Granada, Nicaragua’s Poetry Festival & 18 NGOs Get the Axe

The late Ernesto Cardenal, in one of the editions of the Granada International Poetry Festival. // Photo: Carlos Herrera.

Since 2018, 267 organizations, associations, foundations, centers, institutes of civil society have been forced to cease operating.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – The National Assembly, dominated by the Ortega regime, prepares the elimination of 19 more civil society organizations, including the Foundation responsible for the prestigious Granada International Poetry Festival and the Nicaraguan Organization of Advertising Agents (ONAP).

Citing made-to-order laws and fabricated accusations without defense or recourse, the Ministry of the Interior (MIGOB) argues that these NGOs violated the Law for the Regulation and Control of Non-Profit Organizations, and a Law Against Money Laundering, Financing of Terrorism and Financing of the Proliferations of Weapons of Mass Destruction and their regulations.

Mingob alleges that the organizations had not complied with submitting financial statements in accordance with fiscal periods with detailed breakdowns (income, expenses, balance sheets, details of donations, origin, source and final beneficiaries). It also accused them of having expired board of directors and of not being accountable for previous donations from abroad.

However, the authorities didn’t mention that for the last several years they have not accepted said reports from most organizations despite numerous attempts to submit them. Directors of the cancelled organizations allege that it is MIGOB that has imposed obstacles for them to comply with the requirements of the law, including the registration as “foreign agent,” according to the Law to Regulate Foreign Agents.

On this occasion, the affected organizations are: Fundación para el Desarrollo Sostenible (FDS); Asociación Unidad para el Progreso del Norte y Centro de Nicaragua (UNIPRONC); Asociación por el Desarrollo Municipal (Desarrollo Municipal); Federación Consejo Superior de la Micro, Pequeña y Mediana Empresa (COSUMIPYME); Asociación de Periodistas y Comunicadores Ambientalistas de Nicaragua (APCAN); Asociación Coordinadora de Mujeres Rurales; Fundación Instituto de Investigación y Desarrollo Sociocultural de Las Segovias (INDESCU); Asociación para el Desarrollo Social (ASODES); Asociación para el Desarrollo Municipal  del Norte (Nueva Segovia, Madriz, Estelí, Matagalpa y Jinotega); Asociación para el Desarrollo Integral de la Mujer (APADEIM); Fundación Cosigüina.

They will also cancel the NGOs: Fundación Integral para el Desarrollo Rural Ecosostenible; Fundación “Humberto Argüello Cerda”; Fundación Costeños Unidos por la Integración y Desarrollo Autogestionario y Sostenido de la Costa Atlántica de Nicaragua Cupidascan; Asociación de Investigación y Capacitación Huehuetlatolli; Asociación por la Humanización de la Vida, y Fundación Tunki-Wanki.

The decree requesting the cancellation of these 19 NGOs was presented by the Ortega legislator, Filiberto Rodriguez, on Tuesday, May 17. This new package is added to the 25 organizations that are awaiting their official closure, according to the decree presented to the Assembly on May 9. Both were to be discussed in Parliament on Wednesday, May 18.

With the annulment of these 44 organizations by the two decrees, the Ortega regime would have closed 193 NGOs during the first five months of 2022. And since 2018, 267 organizations, associations, foundations, centers, institutes of civil society have been forced to cease operating.

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