Nicaraguan Unions say 'NO' to road blocks and 'YES' to peace and dialogue

NSCAG News | on: Monday, 28 May 2018

Nicaraguan women call for lifting of road blocks

Nicaraguan women call for lifting of road blocks

Four of Nicaragua's largest trade unions have issued statements regarding recent events caused by the destabilising actions of the right wing. All have confirmed their overwhelming rejection of the violence and the road blocks put in place throughout the country by members of the right wing opposition.

The statement by public sector union UNE, with 45,000 members in the state and municipal sectors reads as follows:-

'We denounce these actions which are designed to provoke a coup and the destruction of the constitutional and legal framework of our Christian, Socialist an Solidarity model.

The creation of 58,300 new jobs is at risk and many workers are losing their jobs because of the destruction of public and private institutions.

At the same time, the road blocks are affecting Nicaraguans because they have caused a shortage of basic goods. The road blocks have already caused a loss of $US15 million to the transport sector. In addition, it is estimated that exports will suffer a loss of $US270m and investment will be reduced by some $US150m.

These road blocks are not a form of peaceful protest but an expression of social violence, causing damage to the economy, social stability, food security and emotional wellbeing of Nicaraguan families. As public sector workers, these road blocks are preventing us from providing the kind of quality and efficient service that our people deserve, particularly in health and other areas. We demand the immediate dismantling of the road blocks throughout the country, as they are a violation of the human rights of the Nicaraguan people.

The road blocks must be dismantled, violence must be stopped - that is why the national dialogue was established in order to resolve political, social and economic issues through negotiation, not by limiting people's right to free movement, to food, to health, to school meals.

We reaffirm our support for national dialogue as the main instrument which the Nicaraguan people have to solve the problems and bring about solutions which lead to harmony, peace and consensus so that we can continue on the road to prosperity.The right wing participants in the national dialogue do not represent the Nicaraguan people and their desire for peace.'

Nicaragua's largest union, the Self-Employed Workers' Union CTCP, with 65,000 members working in the 'informal sector' has also expressed its opposition to the road blocks and the desire for peace, harmony and stability. Their statement reads as follows:-

'More than a month has passed of instability, anxiety and violence which stops us from working in peace and earning a living for our families, who are those affected by hostile actions which violate our right to free movement and to work. When we do not work for a day, we do not have food in our homes and this is even truer for the 40% of our members who are single mothers and who work day in day out in order to be able to sustain their families.

The road blocks have become an obstacle because they are blocking the supplies of our products, they are blocking our movement and our ability to supply our products to the Nicaraguan people. This is causing significant losses of perishable goods and increased indebtedness. We also reject the illegal and barbaric charges levied at the road blocks by gangs and organised criminals; this can in no way be called a peaceful protest.

We condemn the violence against our sector, against the producers and all Nicaraguans who are suffering acts of violence against them and who are being mistreated just for wanting to reclaim our constitutional right to free movement in our streets, fields and cities. We are lovers of peace, tranquillity and security and we want to contribute to the development of peace and harmony and the development of our country.

NO MORE ROAD BLOCKS! These mean more poverty, more hunger, a slide backwards and less social and economic development in our country.

We reaffirm our total commitment to the National Government of Reconciliation and Unity led by Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.'

The Rural Workers' Association, ATC, with 50,000 members, has also called for the lifting of road blocks and has reaffirmed its support for the Government. A statement issued by the ATC reads as follows:-

The ATC declares its total support for the National Government of Reconciliation and Unity led by President Daniel Ortega.

In the name of Nicaraguan workers and farmers we demand the dismantling of all road blocks which are damaging our economy and causing anxiety to the Nicaraguan population who need stability.

Workers and farmers are the driving force of the country's economy, which is why we are asking that the groups who are causing instability cease their actions and we ask them to let us work in peace so taht we don't lose our jobs and our harvests.

We deeply regret the loss of life which must lead us to reflect and therefore to peace, considering that the route to achieve peace is dialogue which will bring about national reconciliation as in other moments of Nicaragua's history.

Faced with the hijacking and uncertainty imposed on us by the right wing, we call on all forces in the coutnry to unite behind efforts to develop farming and social and economic activities in 2018/9 in order to provide people with the opportunity for economic growth, jobs and social and cultural freedom.

The Nicaraguan teachers’ union ANDEN, with 27,000 members and representing 80% of primary and secondary school teachers, has also voiced its support to the call made by the Sandinista government for dialogue, peace and non-violence.

Its statement reads as follows:-

ANDEN condemns the acts of violence and vandalism which are affecting the image of our country and the tranquillity of Nicaraguan families.

ANDEN prays that enlightenment and wisdom will come to the participants in the dialogue convened by our President Daniel Ortega

Through our work we will continue to build and encourage the values of respect, love for one’s neighbour and reconciliation

ANDEN rejects all external interference and interference by those with their own interests in the discussions which aim to bring about peace and harmony

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