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About Me

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  1. MEETING IN NICARAGUA..... WOW, really the smallest Kingdom Hall I ever seen ❤ But I love it ALL BROTHERS & SISTERS BELONG TO OUR BIG BROTHERHOOD AROUND THE WORLD !
  2. A girl in a park in Managua, Nicaragua. The country topped the list for gains in happiness. Nicolas Garcia/AFP/Getty Images Norway can be frigid. And the winters bring lots of darkness. But it's the happiest nation in world, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report. Denmark comes in at #2, followed by Iceland and Switzerland. Finland takes 5th place. And, it turns out, these countries have more in common than a tolerance for cold. Well-being is shaped by a range of factors. "All of the top countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance," according to the report. The second tier of the top ten includes the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden (the last two tied for 9th position). The developing world has its share of unhappy countries. According to the report, some of the unhappiest nations in the world are Afghanistan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti. But there are encouraging signs in low- and middle-income countries. Cameroon, Latvia, Nicaragua and Sierra Leone, for example, are all on the list of the 20 countries reporting the highest gains in happiness. Meanwhile, happiness in the U.S. has slipped a bit, according to the report. "The reasons are declining social support" as well as a decline in trust — and an increased sense of corruption, write the co-editors in a summary report. In 2015, the U.S. ranked 13th. This year, it slipped to 14th. The report draws on survey data from 155 countries. "We ask people to think of their lives as a whole," explains report co-editor John Helliwell, an economist at the University of British Columbia who studies well-being and comparative economic growth. Each year, researchers survey 1,000 people in each country. Some questions are quite simple, such as: In times of trouble, do you have family and/or friends to count on? Other questions measure people's perceived levels of freedom, generosity and trust — both in each other and in their governments and businesses. The Nordic countries have among the most generous social safety nets. "Access to higher education, access to high-quality health services are part of it, explains Jon-Åge Øyslebø, minister of communications, cultural affairs and education at the Norwegian Embassy. (We reached out to him before he had heard about the top spot his country had earned in the new report.) There are also generous social support programs. For instance, new parents in Norway are eligible for nearly a year of leave with pay. "Norway is a relatively egalitarian society with regard to both to income differences and gender," Øyslebø told us. He says he thinks this is an important part of the happiness equation. Another factor, of course, is the economy. Overall, Norway is pretty wealthy, in part due to the natural resource of oil. But even though oil prices have declined, Norwegian level of happiness has risen, at least according to the report. "Absolutely there's more to it than money," Øyslebø says. Many studies have shown that after people's basic needs are met, additional income is not necessarily a path to happiness. So what's the value of these global ranking? After all, the survey data that they're based on are pretty crude measures. And at any given time, in any nation, some people are suffering while others thrive. "The reason for taking this [report] seriously," co-editor John Helliwell told us, is that it offers an alternative to thinking of "income as the measure of progress."
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  3. Nuestra congregación de El crucero, Managua, Nicaragua.... todos unidos, adorando a Nuestro Jehová Dios. Fuente:
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  4. Nuestra congregación de El crucero, Managua, Nicaragua.... todos unidos, adorando a Nuestro Jehová Dios.
  5. I am from Mexico, but I had the privilege of participating in a special preaching campaign in Nicaragua, where there is greater need for Kingdom publishers. Here we are in Rio San Juan, Nicaragua helping to pull the boat from the rocks. Photo shared by @alejandrodeleoncantu
  6. A causa de trauma craneal severo murió doña María Teresa López, de 41 años, minutos después de ser arrollada por el camión placa ES 07 236, cuando esperaba taxi frente a la pulpería “La Esquinita”, en el barrio Pueblos Unidos, en el municipio de Ocotal, departamento de Nueva Segovia. Según testigos, al conductor del camión le falló la dirección y tras arrollar a doña María López, se estrelló contra la pulpería de doña Sagrario González, dejando el inmueble con varias de las paredes desbaratadas. En un intento por salvarle la vida, testigos del accidente trasladaron a doña María López al hospital Alfonso Moncada Guillén, de Ocotal, pero murió en el trayecto. Tu Nueva Radio YA conoció que doña María Teresa López, de 41 años, era Testigo de Jehová y deja dos hijos en la orfandad. Autoridades policiales capturaron al conductor del pesado vehículo para investigar a profundidad el lamentable hecho.
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  7. Yader Isaac Chávez Canales trabajaba como traductor y tenía novia con la cual planeaba casarse La juez Karen López Fuentes admitió la acusación y dictó prisión preventiva contra Yader Isaac Chávez Canales, quien enfrentará audiencia inicial el próximo 2 de marzo. LA PRENSA/WILIH NARVÁEZ Yader Isaac Chávez Canales dejó de usar camisas de manga larga y corbatas, y no volvió a visitar la iglesia de los Testigos de Jehová, desde que se convirtió en emo.Su cambio empezó en diciembre pasado y su exvecina Mariela Mejía nunca lo vio consumir droga. El emo de 18 años, fue acusado del parricidio de su madre Eymi Johana Canales Pérez, de 35 años, y del asesinato de su padrastro Denis Francisco Medina Moreno, de 27 años.Mejía, de 38 años, describe a su exvecino de la Zona Cinco de Ciudad Sandino como un joven educado y le sorprendió ver su cambio: uñas pintadas en color negro y el cabello un poco largo.Fue hasta el lunes que la Policía Nacional lo presentó, que ella se enteró que el joven tenía progenitora, ya que él vivía con su tío. Fue regalado “Estoy muy arrepentido”, manifestó Chávez Canales, quien compareció a audiencia preliminar resguardado por un fuerte dispositivo policial.Fernando Mejía, de 48 años, llegó a las afueras de los juzgados para tratar de ver a su exvecino que en más de una ocasión le dio de comer, luego que un tío supuestamente lo corriera de su casa. Además, asegura que el joven ha tenido una vida muy sufrida.Chávez Canales, cuando tenía cuatro años supuestamente fue regalado por su progenitora a una pareja de estadounidenses que conoció en la iglesia de Testigos de Jehová.El joven vivió 12 años en Estados Unidos, pero sus padres adoptivos fallecieron en un accidente de tránsito.Según Fernando, el joven le contó que él también iba en el vehículo, pero únicamente sufrió algunas heridas en la cabeza. Incluso le mostró algunas cicatrices.Las autoridades de ese país lo deportaron hace dos años, y supuestamente le dieron 50 mil dólares de indemnización, pero el dinero presuntamente lo habría agarrado un familiar.Chávez trabajaba como traductor, tenía novia, con la cual planeaba casarse. Tenía pocos meses de vivir en casa de su madre. Al menos siete agentes de la Policía Nacional llevaron a Yader Isaac Chávez Canales hasta los Juzgados de Ciudad Sandino, donde se realizó la audiencia preliminar para conocer los cargos que le imputan. LA PRENSA/WILIH NARVÁEZ Mazazos en la cabeza El fiscal Manuel Reyes detalló en la acusación que el viernes 17 de febrero, a las 7:30 p.m., el joven sostuvo una discusión con su progenitora, porque esta le tenía retenido su celular, ya que el acusado, el Día de San Valentín le sustrajo una plancha de cabello para comprar sustancias alucinógenas.Presuntamente, Chávez intentó agredir a su progenitora y por eso intervino Medina Moreno.Pero en el forcejeo ambos cayeron al piso de rodillas y en eso el joven aprovechó para agarrar un mazo y pegarle en par de ocasiones en la cabeza al padrastro, quien quedó desmayado.Con el mismo mazo también le pegó en la cabeza a su progenitora y al caer continuó la agresión hasta provocarle la muerte.Su padrastro trató de incorporarse, pero le propinó cuatro cuchilladas.Según la Fiscalía, el 18 de febrero, Chávez sacó los cuerpos al patio de la casa, los cubrió con ropa usada que vendía su mamá y les echó gasolina.Casi una hora los cuerpos estuvieron en llamas, al amanecer nuevamente cubrió los cuerpos con ropa y cuando pretendía huir fue detenido por sus vecinos.La audiencia preliminar estuvo a cargo de la juez Karen López Fuentes.El abogado Secundino Cuadra, defensor del acusado, pidió a la juez que al joven se le realice una valoración psiquiátrica y que se le realice una prueba toxicológica y de alcoholemia. La juez dio lugar a esta petición. Dio otra versión Yader Chávez lloró durante la audiencia y apretaba sus manos en las cuales se podían apreciar varios rasguños. En el ojo derecho se podía ver un moretón.Antes de empezar la audiencia preliminar dio breves declaraciones a los medios de comunicación. Al consultarle por qué cometió el doble crimen, respondió: “Mi padrastro estaba pegándole a mi madre y le iba a pegar con un mazo, yo para protegerla a ella, empecé a pegarle a él (a Denis Medina) y después de eso ella me empezó a agredir”, manifestó el acusado. Asimismo, manifestó que no consume droga.Entre los elementos de convicción que tiene la Fiscalía están pruebas testimoniales, acta de detención y ocupación del mazo, cuchillo, entre otras evidencias.
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  8. Nicaragua Predicándole a un hombre a caballo.
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    via El Bibliotecario
  9. There's fresh impetus to explore Namibia's startling landscapes this year CREDIT:FOTOLIA 6 JANUARY 2017 • 12:31PM If your ambition this year is to try new things and explore new places, you're in luck. From Nicaragua to Tajikistan, a number of hitherto "undiscovered" destinations are increasingly catering to discerning holidaymakers, with a host of new resorts opening and experiences launching over the year to come. Read below for more on the most exciting outdoor adventures to be enjoyed around the world in 2017, or for something more sedate see our guides to 2017's best wellness and fitness breaks; 2017's best luxury beach holidays; the year's best yachting and sailing holidays; and the best cities to visit over the next 12 months. The Desert Circuit: Namibia Exclusive Lodges The four new luxury lodges on the Namibia Exclusive circuit are located in some of the most remote and beautiful northern parts of the country, each designed by architect Greg Scott and built of local materials that reflect the region’s landscapes and cultural traditions. Sorris Sorris Lodge in Damaraland has been built into huge granite boulders scattered across the desert landscape, its modern African rammed-earth structures and pool offering views over the Ugab River and the mountains of the Brandberg Massif. Sorris Sorris Lodge Omatandeka Lodge is surrounded by vast plains inhabited by the Himba people, table-top mountains and a vital wildlife corridor used by mountain zebra, oryx and endangered black rhino, while Sheya Shuushona Lodge, on the northern boundary of Etosha National Park, is surrounded by photogenic salt pans that change colour with the seasons and turn into a lake in the rainy season. Finally, Xaudum Lodge, the most recent addition, is surrounded by the sand dunes of the Kalahari, home to some 3,000 elephants. All four lodges are located in areas with indigenous communities and contribute funds so these people can continue to live in traditional ways on their ancestors’ land. The Explorations Company offers a nine-night safari, staying at three Namibia Exclusive lodges, from £8,985 per person including flights, air transfers, full board and guiding. The Italian Castle: Castello di Ugento, Puglia There are few buildings in Europe in which guests can stay above a Norman keep, dine beneath 17th-century Baroque frescoes and wander around a garden in which Bronze Age artefacts have been found. In April, on the southern heel of Italy, the (rather wonderfully named) d’Amore family will open their restored thousand-year-old Castello di Ugento to paying guests for the first time (doubles from £260). Visitors can relax within walled gardens, in which more than 100 medicinal and aromatic plants are grown for the kitchen and spa; admire the frescoes painted in 1694 to portray the noble family’s history; sample local wines in an ancient cistern-turned-cellar; and take cookery lessons in a wing turned by the Culinary Institute of America into its first European school. A maximum of 18 guests will sleep in stone-walled rooms with high, star-vaulted ceilings and views over Ugento’s rooftops, and they will feast on Puglian favourites cooked by Milanese chef Odette Fada, whose refined cuisine at the renowned Rex Il Ristorante in Los Angeles and San Domenico NY made her name as one of America’s finest Italian chefs. The nearest beaches are two miles away and Baroque towns such as Lecce are a short drive from the castle. The Urban Forest: Aman Shanghai Aman’s latest property in China (its fourth) must be one of its most anticipated to date. The Shanghai retreat (rates not yet available) is a picture of leafy tranquility – and full of surprises. If a visitor were to drop into the 100-acre property, planted with thousand-year-old camphor trees and interspersed with historic Ming- and Qing-dynasty houses, they’d never believe that they were within easy reach of buzzy downtown Shanghai. Neither the forest nor village are native to this area; both were moved here over the past 10 years from Jiangxi, some 500 miles southwest, by Ma Dadong, a pioneering businessman, when the building of a reservoir threatened their survival. Aman Shanghai Now that the painstaking replanting (which took three years) and the building of the hotel are complete, the 37 villas in the new sanctuary are being decorated with original beams, floors, sculptures and carvings from the uplifted village homes. Kerry Hill, the project’s architect, has taken care to reflect traditional Chinese culture while blending in contemporary comforts and natural tones of earth, moss and creamy whites. Guests can take day trips to Shanghai, walk in the forest, sample Eastern cuisine, or relax in the spa, beside the two pools or in the Nan Shu Fang contemplation garden. The South American Sleeper: The Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru For the first time in May 2017, travellers will be able not only to traverse the Andes in one of the most luxurious trains on earth, but to sleep overnight on one. The Belmond Andean Explorer has been built to carry up to 68 passengers in en-suite cabins decorated by the South African designer Inge Moore in contemporary light woods and comforting alpaca-wool colours. Each of the train’s cars is fitted with expansive windows to frame views of the Andean plains, mountains and grand architecture, including the Unesco World Heritage Site of Arequipa. Although another two trains already operate in this area – Belmond’s Hiram Bingham, which offers day trips to Machu Picchu, and the more traditional Inca Princess – this is the first modern luxury train to offer trips from Cusco to Lake Titicaca and Arequipa, on one- and two-night journeys. Chefs from the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco will serve modern Peruvian cuisine in two dining cars; guests can also enjoy spacious lounge and observation cars, and an open deck. Doubles from £738 , all-inclusive, for one night. The Gorilla Camp: Bisate Lodge, Rwanda One of the key trends in Africa in 2017 is the growth of camps that offer both sustainable luxury and adventure. Hence Wilderness Safaris’ decision to open Bisate Lodge in June as a luxury base for tracking the 10 habituated gorilla groups in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park (doubles from £1,762 full board, excluding gorilla permits). The lodge, raised high above the forest floor in the amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone, has been designed by architect Nick Plewman to echo the spherical, thatched structures that dot the hills, as well as the layout of traditional Rwandan palaces. The interiors by Caline Williams-Wynn have been inspired by the rich detail of Rwandan textiles, many of which are made using a technique called imigongo, an ancient art form incorporating geometric shapes. When the first guests arrive, they will be able not only to track gorillas, but to hike to Dian Fossey’s grave and her former research station at Karisoke, to trek to the top of a nearby volcano, and then to relax in the extensively reforested gardens. The Jungle Retreat: Nekupe Sporting Resort and Retreat, Nicaragua Nicaragua’s first luxe mountain resort sits in the lush landscape of Nandaime, just 40 minutes’ drive from the pretty colonial city of Granada. Nekupe – or heaven, in the indigenous Chorotega language – was designed with the help of a feng shui architect to have the highest energy flow and least environmental impact possible, and the four freestanding villas and four expansive suites, with king-sized beds, made-for-sharing bathtubs and alfresco showers, are decorated in earth tones and warm woods that echo the serene setting (doubles from £720, full board). Floor-to-ceiling windows frame views over Mombacho volcano’s perfect cone, and wraparound terraces are perfect for sipping daiquiris, before farm-to-table feasts of nuevo-Nicaraguan cuisine. Nekupe will provide access to Nicaragua's underexplored nature reserves The surrounding nature reserve, which echoes with the sounds of primates and toucans, can be explored on ATVs, as well as on paths created for hikers, bikers and horseback riders, or on zip wires, which soar above the forest canopy. For those not expending energy on target-shooting, tennis and yoga, there is an infinity pool and a spa. The Cook Ski Spot: Lech, Austria Size matters to ski resorts, so the hotly anticipated coronation of Ski Arlberg as Austria’s largest contiguous ski area is big news indeed. Encompassing eight villages, including big hitters St Anton, Lechand Zürs, Ski Arlberg is already one of the best-known ski areas in the Alps. But now its four new lifts are open, linking the entire area to deliver 109 miles of pistes (three more than Val d’Isère), Ski Arlberg will join the ranks of the world’s über resorts. New developments have given Lech a leg up The four connected lifts, known as the Flexenbahn, will place Lech at the epicentre of the ski area (stealing some thunder from St Anton). While expanding its lifts, Lech has also been consolidating its position as Austria’s leading town for luxury ski chalets. In December – hot on the heels of properties like the Aurelio Clubhouse, Chalet N, Chalet 1597 and Überhaus, which have raised the luxury bar in recent years – Severin’s Alpine Retreat will open its doors. The nine-suite hotel will be fitted with only the best: Minotti furnishings, a spa with an indoor infinity pool and hypoxic chamber for altitude training, and a ski room with bespoke Indigo kit. Guests can take over the chalet, for free rein over the suites, restaurant, capacious spa and fire-lit lounges, or plump for The Residence: a sleek four-bedroom private apartment spanning two floors with a professional kitchen, cinema, bar and outdoor hot tub. The Oxford Ski Company offers a week for two people at Severin’s Alpine Retreat from £6,440, including transfers and flights. The Rugged Destination: Pamir Mountains, Tajikistan Tajikistan was the second-fastest growing tourist destination in the world in 2015, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Which is why in 2017 Edge Expeditions will be running a two-week Luxury Tajikistan tour of the country’s spectacular Pamir Mountains: one the most diverse, wild, exhilarating and least-explored corners of the planet. With a team of expert guides, a maximum of eight guests will traverse the raw wilderness by either four-wheel-drive vehicles, with a driver, or motorbikes. Journeying along the legendary Pamir Highway, travellers will spend days exploring azure mountain lakes, hidden valleys, ancient ruins and high mountain passes that very few outsiders ever get to see. The trip starts off at a five-star hotel in the capital, Dushanbe, while on the road the ground crew will prepare yurt camps with hot showers, comfortable beds, Egyptian cotton sheets and gourmet meals prepared by the expedition’s private chef. Along the way, both British and Tajik guides will interpret the layered history of the region, while astronomers with telescopes will also be on hand to explore some of the least light-polluted night skies in the world. Edge Expeditions is offering a 14-day Luxury Tajikistan journey by four-wheel-drive or motorcycle, from £9,495 full board, starting and ending at Dushanbe, including transfers, motorcycle rental or vehicle (with driver), back-up vehicles, guides and medic, but excluding international flights.
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  10. A COLONIAL HOUSE WITH A COURTYARD IN THE CENTER OF GRANADA $1.3 MILLION This six-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath house, known as Casa Blanca, is in the heart of Granada, Nicaragua, a small western city founded in the 1520s along the shore of Lake Nicaragua. The rich colonial heritage of the city, one of the oldest in Central America, is reflected in the stately architecture of this and other buildings. Casa Blanca, a colonial house with a white concrete facade and a red-clay tile roof, was built in the 1750s for a wealthy family from Spain, according to Carlos E. Gutierrez, a broker for Nicaragua Sotheby’s International Realty, which is listing the property. The two-story house, with a two-car garage, is on the corner of the pedestrian-only Calle La Calzada, near the Granada Cathedral and Central Park, the bustling city center. “It’s a pretty optimal location,” said Trevor Barran, the managing partner of the Sotheby’s affiliate, which opened for business last spring. The current owners acquired the property about five years ago, Mr. Barran said, and they spent two years renovating and upgrading it, restoring myriad architectural details throughout the 6,000 square feet of living space. Those flourishes include coffered and vaulted ceilings with tongue-and-groove, or machimbre, paneling; wood molding; and encaustic floor tiles handmade locally. The furnishings, most from the Managua manufacturer Simplemente Madera, are included in the sale. Ornate wrought-iron gates enclose the doors to the two main entrances, which open to a large central foyer with a seating area, one of three designated living rooms. The ground floor also contains four guest bedrooms, three of which have en-suite baths, and a small en-suite bedroom suitable for staff off the modern kitchen. All the bedrooms except the staff quarters have air-conditioning, Mr. Barran said. The master suite, with a TV alcove and a spalike bath, encompasses the second floor. It includes a balcony that offers views of the cathedral and overlooks the home’s lush central courtyard. Nearly every room on the first level leads to the courtyard, which is landscaped with tropical foliage like aloe and ginger plants and features an open-air dining area and a 40-foot pool. Granada, with a population of around 120,000, is about 28 miles from Managua, the capital. It is a 55-minute drive to the Managua airport and around three hours to the airport in Liberia, Costa Rica. MARKET OVERVIEW As Nicaragua’s past political turmoil has faded in memory, the country has become a popular tourist spot and a second-home destination, according to real estate agents. The real estate market “really opened up” from 2002 to 2004, when there was “tremendous growth for the country,” said Mr. Gutierrez of Sotheby’s. By 2006, “the market was booming,” he said. After the 2008 global financial crisis, “everything just went into hibernation,” he added. But sales and prices have rebounded in the last four years, agents said. “People feel confident about the country,” said Carlos Gutierrez, a residential developer and an owner of Casa Granada Properties, a real estate agency based in Granada. (He is not related to Mr. Gutierrez of Sotheby’s.) Home sales across Nicaragua are up, on average, 15 percent to 20 percent from a year ago, said Mr. Gutierrez, the developer. In Granada, “the rental market is also really growing,” he added, “because people want to try it out first before buying.” He estimated that rental volume in the city is up about 40 percent over the last five years. Although prices in Nicaragua have been rising — doubling in some beach communities since 2007, according to agents — home values remain far lower than in neighboring countries like Costa Rica. (The price for a three-bedroom, fully renovated home in Granada, for instance, typically starts at around $170,000, according to Mr. Gutierrez, the developer.) “Property values are around 50 percent less than Costa Rica,” Mr. Gutierrez of Sotheby’s said. “Nicaragua reminds me of Costa Rica 30 years ago.” WHO BUYS IN NICARAGUA Buyers from the United States, Canada and Europe have been active in Nicaragua’s housing market, particularly at the higher end, agents said, with most of them looking for second homes or development properties to hold and use. “About 10 years ago people would just buy as an investment, but there are really no speculators anymore,” said Eduardo Cabrales, a lawyer based in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Granada has had an influx of expatriate retirees, agents said, because of the city’s affordable cost of living, along with its colonial charm, walkability and shops, restaurants and other amenities. BUYING BASICS There are no restrictions on foreign ownership, except for properties near the borders “for homeland security reasons,” Mr. Cabrales said. In fact, policies and laws encourage foreign purchases, such as a residency program that offers tax incentives to retirees, he added. Foreigners, though, have fewer mortgage options available, so purchases typically are in cash, he said. It is essential for buyers to hire a good lawyer, preferably one who can provide a reliable translation of the purchase agreement and be present at the closing on behalf of the buyer, Mr. Cabrales said. The lawyer will also need to conduct the necessary due diligence, which includes the key step of reviewing the title deed, or escritura, to ensure there are no liens against the property or ownership issues. WEBSITES Nicaragua tourism: visitnicaragua.us Nicaragua MLS: mls-nica.com/en LANGUAGES AND CURRENCIES Spanish; Nicaraguan Córdoba (1 Córdoba = $0.034) TAXES AND FEES Each transaction typically involves just one real estate agent, who is paid a commission, usually by the seller, of 5 percent to 8 percent of the sales price. There are various other fees involved in a transaction — these are typically paid by the buyer — such as a federal transfer tax of 1 percent to 4 percent of the assessed value of the property after it is registered to the buyer. Other expenses include the annual municipal tax of 1 percent of the assessed value of the property, as well as fees for a lawyer and a notary (although many lawyers are notaries). The lawyer’s fee is typically 1 percent of the purchase price, Mr. Cabrales said. CONTACT Carlos E. Gutierrez, Nicaragua Sotheby’s International; from the United States, 305-608-0797; in Nicaragua, 505-7530-7890; nicaraguasir.com.
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  11. Earthquake hits, triggering tsunami warnings, after Nicaragua Caribbean coastline battered by hurricane A 7.0 magnitude earthquake has shaken El Salvador and Nicaragua, just an hour after a powerful hurricane hit Nicaragua's eastern coast. The double whammy was a grim test for a largely poor region which lacks resources and emergency plans for natural disasters. Salvadoran authorities issued a tsunami alert as a precaution after the tremor, which struck around 75 miles off the coast of El Salvador, at a depth of 20 miles beneath the Pacific Ocean, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake was first measured at a magnitude of 7.2 but was then downgraded. "Hazardous" waves measuring about up to 1m (three feet) are possible to hit coastal areas within 300km of the quake's epicentre. Shaking was also felt in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua, and as far as the Costa Rican capital San Jose. Nicaragua's president, Daniel Ortega, declared a state of emergency immediately after the quake. The country was already on alert for an hurricane which struck earlier the same day, as was Costa Rica. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, according to the country's civil defense agency. Just one hour before the earthquake, a powerful hurricane, Otto, packing winds of 110mph, made landfall on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast. Thousands of people had already been evacuated from coastal areas into shelters - a total of 7,000 people are expected to evacuate in Nicaragua alone. Government officials said some people had refused to evacuate but did not say how many. Earlier this week, four people died in Panama due to outer bands of the storm. The heavy rains it was offloading were likely to cause dangerous flooding and mud slides, according to the US National Hurricane Center, as much as 20 inches of rain are expected in isolated areas across northern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua. Schools were shut down and emergency teams were mobilised. Otto was the southernmost hurricane to ever make landfall in Central America, the NHC said, and residents were not prepared. The storm came ashore on Thursday near the Costa Rican border on the town of San Juan de Nicaragua, also known as Greytown. Residents said they were scared, and saw heavy rains and winds rip off roofs and bring down cable lines. In the town of Bluefields, panic buying meant bottled water and lamps were swept off the shelves, and some residents fled in boats while others hammered themselves into their homes with metal sheeting, praying the storm would move on. Otto will weaken as it moves inland and will likely become a tropical storm by Thursday evening, the center added. It is currently travelling west at around 9mph, chewing its way along both sides of Costa Rica's and Nicaragua's coastlines.
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  12. Tropical Storm Otto is nearing hurricane strength in the southwest Caribbean Sea, and is forecast to be an extremely rare late November hurricane landfall, posing a danger of flooding and mudslides in parts of Central America. A hurricane watch was issued Tuesday morning for Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua. This means that hurricnae conditions are possible here within 48 hours. In addition, a tropical storm warning was issued in Panama from Nargana to Colon, where tropical storm conditions are expected beginning Tuesday. A tropical storm watch is also in effect from west of Colon, Panama to Costa Rica. A tropical storm watch was issued Monday night for San Andres Island, a Colombian island in the Caribbean Sea located about 125 miles east of the Nicaragua coast. This means tropical storm conditions are possible there within 48 hours. Tropical Storm Otto continues to march in place, located just over 200 miles southeast of San Andres Island, or about 330 miles east-southeast of Bluefields, Nicaragua, as of Tuesday morning. Otto is finally expected to begin to drift westward later Tuesday followed by a faster motion toward the west-northwest or west by Wednesday, as clockwise steering flow around high pressure building to its north will send this system westward toward the coast of Nicaragua or Costa Rica. Projected Path The red-shaded area denotes the potential path of the center of the tropical cyclone. Note that impacts (particularly heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding) with any tropical cyclone may spread beyond its forecast path. Tropical storm force winds currently extend out to about 70 miles from the center of circulation, making Otto a relatively small tropical cyclone. Wind shear is expected to be weak to moderate over the next few days, and small tropical cyclones can also intensify quickly, particularly given heat content in the southwest Caribbean Sea is well above average for this time of year. Given all this, Otto will intensify, becoming a rare, late-season hurricane before making landfall in Nicaragua or Costa Rica on Thanksgiving Day. Heavy rain, flash flooding and mudslides will be major concerns for Central America, including Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Some locations may pick up over 10 inches of rain from Otto. In addition, areas of heavy rain well to the north of the circulation may trigger flooding in parts of Honduras and Belize. Any wind and storm surge impact will depend on the strength of the system as it moves inland, which remains somewhat uncertain at this time. Otto is expected to weaken soon after making landfall, as the circulation is hampered by the higher terrain of Nicaragua and Costa Rica. However, there is some potential for the circulation to survive in some form once it emerges into the eastern Pacific Ocean. Atlantic tropical cyclones crossing into the eastern Pacific Basin have happened numerous times in the past. How Unusual is a Named Storm This Late in the Hurricane Season? November Atlantic Basin tropical cyclones aren't all that unusual. In November, tropical cyclones typically form where the waters are warmest. Thus, one cluster of storms forming in November is in the western Caribbean Sea. A second broad area of formation is in a broad swath of the western and central Atlantic Ocean, sometimes spinning off from an old frontal boundary, sometimes transitioning from a cold-core low to a subtropical or tropical cyclone.
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  13. A Nicaraguan voter gets his finger marked with indelible ink by an electoral official after casting ballot at a polling station during the country's general elections, in Managua, Nicaragua, on Sunday. Six candidates, including the incumbent president Daniel Ortega, are vying to be the Central American nation's next head of state. Photo by Jorge Torres/EPA MANAGUA, Nicaragua, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega was poised to easily capture his third consecutive term and fourth overall as voters headed to the polls Sunday. His wife, Rosario Murillo, is his vice presidential running mate against five lesser-known candidates. Ortega, 70, is a former Marxist guerrilla who became the country's first post-revolutionary president, serving until 1990. He lost his reelection bid in 1990 to Violeta Chamorro, the U.S.-backed candidate of the National Opposition Union, but won the presidency in 2006. A court decision allowed Ortega to run for re-election in 2011 despite a one-term limit. Then a constitutional amendment allowed unlimited presidential terms. M&R Consultants' national poll shows 69.8 percent planned to vote for Ortega and his leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front Party, compared with 8.1 percent for right-wing opposition candidate Maximino Rodriguez. Another 15.5 percent identified themselves as independents, or refused to answer the survey, M&R said. Many detractors have called for a boycott. "The elections are controlled by a single party," Julio Salazar, who says he plans not to cast a ballot, told the Los Angeles Times. "We are left with no options." Ortega has presided over a strong economy. "His government has maintained a healthy economy, with significant increase in direct foreign investment of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars per year," journalist and political analyst Adolfo Pastran said in the Inter-American Dialogue. "Ortega has said he will continue doing the same and better in order to maintain a healthy economy, reduce poverty, engage in dialogue with the private sector, and improve public safety and the lives of Nicaraguans."
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  14. Nuestra hermana todos los domingos, estudia con una familia que vive en el otro lado de este río en Nicaragua ... cuando se inunda el pequeño puente no hay otra manera de cruzarlo, saltar al otro lado en este momento, es un verdadero ¡salto de fe! Este lugar se llama Las Latas, Nicaragua!
  15. Nicaragua's landmark Momotombo volcan erupted for the first time in 110 years back in December, 2015. | Photo: ReutersThe National Preventive System for Disasters, or SINAPRED, have activated operatives in the affected areas including the capital city of Managua. An earthquake measuring at least 5.4 on the Richter scale struck 7-and-a half miles from the municipality of Laz Paz Centro and in close proximity to the active Volcano Momotombo in Nicaragua late Wednesday, sparking major aftershocks, and fear, but no reported casualties. The earthquake struck at 11:57 PM local time, and an initial afterschock measuring 4.4. After the initial aftershock, the National Preventive System for Disasters, or SINAPRED, report that another 10 had followed. Even more are expected, according to SINAPRED authorities, who have also confirmed the earthquake is connected to the 6.1. and 7.3 earthquakes that hit Nicaragua in April and October 2014, respectively. According to Dr. Armando Saballos, authorities are assessing the situation and monitoring the activity of Momotombo, which so far has given "no indication that the volcano has increased in activity." Various news agencies reported the Wednesday earthquake measured anywhere from 5.4 to 5.9 in magnitude. The maximum ever recorded on the Richter scale was 9.5 by a 1960 Chilean earthquake. Thousands of Nicaraguans were evacuated after the Momotombo volcano erupted for the first time in 110 years back in December 2015, spewing lava, ash and smoke. The volcano last erupted in 1905. In 1610, the Momotombo erupted so fiercely it forced the city of Leon to move.
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  16. Envía misiva ayer domingo, antes de comenzar la semana patria. Un mensaje al gobierno nicaragüense por razones de celebrar el mes patrio envió el presidente de los Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, ayer domingo. El saludo fue por la conmemoración del 195 aniversario de la Independencia de este país centroamericano el próximo 15 de septiembre de los corrientes. “En esta ocasión histórica, quiero reafirmar el compromiso de los Estados Unidos de construir una relación de colaboración con el pueblo de Nicaragua, para ayudar a asegurar un futuro seguro, democrático y próspero para el hemisferio”, redacto Obama en la carta enviada al presidente Daniel Ortega. Al final del mensaje Obama señaló que “el pueblo de los Estados Unidos se une a mí para desearle a los nicaragüenses un feliz día de independencia”. Los presidentes de Irán, Cuba y México ya han felicitado a Nicaragua por la celebración de su Día de la Independencia.
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  17. La antorcha de la paz y la libertad de Centroamérica llegará este lunes a Managua donde será recibida por el presidente Daniel Ortega, informó el Ministerio de Educación (Mined). La antorcha, que ingresó por la frontera con Honduras el sábado pasado, llegará al departamento de Managua tras recorrer el norte de Nicaragua. La Coordinadora del Consejo de Comunicación y Ciudadanía, Rosario Murillo, anunció que Román “Chocolatito” González, el tetracampeón mundial de boxeo, será quien entregue la Antorcha Centroamericana al presidente de la república, Daniel Ortega. “La antorcha será llevada por el cuatro veces campeón del mundo, para nosotros será un orgullo recibir ese fuego libertario, por un nicaragüense que ha puesto en alto con gran humildad el nombre de nuestra Nicaragua”, resaltó Murillo. Rumbo a Costa Rica La antorcha recorrerá 503 kilómetros en suelo nicaragüense y será portada por 12,800 estudiantes, según las autoridades. Nicaragua entregará a Costa Rica la tea centroamericana este martes, en el puesto fronterizo de Peñas Blancas. La llama inició su marcha el 1 de septiembre en Guatemala y se espera que llegue el 15 de este mes, día en el que se conmemora la independencia, a Costa Rica. La Antorcha Centroamericana de la Paz y la Libertad recorre cada año la región, desde Guatemala hasta Costa Rica, con motivo del aniversario de la independencia de la Corona española, el 15 de septiembre de 1821.
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  18. Roman Gonzalez wins the WBC junior bantamweight title in what he says was his toughest fight to date CHOCOLATITO WINS. Roman Gonzalez defeats Carlos Cuadras in what he admits was his toughest fight to date. Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images/AFP LOS ANGELES, USA - Unbeaten Roman Gonzalez won the World Boxing Council junior bantamweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated champion Carlos Cuadras on Saturday, September 10 (Sunday Manila time). The 29-year-old Gonzalez became the first fighter from Nicaragua to win world titles in 4 weight divisions, surpassing his hero and mentor Alexis Arguello. Gonzalez improved to 46-0 by holding on in the late rounds for the win in an entertaining showdown between the two unbeaten champions at The Forum arena in Los Angeles. "This was the most difficult fight I have had," said Gonzalez. "It was complicated and we both were in very good condition." Mexico's Cuadras proved to be a surprisingly difficult opponent for Gonzalez, who some consider to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Cuadras looked to be the fresher of the two in the 12th round as the boxers traded punches in the center of the ring right up to the final bell. Gonzalez, who moved up in weight class to fight for the title, won on all three judges' cards by scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113. "I have never fought at this weight before. But the important thing is we won the fight," he said. The 28-year-old Cuadras had defended his title seven times before losing for the first time in his pro career. His record fell to 35-1-1. Gonzalez can credit his victory to a superb start as he dominated the first half of the fight with a relentless forward attack accompanied by a variety of punches. But Cuadras proved to be a very difficult opponent, giving Gonzalez the most formidable test of his 11-year career. He landed straight jabs, combinations and took the heaviest punches that Gonzalez could dish out in the 12-round slugfest. Gonzalez's face showed the marks of the battle, especially around his swollen eyes. He said Cuadras hurt him with some head shots. "I caught some blows to the cheeks and I felt those," he said. "I am always thinking about my family, my children." Until Saturday, no Nicaraguan had ever won a world title in four weight classes and that includes the late legend Arguello. Arguello took Gonzalez under his wing and mentored him after his boxing career ended. He trained him as both an amateur and pro prior to his death in 2009. "I will never be better or above him. He will always be number one. I am just following his legacy," said Gonzalez. Arguello lost a pair of junior welterweight title fights to Aaron Pryor in 1982 and 1983 in a failed bid to capture his fourth world title. But seeing how he struggled somewhat Saturday in the heavier super flyweight division might leave some in his camp wondering if another jump in weight might prove to be too much for Gonzalez. – Rappler.com
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  19. MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Officials in Nicaragua say the first baby with the birth defect of microcephaly has been born to a mother infected with the Zika virus. Government spokeswoman and first lady Rosario Murillo said Friday evening that the baby was born in the capital of Managua. Health officials had been tracking the woman since confirming that during the fourth month of her pregnancy she showed rash and fever symptoms. Doctors did not test her for Zika at that time. Ultrasounds later suggested the baby had microcephaly, characterized by a small head and a brain that is not fully developed The child was born very underweight, weighing less than 4 pounds. Murillo says the mother and baby are in stable condition. Neighboring Guatemala announced its first Zika-related microcephaly case earlier this month.
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  20. The Nicaraguan government is planning to implement stricter policies in allowing foreign missions into the country in a bid to ensure that these missions are not used as a front for illegal activities. According to Pastor Guillermo Osorno, founder of the Nicaraguan Party of the Christian Path, who also serves as a legislator with the opposition Constitutionalist Liberal Party coalition, these measures are meant to protect "the sovereignty and security of Nicaraguans." Based on the latest measure, the government will implement a stricter process in the application for foreign missions to ascertain that applicants are really entering the country for the specific purpose of evangelisation and outreach. "Unfortunately, there are people who claim they're religious leaders but behave the wrong way. Because of just a few of them, all of us will pay the price," Osorno lamented. Upon the implementation of the new policy, foreign pastors would have to apply and register first and wait for formal authorisation before they can enter Nicaraguan territory to allow for a proper screening prior to approval of their application. While there are some opposition to the measure, Osorno said it was designed t to deter questionable individuals from possibly engaging in illegal practices in the country like money laundering and other criminal activities. Besides, he said this will be fairly implemented across all religions and denominations whether it be for Evangelical pastors or representatives from the Catholic Church. Nicaragua is a predominantly Catholic country with approximately 73 percent of the population belonging to the Roman Catholic church. Roughly 15 percent are affiliated with evangelical churches while the rest are divided among the Moravian Church, the Episcopal Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and Amish or Mennonite, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim beliefs, according to data fromNicaragua.com.
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  21. La primera dama Rosario Murillo el pasado 19 de julio, junto al Cardenal Miguel Obando y miembros de su familia. Decenas de jóvenes vestidos con camisetas blancas y letras multicolores se ubican a la espalda de la primera dama Rosario Murillo, de 65 años, en la plaza la Fe en Managua. El otro personaje de la celebración del aniversario número 37 de la revolución sandinista es el caudillo Daniel Ortega, quien montado en un jeep Mercedes Benz se va acercando entre la multitud como si fuese un general romano regresando de la victoria.Murillo es la esposa de Ortega, pero ejerce la Secretaría del Consejo de Comunicación y Ciudadanía en el gobierno sandinista, un nombramiento a través del cual ha ejercidoel poder absoluto desde enero de 2007. Los críticos de la primera dama dicen que ha gobernado cuestionada por la vieja guardia del sandinismo y según fuentes del partido de gobierno, uno con quien se ha enfrentado es Lenín Cerna, exjefe de la Seguridad del Estado en los ochenta. Es el 19 de julio de 2016 y el presidente inconstitucional destaca la figura de su esposa.Ortega llama “ratas” a los disidentes sandinistas, a quienes acusa de haber abandonado sus ideales después que cayó la revolución en 1990, pero de Murillo recuerda que estuvo presa en la lucha contra la dinastía somocista. Señala su papel de escritora e intelectual, fundadora del grupo Grada en 1973, cuando los jóvenes hacían una revista cultural en las gradas de las iglesias y las casas con gran contenido antisomocista.“En una de esas, en Estelí, la capturaron a la Rosario y la metieron presa, simplemente por andar en ese tipo de protestas. Y ¿quiénes se mantuvieron leales a los principios? ¿Quiénes se mantuvieron leales a nuestros héroes y mártires?”, se preguntó Ortega, de 71 años, quien a través del control de los poderes del Estado que deberían ser independientes, se ha garantizado la continuidad en el poder en noviembre próximo cuando se celebran elecciones presidenciales en Nicaragua. Será su segunda reelección consecutiva y le permitirá permanecer en el poder por al menos 15 años continuos. EL TEMA ES LA SUCESIÓN Las dudas sobre el estado de salud del mandatario, cuya situación real es mantenida en reserva en el Estado, han provocado que el cargo de vicepresidente sea noticia. Ortega ha mantenido como vicepresidente en el período 2011-2016 al general Omar Halleslevens, exjefe del Ejército de Nicaragua, pero se ha especulado sobre la posibilidad que escoja esta vez a un empresario, o a un miembro de la familia, lo que quedará dilucidado como máximo el 2 de agosto próximo cuando el caudillo sandinista presente su candidatura en el Consejo Supremo Electoral (CSE).“Desde el mes de abril 2016 he notado una serie de signos que indican que se quiere promocionar a Murillo. Todos esos signos me señalan que quiere oficializar su poder en el Estado, no simplemente actuar de hecho sino que tenga un puesto por votación. Es decir, por derecho”, explica el exasesor de la Dirección Nacional del FSLN, Oscar René Vargas. El sociólogo y analista político sostiene que él ve a un Ortega con una salud debilitada, tiene 71 años y antecedentes cardíacos. “Siendo (Murillo) vice se asegura la sucesión en caso de que Ortega desaparezca, sin crear mayores problemas de sucesión al interior del partido de gobierno. Con la sucesión garantizada, ella puede seguir ejerciendo la actividad que hasta ahora ha hecho, ya que el presidente le designa las tareas al vice”. ¿SOLO UN CAMINO? Vargas no avala la teoría de que Murillo vaya a ser escogida como diputada, como ocurrió con Luis Somoza, quien fue jefe del ejecutivo, pero provino de las filas del Congreso, después del asesinato de su padre, Anastasio Somoza García en 1956. “Siendo diputada, perdería poder ya que no puede ser vocera oficial y primer ministro y miembro del parlamento; al ser diputada tiene que estar en la Asamblea Nacional y en las actividades de gobierno.En la época de Luis Somoza, no existía el cargo de vicepresidente y la Constitución establecía que el sucesor era el presidente del Congreso, es decir, esa era la manera de asegurar la sucesión sin sobresaltos. Hoy la figura del vicepresidente existe y la manera de asegurar la sucesión es siendo vicepresidenta y no presidenta del Congreso”, añadió Vargas. LE CONSTRUYEN UNA TRAYECTORIA Para la excomandante sandinista Mónica Baltodano, Murillo manda más que un vicepresidente y Ortega, al halagarla el 19 de julio pasado, lo que trata es de construirle una trayectoria más allá de la realidad, lo que para ella es típico de los dictadores.Baltodano dice que el papel de Murillo en el binomio con Ortega está claro: ella es la que manda y decide sobre todas las cosas cotidianas del poder.“Y lo hace de manera despótica, autoritaria. Humillante para todos los demás funcionarios del Estado. Es la única que puede hablar. No deja que los ministros aborden los problemas relacionados con sus funciones. Los tiene totalmente en el anonimato. Ella tiene a todos los funcionarios, del Estado Central, de los municipios, de las regiones y —el colmo—, hasta de las universidades públicas, bajo un régimen de secuestro. No pueden decidir nada sin consultarle a ella o su staff de incondicionales, que operan como verdaderos capataces: no pueden viajar sin su permiso. No pueden representar a sus instituciones porque todo está centralizado en ella. Los diputados son mudos y aprieta botón, porque una declaración que no le guste a ella puede ser causa de su cambio inmediato. Cuando alguien sale corrido, lo dejan en un régimen que les impide hablar o denunciar: porque generalmente tienen algún otro familiar en el Estado, y entonces también será corrido, o lo ponen un puesto fantasma por el que recibe dinero, así no puede decir nada”, explica Baltodano.La excomandante guerrillera hace una diferencia entre ser heredera del régimen orteguista y de los principios y valores promulgados por Carlos Fonseca, fundador del FSLN, y especifica que como están las cosas en Nicaragua, la primera dama ejerce de facto todo el poder.“Así que si la nominan sería únicamente en el caso de que Daniel esté tan enfermo que quiera asegurarse la sucesión dinástica con esta movida. En el aparato electoral llamado FSLN hay molestias por esta posibilidad y entonces hay dificultad para que esta candidatura prospere”, agrega Baltodano. SUÁREZ ALABA A MURILLO Los dirigentes sandinistas mantienen en reserva su criterio sobre Murillo. El comandante Edén Pastora se negó a expresar su opinión, alegando que no estaba lo suficientemente informado, pero el diputado Jacinto Suárez, uno de los amigos más cercanos a Ortega, aseguró que respaldarían la escogencia que haga Ortega, tal como el congreso lo mandató.Suárez dijo que han hecho un buen trabajo como partido en el poder, a diferencia de la oposición que vive peleándose y no tienen un proyecto nacional. No habló sobre Murillo candidata, pero sí destacó su papel de vocera. Cada mediodía, la primera dama brinda un informe de gobierno en los canales oficialistas..“Es más que bueno su papel. A la hora que sea, está con el pueblo. Llama, inmediatamente aparece al aire en cualquier circunstancia, en cualquier situación. ¿Quién no tiene críticas? Todo mundo tiene críticas. El arte es tener más gente que te apoya de la que te critica. Así que cuál es el problema”, añadió Suárez, quien rechaza el señalamiento de que Nicaragua vive bajo una dictadura y reivindica que como FSLN tiene “un camino trazado y ahí vamos”. LOS PARECIDOS CON SOMOZA La excomandante guerrillera Mónica Baltodano hace una explicación para diferenciar el régimen de Daniel Ortega con la dictadura de la familia Somoza que ella ayudó a derrocar.Según Baltodano, el caudillo sandinista está en la primera etapa del “régimen orteguista”, y en esa situación “se parece más al primer Somoza (García) que a Tacho (Somoza Debayle), el último marine”.“Se parece al primero (Somoza García), quien instaló un régimen inicialmente populista que contó con apoyo de masas. Que logró mantener el respaldo del capital nacional, y a través de pactos mantener bajo control a la oposición zancuda, dando imagen de democracia. Contó con respaldo de las jerarquías eclesiásticas. Aplicó la represión inicialmente de forma muy selectiva, como hace el régimen orteguista”, dijo Baltodano.Según ella, ambos regímenes se parecen en que hay dominio de todos los poderes del Estado. “Yo creo que Ortega de forma aún más despótica que Somoza, en los afanes por tener al Ejército y a la Policía a su servicio. Se parece por su afán reeleccionista y porque hace fraudes electorales”, escribió en un correo electrónico. “La desventaja (de la escogencia de Murillo como vice del FSLN) es que se pone en el tapete político el nacimiento de la dictadura familiar. Para reducir los costos políticos han hecho: liquidar a la verdadera oposición y dejar a los satélites ”. Oscar René Vargas, sociólogo y exasesor de la Dirección Nacional del FSLN. “Si la nominan sería únicamente en el caso de que Daniel esté tan enfermo que quiera asegurarse la sucesión dinástica. En el FSLN hay molestias por esta posibilidad y entonces hay dificultad para que esta candidatura prospere”. Mónica Baltodano, excomandante guerrillera
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  22. Sharing the good news in Granada, Nicaragua. Photo shared by @sandykittel Preaching Nicaragua

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