Nicaragua’s Blue and White Unity coalition Calls Consumer and Energy Boycott
The Blue and White National Unity movement calls on citizens to avoid buying items that generate tax income for the State.
The opposition movement known as the “Blue and White National Unity” has called for a three-day consumer boycott beginning Wednesday, October 17, and an “energy strike” of one hour a day that would be extended indefinitely. Both actions are in protest against the “cruel repression” of Daniel Ortega’s government.
“We urge citizens to take an active role in this peaceful resistance to the criminal dictatorship, by engaging in a three-day consumer boycott, beginning on Wednesday, 10/17, and extending through Thursday, 10/18 and Friday 10/19,” stated the opposition alliance during a public assembly.
The coalition specifically asked the public not to buy the articles that generate the most tax income for the state: gasoline, alcoholic beverages, sodas and tobacco.
At the same time, they invited Nicaraguan society to suspend energy consumption from seven to eight at night for an indefinite period of time.
The opposition coalition explained that they made this call as part of a series of actions aimed at weakening the Ortega regime, “in the face of the acts of repression, persecution, assassination, and abductions,” exercised against the anti-government demonstrators.
They also issued an energetic condemnation of the events of Sunday, October 14, when the National Police “once again made irrational use of the paramilitary forces, the riot squad and the police to criminalize the right of assembly and of civic protest” – rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution – and where they abducted “40 citizens for over 36 hours”.
At the same time the movement demanded the immediate liberation of the more than 400 political prisoners, jailed “for the simple fact of making use of their constitutional rights.”
The National Police stated last Sunday that they had freed eight of the thirty-eight people detained that day during an operation to guarantee “order and security in the capital, given the attempts of terrorist groups, coup plotters and criminals who in the last months have been carrying out actions that violate our peace and serenity.”
Nicaragua is going through a sociopolitical crisis that has left at least 325 confirmed deaths according to local and international humanitarian organization, while the Executive branch gives a figure of 199 dead and continues to complain of an attempt to stage a coup d’état.
The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights have declared the government to be responsible for “over 300 deaths”, extra-judicial executions, torture, obstructing medical attention, arbitrary detentions, abductions and sexual violence, among other human rights violations. The Ortega executive denies these complaints.
The protests against Ortega and his wife and vice president Rosario Murillo, began on April 18, triggered by reforms to social security that were later revoked. As a result of the deaths registered during the protests, the movement became a demand for the resignation of the executive branch responsible.