Nicaragua and Venezuela have continued to regress into political and social repression, further abandoning the pretense of democracy and resorting instead to violations of human rights and assaults on civil society actors. President Daniel Ortega and President Nicolás Maduro have consolidated control over their countries’ media, military, and police forces, co-opting established institutions of government—or inventing new ones—to suit their needs and financially benefit their allies. In response, citizens of both countries are mobilizing more determined opposition in an effort to recover the freedoms they deserve.
On June 18, Hudson Institute hosted a panel to discuss the current political situation in Nicaragua and Venezuela. Participants included former Nicaraguan Minister of Education Humberto Belli, Editor-in-Chief of La Nación Armando Gonzales, and Venezuelan journalist and politician David Smolansky Urosa. The panel was moderated by Hudson Senior Fellow Jaime Daremblum.