The shocking killings of student and other protestors in Nicaragua earlier this year galvanized many Nicaraguans and drew renewed international attention to a country once considered one of the most stable in Central America. What caused this once-peaceful country to erupt in April 2018?

In this bulletin, Arturo Cruz, professor at the INCAE Business School and former Nicaraguan ambassador to the United States and Canada, traces the evolution of President Daniel Ortega’s authoritarian governing model from 2008 until today. He explains why Venezuelan aid to Nicaragua initially allowed Ortega to distribute generous benefits and how the decline in aid ultimately ushered in the current crisis.

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