Nicaragua continues to struggle after decades of violent conflict fueled by political polarization, inequality, poverty, and the exclusion of indigenous and other marginalized groups. Over the past several years, however, there has been a strong push to organize citizens across ideological and political divides to create a demand for peace and secure a voice for all Nicaraguans in governing. USIP supports local democratic actors, including religious leaders and youth peacebuilders, to bolster their efforts to promote channels of dialogue and consensus-building to help to overcome damaging polarization and strengthen the country’s social fabric.
Lavrov in Latin America: Russia’s Bid for a Multipolar World
This past week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov completed a four-country tour of Latin America to reinforce Moscow’s alliances and foster growing partnerships in the region. During the trip, Lavrov met with the heads of state of Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba in their respective countries, as well as another meeting with Bolivian emissaries during his stop in Venezuela. Lavrov used the opportunity to emphasize the key tenet of Russia’s newest foreign policy concept that was launched in the past month and is shared by regional powers like Brazil: The world is experiencing a revolution in which Western power is weakening and a new multipolar world is emerging.
To Secure Shared Environments, We Must Protect Indigenous Peacebuilders
Humanity observes our 53rd annual Earth Day this week while worsening our assault on our planetary home. Arguably our most critical protectors against this self-harm are Indigenous people who, only about 6 percent of us, protect 80 percent of Earth’s biodiversity. Yet powerful elites, armed groups and business interests attack and kill politically marginalized Indigenous environmentalists to continue clawing wealth out of ecosystems from the Amazon and Congo basins to the Himalayas. Any real hope of reversing our environmental degradation will require U.S. and international policymakers to strengthen protections for Indigenous environmentalists.
In Nicaragua, Crackdown on Religious Actors Further Imperils Return to Democracy
In recent months, Nicaragua’s government has escalated its effort to silence dissent by waging a systematic campaign of repression against the Catholic Church. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo’s crackdown on clergy and church-affiliated organizations critical of their authoritarian regime not only threatens Nicaragua’s religious freedom but also erects significant roadblocks to the country’s return to peace and democracy.