The registration of candidates for Nicaragua’s Presidential and National Assembly elections closed last week. The FSLN sprang a surprise with their choice of Daniel Ortega’s running mate. The Right registered no fewer than four parties or coalitions.
If the elections were held tomorrow the Frente Sandinista would look certain of victory, partly because of the social gains made by the majority of the population since 2007, and partly because the Right vote will be divided.
However, a lot can still happen between now and November. Candidates can withdraw, and no one knows yet how much US interference there will be.
For an analysis of the state of the parties and alliances that will battle it out, read Karla Jacobs on Tortilla con sal
Today’s the last day of our current visit. We’ve been here helping to strengthen links between public sector unions UNE and Unison, and helping to develop a project with the community university URACCAN on the Caribbean Coast. We’ve also been busy making contacts for our next visit in 2012. See below for one of them, from Arial Hamilton of the Bluefields Sounds System. Come to Nicaragua in February next year to meet up with the BSS and others.
Wales NSC member David McKnight will be staying in Nicaragua for the next six months. He will contribute to the blog, and also be posting short videos.
Since 2007 the Campaign has raised over £20,000 to support the Los Quinchos Children’s Centre in La Chuerca. La Chureca is the biggest rubbish dump in Latin America. Over 800 people work there, over 3,000 people make their living on the dump.
The money raised has supported seven workers in the Centre. Our partner organisation, the US ProNica, provides funding for meals for the 45 to 75 children who attend the Centre daily.
Over the past year the Spanish Government is spending $25 million on capping the dump, providing new houses, and re-training. But on our visit a week ago, there was still no sign of the houses. The promised jobs will also be hard to deliver. The people who work on the dump have many, many problems, and few will have experienced an 8 til 5 job.
We will be continuing our support for another year. Times are tough, so it is increasingly difficult to raise money. So any support you can give would be appreciated. We will shortly have a facility to donate online, but you can also send cheques, to “Wales Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign”, Ty Iorwerth, Ffordd y Sir, Penygroes, Gwynedd LL54 6ES. We also have monitoring reports available for the work – contact firstname.lastname@example.org.