Florida Senate - 2020                             (NP)    SR 546
       By Senator Rodriguez
       37-00404A-20                                           2020546__
    1                          Senate Resolution                        
    2         A resolution condemning the oppression of the
    3         Nicaraguan people under President Daniel Ortega.
    5         WHEREAS, Daniel Ortega was first elected President of
    6  Nicaragua in 1984, losing a bid for reelection in 1990 and
    7  subsequent bids for the presidency in 1996 and 2001, and
    8         WHEREAS, running on a platform of peace and reconciliation,
    9  Daniel Ortega was again elected President of Nicaragua in 2006
   10  and soon after his inauguration paid an official visit to Iran
   11  to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and
   12         WHEREAS, during that visit Daniel Ortega hailed the “twin
   13  revolutions” of Iran and Nicaragua in the “struggle against
   14  imperialism,” and praised the current Cuban administration as
   15  “brothers in our fight against imperialist scum,” while
   16  celebrating dictators with a record of human rights abuses, such
   17  as President Recep Erdoğan of Turkey, and
   18         WHEREAS, in July 2009, Daniel Ortega suggested that he
   19  would like to see the Nicaraguan Constitution amended so that he
   20  could run again for president and a judicial decision issued by
   21  the Supreme Court of Justice of Nicaragua the following October
   22  effectively opened the door to his candidacy, and
   23         WHEREAS, Daniel Ortega was reelected president on November
   24  6, 2011, with the Supreme Electoral Council reporting that he
   25  had received 63 percent of the vote, and his reelection was
   26  confirmed on November 16, 2011, and
   27         WHEREAS, Daniel Ortega signed a deal giving rights to a
   28  large amount of Nicaragua’s land to a Chinese company for 50
   29  years with an additional 50-year option, which would destroy
   30  indigenous communities and Nicaragua’s environmental diversity
   31  and invite a foreign power to run the largest potential business
   32  in Nicaragua without involving local workers, and
   33         WHEREAS, Daniel Ortega cut pensions for retirees and those
   34  currently in the workforce and, as part of a broad culture of
   35  suppression of the Nicaraguan people in 2013, cracked down on
   36  students’ free speech, and
   37         WHEREAS, in January 2014, the National Assembly approved
   38  constitutional amendments that abolished term limits for the
   39  presidency, allowing a president to run for an unlimited number
   40  of 5-year terms, and other constitutional reform that gave the
   41  president sole power to appoint military and police commanders,
   42  and
   43         WHEREAS, Daniel Ortega closely aligned himself with the
   44  late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and many view them as
   45  being cut from the same destructive and authoritarian
   46  ideological cloth, and
   47         WHEREAS, in 2018, using governmental and paramilitary
   48  forces, Daniel Ortega launched a violent crackdown on unarmed
   49  protesters, many of them students and younger Nicaraguans,
   50  inflicting abuses that included beating captured protestors
   51  during arrests and in detention, at times denying them urgent
   52  medical attention; raping detainees, including the use of metal
   53  tubes and firearms; waterboarding; electric shock; acid burns;
   54  mock executions; forced nudity; removal of fingernails; and, in
   55  some cases, forcing detainees to record self-incriminating
   56  confessions, and
   57         WHEREAS, the Nicaraguan government has targeted reporters
   58  and raided the offices of independent media outlets, filed
   59  criminal charges against journalists, canceled the legal
   60  registration of nine civil society organizations, and expelled
   61  foreign journalists and international human rights monitors from
   62  the country, and
   63         WHEREAS, like Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Daniel Ortega has
   64  manipulated election laws; eliminated checks and balances in
   65  Nicaragua’s government by controlling the national police; co
   66  opted the National Assembly and the Supreme Court of Nicaragua;
   67  curtailed freedom of expression; and quashed opposition leaders
   68  and other critics, NOW, THEREFORE,
   70  Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida:
   72         That the Florida Senate condemns the oppression of the
   73  Nicaraguan people under President Daniel Ortega.