Based on a frank discussion with health workers, Jill Clark-Gollub provides a first-hand report on the services provided by a community health clinic in a poor neighborhood in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua. "Among the varied services the Nueva Vida staff provides to residents are sex education and mentoring programs for youth to encourage them to strive for goals that would be hindered by teen pregnancy. [...] the public healthcare system strongly encourages family planning and provides contraception free of charge, including sterilization services once women (and men) decide to have no more children, thereby reducing the demand for abortions. There are also services and medications for the trans population, both at Nueva Vida Clinic and in the public healthcare system."
FoLA's Jill Clark-Gollub is currently in Nicaragua as part of an international team of independent observers to the country's November 7th elections. In this blog post, the first in a series of short reports on the experiences of the Nicaraguan people in improving their lives in a sustainable and sovereign way, she describes how a rural community gained access to an adequate supply of affordable, safe drinking water: "Since the Sandinista revolution first triumphed in 1979, a culture of people’s power and citizen engagement has been thriving and allowing the formerly impoverished people of Nicaragua to improve their lives."
FoLA's Richard Kohn responds to a recent article on Nicaragua by The Nation's Eric Alterman, which reproduces many of the CIA-fed talking points against the Sandinista government often repeated by US mainstream media. Kohn reminds us that, contrasting with its past history as an independent publication which often countered misleading accounts on the Sandinistas, "The Nation is becoming nothing more than mainstream propaganda when it comes to US foreign policy."
In a recent article for COHA (Council on Hemispheric Affairs), FoLA's Richard Kohn (professor of Animal Science at the University of Maryland) refutes claims that Nicaragua is destroying its rain forests and allowing beef ranchers to convert them to pastures in the country’s vast nature reserves. Based on his personal and professional experience, Kohn demonstrates that, contrary to this misleading narrative, the nature reserves in Nicaragua are not being deforested, and the Nicaraguan government has been promoting more sustainable beef production and reforestation. Economic sanctions could jeopardize these efforts.