In response to the call for a national strike in Nicaragua on Thursday, the Costa Rican Embassy announced that it will close all of its consulates in that country.
The Higher Council for Private Enterprise (Cosep) of Nicaragua, one of the strongest business organizations, supported the 24-hour strike that is scheduled to start at 6:00 am on Thursday. The business group said that there are threats from ‘parapolice’ groups -with weapons of war- in companies and businesses, even within free zones.
The Nicaraguan businessmen reiterated their support for the proposal of the Episcopal Conference to find a peaceful solution through dialogue.
Cosep announced support to any civic expression of protest and citizen self-defense. In addition, it demanded the end of any police and parapolice repression.
Due to social boiling, with dozens of deaths in between, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MREC) of Costa Rica asked citizens to avoid traveling to Nicaragua.
According to information published by the AFP news agency, on Thursday last week, the president requested 48 hours to reflect and give a written response to the bishops’ proposal to resume the talks. The dialogue was suspended by the Catholic hierarchy after violent repression of the opposition marches of May 30th, which left 16 dead.
Daniel Ortega, the Nicaraguan president, has not responded to the bishops and the repression of the protests has escalated all over the country with rifle attacks and hooded armed men aboard trucks and motorcycles.
Since the demonstrations began, 56 days ago, the death toll is 148 dead and more than a thousand injured, according to the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh).
The president is trying to lift road blockades that affect 70% of the country’s roads, and accused the demonstrators of preventing the free movement of people and goods, including the transport of cargo from neighboring countries.
A national strike can have unpredictable consequences for both the economy and politics, warned economist Néstor Avendaño to AFP, who recalled that the last time there was a national cessation of activities was in 1979 against the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza.