Nicaragua Crisis: Will the Trump Administration Be Forced to Revisit History?

By Scott Morgan

Once again, there is a political crisis in Central America. Although there has been some justified criticism towards the Government of Guatemala and how it has responded to the Volcano Eruption that is not the focal point of this update.

Since April 2018, there have been a series of protests that have taken place in Nicaragua. These protests which have fallen outside the purview of most media reports - as other more compelling stories such as Syria dominate the News Cycles. Most of the protests have taken place outside the capital of Managua as well.

The death toll right now is reported to be at least 139 people. 

What could cause such a uprising? The root cause is a decision made by President Daniel Ortega to amend social security benefits. The crisis has morphed from student-led protests into a movement bent on driving the President from office before the next scheduled elections in 2021.

Nicaragua is at an impasse, to put it mildly. President Ortega is currently in his second phase of being President of the Country after leading the victorious Sandinista forces in ousting the Somoza dynasty back in 1979. His wife is currently serving as Vice President of the Country as well. So, if there is actually a change of Government in the country:

  • Will it also include asking the Ortega family to kindly step away? 
  • Or will they be forced to leave via a popular revolution? 

In most instances, those who gain power by violent moves will not always leave via the ballot box.

What is the current remedy? There is a call for an advancement of the Electoral Calendar. There is a  risk that the Ortega Government could actually win the poll. In that instance, the status quo will be maintained. That will not be an adequate solution for one segment of the population that is currently suffering.

The Catholic Bishops in the Country have sent letters to both President Ortega and to the Political Opposition, in addition to the leaders of these protests offering to mediate in the crisis. While there has been an affirmative answer from the Opposition there has yet to be a decision made by President Ortega. Some Evangelical groups have criticized the Catholics for offering to facilitate talks to end the current impasse.

Has Nicaragua Reached the Breaking Point? 

Is a civil war erupting? It is clear that it is not at that stage yet. There is discontent with the current regime but most indications report that the situation is just at the demonstration phase. There have been no reports of attacks against the security forces by armed elements at this point of time. That could eventually take place but evidence suggests that the level of protests have not approached that scale just yet.

A resumption of hostilities could result in a new wave of refugees fleeing north towards the United States. Refugees from Central America has been a wedge issue during the last two election cycles in the United States. During President Ortega’s first go around as leader of Nicaragua there was a covert war in support of the opposition launched by the Reagan Administration in an effort to remove him. We know how well the hearings in Congress went during that debacle.

Could the Trump Administration be forced to revisit the history of the 1980s by returning to the scene of a Cold War Battlefield? It is possible, so stay tuned.

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society. © 2007-2018 Author(s) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]


  1. Hi Morgan,

    I'd say this crisis is based on one simple detail: the people of Nicaragua finally grew tired of Leftist ideologies. They want change.

    Nicaragua should be viewed as a reflection of a dying bird: left-wing politics. It is a failed ideology that treats humans as sheep, and calls it being "humanitarian".


  2. Nicaragua seems to be one of those lost causes; but I don't think that the Trump administration is much inclined to interfere in internal affairs of other countries, since it goes against the Principled Realism doctrine of the current administration. But let's see...


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