“The private sector and investors pay attention to what might happen in the next two weeks to decide what they will do for the rest of the year”
The High Commission for Private Enterprise (Cosep) requested the release of candidates Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga and Juan Sebastián (Chamorro); and former Cosep presidents José Adán (Aguerri), Violeta (Granera) and José Pallais, who supported independent media and all People detained for political reasons, and the atmosphere of fear in the business world.
As of press time, the regime has imprisoned 11 people, including presidential candidates, political and social leaders, and former employees of the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, in addition to ongoing legal siege of independent journalism and threats of imprisonment .
Five sources interviewed Top secret — Entrepreneurs, managers, and union leaders from the fields of accounting, banking and finance, retail, export, and agricultural production — From anonymous predictions of more sanctions on Daniel Ortega and his environment; cessation of new domestic and foreign investment, and exclusion from Risks outside of Cafta.
One of the sources said: “We have anticipated this, but we think it will be more sudden and even worse than what happened.” “They only attack Cosep,” he added, acknowledging that “this is why we Will not see the strong position of the private sector, as it was in the 1980s.”
He confessed that, given the asymmetry of power, “we will continue to bear on the ground” while defending the premise that “a national strike is not a solution” and “Cordoba and remittances are strong”, even though the free trade zone cannot be counted on in China. , Because our free trade agreement (Cafta) with the United States and Central America (Cafta) and the association agreement (AdA) with Europe are in doubt.
The United States is the main destination of our exports. In 2020, it purchased US$1.4021 billion (47.5% of the total) of Nicaraguan products. If you include the rest of the members of Cafta, the number increases to 2.0468 billion (69.3% of the total), while the number of exports to European countries is about 270 million.
The business person believes that if everything is limited to economic factors, “With Venezuelan money, transportation and electricity can continue to be subsidized, which is useful in the election year.” This money can last for one or two years, Ortega Know this. “
Fear and uncertainty
“Uncertainty raises concerns. Investors are the measure of uncertainty, and any economic, social and political environment that generates uncertainty will raise concerns,” said a source in the export department.
“It’s so fast, it’s recent, and it’s still developing, it will create a lot of confusion,” a senior executive of the National Bank said, recalling that “political instability did not promote a good business environment. This is a fact. Any country like Nicaragua in the world has our characteristics and complexity.”
Another theme that emerged in the dialogue between managers and entrepreneurs is fear. “Everyone is afraid to be the next. If you are an entrepreneur, you would not invest a penny here. Uncertainty is the worst enemy of any economy because it prevents everything, and here is fear and uncertainty. Sex,” said the manager of a multinational company dedicated to retail trade.
The source said that the current position is to focus on the actions of national, international and multilateral political and economic entities in the next two weeks.
No matter what happens, “We have no plans to leave-because our investment is here-or close our business, but what is coming is a chaos for everyone, but more for them, When referring to the possibility of application, he said that more sanctions would be imposed on Ortega’s environment.
“He said he didn’t care, but he did. He would use prisoners as hostages to negotiate a moratorium on sanctions,” he predicted.
“The private sector and investors pay attention to what might happen in the next two weeks to decide what they will do for the rest of the year. The first five months are positive, but the next 15 days will be key because they will lead the trend.” , He emphasized.
Even before the end of the two weeks, sources reported that some investments were still paralyzed, waiting for the “dark clouds to clear.”
“Until a week and a half ago, this crisis was still obviously political, but it has jumped into the socio-political realm and may have economic impact. I know that a power generation project was stopped because of the suspension of international financing, and the real estate project was also stopped. ,” they explained.
Looking back at the times when the business community can influence the crisis, the source believes that “this will never be the same again. The ship has been sailing for a long time and will never come back. In the end there must be some understanding so that the country does not collapse. , But maybe in 2022, depending on what happens in the election.
This election November
Regarding the election process, the source admitted, “We don’t know whether there will be an election or what kind of antics, if any. Ortega is in a good position because he decides who will participate in the election and who will not. election.
Cosep Chairman Michael Healy requires all Nicaraguans to have the right to identify; clean up and verify the electoral roll, and the existence of international organizations that observe the electoral process.
He emphasized: “We need to freely choose our leaders… We have the right to request and review whether the elections are held with proper transparency.”