The condition of Nicaragua’s democracy has steadily deteriorated over the course of President Daniel Ortega’s regime. It reached a major low in 2018 when his government brutally repressed protests, leaving hundreds dead and thousands more injured and arrested. Recently, in anticipation of the country’s coming elections, President Ortega and his wife/Vice President Rosario Murillo have arrested more than a dozen of their significant political opponents—some of them longtime allies—under a new law that labels them as “traitors to the homeland.”
To understand the current political crisis, and to understand what, if any, prospects there are for a solution, Adam is talking to Dr. Christine Wade. Dr. Wade is a a Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Washington College, and is a specialist in the international and comparative politics of Latin America, with a focus on Nicaragua and El Salvador. She is also the author of several books on the region, including Nicaragua: Living in the Shadow of the Eagle (Westview Press, 2011).
Adam and Dr. Wade talk about the history of democracy in Nicaragua and how it reached its current dictatorship, the enduring power of Daniel Ortega, and the fraught history of international intervention in Nicaragua that makes any current engagement complicated.