Abortion, Feminism: Issues Dividing Nicaraguan Opposition

By 100% Noticias

HAVANA TIMES – Abortion, sexual diversity, feminism, same sex marriage or the Christian faith divide the Nicaraguan opposition and make a broad coalition difficult for the November general elections, presidential hopeful George Henriquez told EFE on Wednesday.

These “silent” differences are greater than the opposition’s interest in avoiding a new reelection of President Daniel Ortega, according to this candidate, who stands out for being in his thirties, Afro-descendant and open-minded.

The center-right parties have warned that they will not unite with groups “that do not respect life,” do not share the Catholic faith or have their origin in the Marxist-Sandinista guerrilla.

The parties that have established similar “moral” and “ideological” rules are the Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC), the Conservative Party (PC), and Citizens for Freedom (CxL).

Instead, on the opposite side are the Democratic Restoration Party (PRD), with a protestant Christian profile, or the Blue and White National Unity organization, made up of people without political affiliations, NGOs, including feminists and Sandinista dissidents.

A public claim

The issue came back to the public agenda this week when the presidential candidate for the Blue and White National Unity, Felix Maradiaga, described as “offensive” that a dissident faction that is part of CxL has refused to form a national unity because there were evangelical Christians on the other side.

For Henriquez, one of the few candidates for the Presidency without a great fortune behind, the underlying issue is discrimination on the part of right-wing groups, some of which have political alliances with the business sector.

“In short, in Nicaragua there is a lot of discrimination, and a lot of classism on the part of the political class that has been in power in the last 40 years. We were able to see that since my nomination,” Henriquez told EFE.

Right after becoming a presidential candidate last March, Henriquez was criticized for his ethnic and geographic (Caribbean Region) origin, his Rasta style, or for addressing his followers in his mother tongue, Creole English, while he gives interviews in Spanish.

“Negative for the country”

According to this candidate, a human rights defender with a master’s degree in gender, ethnicity and intercultural citizenship, “these people, while being in power, did not deconstruct behavior patterns of 40 years ago. We cannot change the country by having people who think in the past.”

“In some ways it is offensive because how are they going to lead the country if they only want to know the needs of one sector. That is negative for the development of the country. Look at Costa Rica, some countries in Europe, they accept those differences, and it’s not a problem,” he said.

The presidential hopeful, who says he will not change his way of thinking or cut his dreadlocks if he wins the elections, insisted that the underlying issues of the Nicaraguan elections will be addressed sooner or later.

For now, all the politicians of the opposition, Catholics or Evangelicals, heterosexuals and homosexuals, machistas and feminists, including Henriquez, are in agreement on one issue: prevent a new reelection of Ortega, in power since 2007.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.