HAVANA TIMES – The National Assembly, controlled by the deputies of the Ortega regime and its allied political allies, continued its crusade against civil organizations and associations, canceling nine entities of this type on Tuesday.
The NGOs canceled with the votes of the Ortega deputies and their allies were: Association of Graduates of INCAE Nicaragua, Association of Consultants for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (Acodep), Association of Economists of Nicaragua, Chamber of Small and Medium Tourism Industry (Cantur), Las Colinas Country Club, Council of Private Universities, Véritas Foundation, Hispano-American Foundation and Tourism Foundation.
The vote to approve this cancellation was 84 votes in favor, zero against, three abstentions and four deputies present, who, although they do not vote in any way, their presence is added to the votes in favor of the parliamentary resolutions.
The Council of Private Universities (Cosup) is chaired by Jose Adan Bermudez, who is a well-known opponent of the regime and is the third vice president of the Citizens for Freedom party, an opposition political force to which the regime canceled its legal status to remove it from the electoral contest, with the complicity of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC).
In addition, the Chamber of the Small and Medium Tourism Industry (Cantur) and the Association of Consultants for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (Acodep) were two civil entities linked to now estranged Sandinista businessman Leonardo Torres, on which the regime unleashed this week strong repression.
With the closure of these nine organizations, the Ortega regime has outlawed 57 civil entities in 2021, 13 of which have been closed so far this week. From 2018 to date, the regime has ordered the closure of 67 organizations.
This Monday, the National Assembly also voted in favor of closing the Hispano-American University (Uhispam) and the Nicaraguan Council of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Conimipyme), both organizations chaired by Torres. Nearly 4,000 university students saw their college immediately shut down leaving them in limbo.
Also that same day, the deputies approved the closure of the International Foundation for the Global Economic Challenge (Fideg), chaired by economist Alejandro Martinez Cuenca, and specialized in conducting economic studies on poverty.
They use the same arguments
In a report, the Ministry of the Interior argued that in the case of the Uhispam university -registered as an NGO-, and Conimipyme, their boards of directors are expired and have not reported their financial statements for 2020 with their detailed breakdowns.
They also point out that they have not presented their agreements with donors and NGOs on their projects and activities that clearly define their source of financing, project portfolio, their social impact and if they are in accordance with the aims and objectives of the entities.
In the case of the nine entities that were outlawed this Tuesday, the regime used these same arguments to justify their closure. According to the official report of the Interior, all these NGOs violated the general Law on non-profit legal entities, and the Law against money laundering, terrorist financing, and financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
[Editors Note: a catch-all tactic of the Ortega authorities over several years has been to not accept the required reports filed by NGOs so as to make them fall into “illegality” to facilitate accusing them of not abiding by the laws governing their status.]