Nicaragua under President Arnoldo Aleman (1997–2001)

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Nicaragua's twelfth legislature closes in controversy
By Toby Mailman, from NY Transfer News Collective, 9 January 1997. Deputy Daniel Ortega Saavreda, representing the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), declared the Supreme Court's January 7 decision that the National Assembly's actions since November 22 are invalid, a death sentence for the state of law in Nicaragua.
Anti-protest bill recalls Somoza's regime
By Toby Mailman, Weekly News Update, 7 June 1997. A bill to make certain forms of protest illegal has provoked a strong reaction. The penalty for meeting in a tumultuous manner in clear challenge to authority, or intimidating or threatening someone aims to discourage any plans for another national protest such as that which took place in April against the government's economic and social policies.
Aleman's call for national dialog leaves many doubting
By Toby Mailman, Weekly News Update, 17 June 1997. President Arnoldo Aleman has called once again for national dialogue, which is seen by some as exclusionary and a smokescreen. The announcement was made after the FSLN stated that the negotiations with the government failed because the government did not take seriously issues vital to workers. Excluded from the dialog would be many unions which are affiliated with the FSLN, leaving out a large sector of the working population.
Negotiations with Frente Andres Castro will not be easy
From Strategic Pastoral Action, 14 September 1997. In the mountains of Siuna and the North Atlantic the FUAC (Frente Unido Andres Castro) armed uprising meets with representatives of the government. The government would like to disarm the FUAC; on its part, the insurgent organization has said that this won&t be done until its demands are met, which are mainly socioeconomic and backed by the campesinos.
Chief of Nicaraguan army warns of social explosion
From Strategic Pastoral Action, 14 September 1997. The Chief of Army of Nicaragua, General Joaquin Cuadra Lacayo, in a speech on the 10th anniversary of the Army's founding, warned of the danger of a social explosion as a consequence of the imposition of structural adjustment here by international monetary organizations.
Army chief criticizes economic policy
Nicaragua Network Hotline, 8 September 1997. Head of the Army warns that a social explosion could well take place as a result of the ongoing application of severe structural adjustment measures. The horrifying dawn of a paper political democracy, without real social progress. This warning came just weeks after the Aleman government announced a second, even more stringent, structural adjustment plan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), calling for even deeper cuts in social spending.
Nicaraguan National Assembly shutdown
Weekly News Update on the Americas, 7 June 1998. Boycott by the Assembly opposition, including the FSLN, stops government business until it accepts discussing a new legislative agenda with a social character which benefits the population. There was a chance to form a majority which would legislate in favor of the population.
Nicaraguan delegation attends World Bank/IMF meetings
Nicaragua Network Hotline, 5 October 1998. A high-level delegation sent to Washington to participate in the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. It hopes to obtain a massive reduction in Nicaragua's crippling foreign debt. While the reduction of Nicaragua's unsustainable debt (one of the highest per capita debts in the world) is an important step toward rebuilding the economy, the continued application of structural adjustment policies makes it unlikely that the poor will benefit.
Political crisis on the horizon
By Laura Vargas, IPS, 4 January 2000. A crisis looming due to the government's waning credibility and the partial suspension of economic aid aimed to help the country recover from hurricane Mitch. The government's refusal to be held accountable for its actions has led donor countries to postpone the inclusion of Nicaragua in the category of Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs), which could have led to the cancellation of as much as 80 percent of this impoverished nation's foreign debt.