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SICA blasts foreign interference in Nicaragua

The System of Central American Integration (SICA) called for an end to violence in Nicaragua last night, saluting the will of the Sandinista government as the US ramped up rhetoric over the weekend.

The organisation, which represents member states across the Central American region, called for “peace and respect for sovereignty without foreign interference in Nicaragua.”

A statement signed by representatives from the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Honduras, Belize and Nicaragua expressed its “confidence in dialogue and reconciliation as necessary paths toward construction and preservation of peace.”

SICA called for “an immediate cessation of violence in all its forms, which has resulted in insecurity, death, and destruction of public and private goods.”

The group condemned calls by US senators, including Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, who are pressing for sanctions to be taken against Nicaragua for “corruption and human rights violations.”

Mr Rubio has met Nicaraguan opposition groups and previously hosted the student leaders behind the anti-government protests.

Violence has flared across Nicaragua since mid-April sparked by protests from business leaders over pension reforms that would have seen them pay increased contributions.

The government initiated a National Dialogue, chaired by Nicaragua’s Catholic Church, in a bid to restore peace backed by many layers of society.

However the right-wing opposition continues to demand the resignation of President Daniel Ortega.

Venezuela warned the United Nations Human Rights Council that an attempted coup was being waged in Nicaragua.

"We oppose the topic of human rights being used to attack Nicaragua. We call on the people and governments of the world to reject the violence and terrorism in Nicaragua and to support the inclusive dialogue promoted by the Sandinista government,” its delegate said.

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