Latin America

Expert Voices

As Venezuela grabs headlines, Nicaragua sinks further into dictatorship

Nicaraguans demonstrate outside the Nicaraguan Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica on January 12, 2019, to protest against the arrest of opposition journalists.
Nicaraguans demonstrate outside the Nicaraguan Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica, on Jan. 12, to protest the arrest of opposition journalists. Photo: Ezequiel Becerra/AFP via Getty Images

With Venezuela's political and humanitarian catastrophe back on the international radar, the crisis in Nicaragua continues to fester, largely unnoticed.

Why it matters: In December, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights accused the Nicaraguan government of committing crimes against humanity when it crushed protests demanding the ouster of President Daniel Ortega. In absolute terms, the repression's 2018 death toll — at least 300 — is comparable to that of Venezuela, but relative to Nicaragua's much smaller population, it ranks as one of the worst human rights crises Latin America has seen in decades.

Expert Voices

Maduro-Guaidó faceoff leaves world waiting for next move

As Venezuela’s two presidents vie for the loyalty of the armed forces, the country's fate may seem to lie solely in the hands of the generals. But politicians are still writing the storyline, and if Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó end up in a stalemate, the international community could open a new round of geopolitical jostling over how to resolve the crisis.

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