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Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega.

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Jose Javier Rodriguez seeks condemnation of Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega

Miami Democrat files resolution in Florida Senate.

The brutal politics of Central and South America continue to hold the attention of Florida lawmakers. State Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez filed a resolution condemning the oppression of the Nicaraguan people by President Daniel Ortega.

Rodriguez, a Miami Democrat, lists out Ortega’s long history of human rights abuses and unfortunate alliances, including recent support for Turkish President Recep Erdoğan, who faces international scrutiny now for ethnic cleansing of the Kurds.

Ortega has come in and out of power for various stretched since his initial election in 1984. He’s controlled the government consistently since 2006 when he celebrated that election with a state visit to then-Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ortega also praised Cuban leaders as “brothers in our fight against imperialist scum,” a clear slight at the United States.

More than odd alliances, Rodriguez’s resolution (SR 546) calls out Ortega for violent crackdowns on protests and the torture of detainees through waterboarding, electric shock, acid burns, forced nudity and the removal of fingernails, among other gruesome techniques.

The Senator also slams Ortega’s targeting of the press and the corrupt manipulation of the levers of power in Nicaragua.

“Daniel Ortega has manipulated election laws; eliminated checks and balances in Nicaragua’s government by controlling the national police; co-opted the National Assembly and the Supreme Court of Nicaragua; curtailed freedom of expression; and quashed opposition leaders and other critics,” Rodriguez writes.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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