The Unchecked Demise of Nicaraguan Democracy



November 16, 2017

This publication is from Carnegie’s Rising Democracies Network.

While the world closely watches the profound political crisis in Venezuela, more subtle threats to democracy in other parts of Latin America are going unchecked. Taking the place of overt ruptures such as military coups is the slow erosion of democracy prompted by incumbents who display authoritarian tendencies and deliberately undermine democratic institutions and systems to maintain control. Since the start of the twenty-first century, incumbents in Latin America have been exploiting economically promising circumstances, particularly due to the commodity boom, to enhance their legitimacy and strengthen their grip on power.

Nicaragua is a prime example of this worrisome trend. The country’s emerging hegemonic party has achieved considerable progress in areas such as public security, social policy, and the economy and has exploited this success to consolidate its power. The Sandinista National Liberation Front’s (FSLN) strategy is thus proving to be more sophisticated and effective than that of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela first under Hugo Chávez and now Nicolás Maduro. 

Read full report here.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera