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Weekly Report - 13 February 2020 (WR-20-06)

NICARAGUA: National daily survives ‘economic asphyxiation’

“A first step in restoring press freedom”. This was the response by one of Nicaragua’s most influential journalists, Carlos Chamorro, the founder and editor of the media outlet Confidencial, to the announcement that, after 75 weeks, the government led by President Daniel Ortega had released supplies of paper, ink and other equipment to national daily La Prensa, a prominent Ortega critic. The government had failed to give reasons for the blockade which had threatened the very survival of La Prensa which, founded in 1926, is the country’s oldest and largest newspaper. While well received, Ortega’s apparent change of heart again highlights the fragility of press freedom in the country, a situation which has worsened since the government crackdown on its opponents began in April 2018.

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