The Nicaragua Uprising: Updates, Debates, and Voices in Exile

Event Details

Nicaragua, one of Latin America’s lowest income countries, has experienced dictatorship, revolution, neoliberalism and authoritarian populism all in the space of forty years. In April of this year, Nicaraguan university students initiated an uprising against the authoritarian regime of president Daniel Ortega that seemed to hold the possibility to redefine the country. Streets exploded with support for students after the unexpectedly lethal government response to peaceful protests against imposed social security reforms, and the movement quickly grew into a widespread but uneasy national alliance. Despite the opposition and its substantial international support, after months of deepening state repression the restoration of “democracy and justice” in Nicaragua seems distant. As the struggle within Nicaragua wages, activists are forced deeper underground and the numbers of exiles grow. Meanwhile, debates in North America continue to rage between so-called anti-imperialist Ortega supporters and the critical anti-authoritarian left.

These debates expose troubling contradictions in twenty-first century internationalism – illustrating the perils of what Rohini Hensman (2018) refers to as ‘indefensible’ anti-imperialism. In this session, long-time Nicaragua solidarity activist-scholar Dr. Lori Hanson will offer an update on the Nicaraguan struggle, highlighting voices from exiled students, and opening a dialogue on what the North American debates reveal about the nature of solidarity today.

When: Wednesday, November 28th, 12noon
Where: Jackman Humanities Building, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Please note: We offer a light lunch to those who register before the deadline below. If the deadline for registration has passed, please feel free to join us for the lecture and bring your own lunch.

About the Presenter:
HansonDr. Lori Hanson, Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan, has worked in multilateral, governmental and non-governmental projects, in academic and community driven spaces, and in and with social movements from within and outside of Nicaragua for over 35 years. She currently works with the Nicaraguan anti-mining movement, and is an historic collaborator of the Fundación Entre Mujeres, a rural feminist organization linked to the women’s movements of the country. In her last visit to Northern Nicaragua in May, she met with people aligned with the opposition; and in November, with Nicaraguan students and faculty in exile in Costa Rica.

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