The regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo continued this week its onslaught against non-profit organizations in Nicaragua. This time the following were cancelled: the María Elena Cuadra Association of Working and Unemployed Women, the Nicaraguan International Pen Association, the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH), the Blanca Arauz Foundation for the Promotion and Development of Women and Children (Fundemuni), the Nicaraguan Institute for the Promotion of Youth and Children and the Ibero-American Foundation of Cultures (Fibras). Widening the list of organizations canceled in the country.
at the beginning of february the list of organizations canceled in Nicaragua totaled 84, after the cancellation of the Thomas More University Association, the Central American University Association of Business Sciences (UCEM), Florida International University, Michigan State University, Mobile University Corporation, Private University Foundation in Market Sciences and Wake Forest University. So when adding the six associations canceled this Tuesday, the list rises to 90.
According to the legislative decree, which was presented as a matter of urgency by deputy Filiberto Rodríguez and approved by the 75 Sandinista deputies, the organizations were supposedly canceled for not presenting their financial statements “with a detailed breakdown” to the Ministry of the Interior (Migob) and for having “boards of directors with expired terms”. In addition, Rodríguez points out, they did not present the details of the “previous donations, from abroad”, in accordance with the Foreign Agents Regulation Law.
In the text, deputy Rodríguez cites a report presented by the head of the Department of Registration and Control of Non-Profit Civil Associations of the Migob, Franya Urey Blandón, in which the official indicates that the organizations violate Law 147, the General Law on Non-Profit Legal Entities and the regulations of Law 977, Law against money laundering, financing of terrorism and financing of the proliferation of weapons.
Migob refused to receive the documents from María Elena Cuadra
Sandra Ramos, from the María Elena Cuadra Women’s Movement, pointed out —in a statement to the channel 12— that “it is false of all falsehood” that this body has failed to comply with its obligations before the Migob and that its board of directors is headless. Therefore, he attributed the cancellation to “an action to take revenge on women and this organization” for being independent and not responding to the interests of the regime.
“Here is our letter where we send our accountability documents for the year (2021) to the Ministry of the Interior. The Government did not catch them, they rejected us, they did not receive them,” Ramos said. Among the documents that were rejected are: financial statements, details of income and expenses, details of expenses, details of donations, accounting books, minute books and the list of members of the board of directors.
According to Ramos, given that the Migob refused to receive the documents, she appealed to the Administrative Litigation Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice to expose what happened, since the NGO’s regulatory body did not receive them “without explanation.” , without having called us, without having told us what was happening. Plain and simple they did not receive them, ”she stressed.
Finally, Ramos emphasized that “the María Elena Cuadra is not this building, nor is it these four walls – which have cost us so much to have them because the Government has not given us here – but rather the women” with whom they have been working since 1994.
Gioconda Belli, from PEN Nicaragua: “Measure of political punishment”
Also the writer Gioconda Belli, who was elected president of PEN Nicaragua in 2013, explained that the NGO had legal status since 2001, and each year it presented its reports to the Ministry of the Interior. However, since 2018, when there was a wave of protests against the regime, the Migob did not receive their documents.
For Belli, a writer of international stature, the cancellation of the legal personality of PEN Nicaragua, “is a measure of political punishment for the role of PEN in supporting freedom of expression and reporting on the restrictions and abuses of the Government against independent journalism.” However, that does not mean that the work of the organization is finished.
“International PEN has wanted to keep an eye on Nicaragua and although we have already dissolved since February 2021, International PEN maintains an Observatory on Nicaragua and considers us members of the PEN community. I do not need money, nor an office, and even less the permission of the Government to be a member of PEN, but PEN Nicaragua has not existed since February 2021; now we are a center in exile,” added Belli.
On February 4, 2021, the writer announced in an open letter, the closure of PEN Nicaragua, rejecting the imposition as a “foreign agent”, after the approval of the Foreign Agents Regulation Law, in October 2020.
“We were always volunteer writers and journalists; no salary. We had no office. We lent a room in a small office to meet,” Belli told CONFIDENTIAL. “PEN existed because of the dedication of a group of writers who brought it into existence. The money he handled, which was very little, was reported transparently, ”he stressed.