At least 83 protesters have been killed so far as Nicaragua’s once-left-wing president Daniel Ortega deploys police and troops against street demonstrations and blockades demanding his resignation.
The protests first exploded in mid-April against Ortega’s plan to increase workers’ social-security benefits and cut pensions. On 22 April, Ortega retreated on that.
Protests have continued. They reached a new high on the weekend 26-27 May, after talks mediated by the Catholic Church broke down.
Ortega’s main bases of support have been the bosses’ group COSEP (Superior Council of Private Enterprise), the military, and some sectors of the poorest dependent on government welfare payments. COSEP and the military are now taking their distance.
The opposition has been spearheaded by students, and had support from better-off workers. The reports available to us don’t suggest it is specially left-wing.
The events demonstrate the impasse of governments which try to be left-wing by “clever” manipulation from above within the constraints of neoliberalism.