadora Chiong reported that 190,000 rural families have benefited from the Food Production Package program, also known as Zero Hunger. The Healthy Yard Program has benefited 285,000 urban women and more than 170 cooperatives have been created generating over a half million dollars in earnings. Both programs provide plants, animals, and training to enable women-headed households to grow some of their own food and to market locally that which their family does not consume. (Nicaragua News, Sept. 23)
US right wing trying to stifle Nicaragua’s economic development
Nicaraguans were outraged and worried last week when the US House of Representatives passed on a late night voice vote the NICA Act which would place sanctions on Nicaragua and deny the country multilateral loans. With Congress on the eve of adjournment for the elections, the NICA Act has no chance of being passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama.
The Act was condemned by the government, the Catholic hierarchy, business and labor groups. A quick M&R Consultants survey in the capital found 70% said they were in disagreement with the political groups that promoted the law and only 10.2% said they agreed.
A delegation of politicians from various Liberal party factions and the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) president traveled to Washington and met with extreme right-wing Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) to promote the law.
Well-known former combatant Dora Maria Tellez announced that she was proud of the MRS participation and that the goal of the Act was to “isolate” the Ortega government. There was a time when people in the MRS fought US intervention in Nicaragua’s sovereign affairs rather than lobbied for intervention in the US Capital. (Informe Pastran, Sept. 26)