[Ed. – This situation is spiraling fast. With Venezuela in chaos, nations like Colombia and Panama have to be very concerned.]
Amid the deepening political crisis in Nicaragua, opposition leaders from a key city that had once cradled President Daniel Ortega’s socialist revolution on Monday announced that they do not recognize Ortega’s leadership and that they would create a commission to self-govern the city.
The town of Masaya, about 15 miles south of the capital city of Managua, was a bastion of support for Ortega and his Sandinista rebels who overthrew the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in 1979. For the past few weeks, Masaya has been controlled by protesters, a warren of citizen-manned roadblocks and barricades, with city hall abandoned and police hunkered down in their barracks.
Those protest leaders now say they don’t recognize Ortega’s government, which they blame for the deaths of more than 200 people over the past two months. Instead, a five-member “junta of national salvation” will govern Masaya, seeking to administer a city, including cleaning up trash and restocking food in a city of blocked streets.