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Thread: I'm going to Nicaragua for a month

  1. Top | #11
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    Costa Rica is probably a safer trip. Or Hawaii for surfing.

    https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...-advisory.html

    Reconsider travel to Nicaragua due to civil unrest, crime, limited healthcare availability, and arbitrary enforcement of laws.

    On September 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of State lifted the ordered departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and family members. The U.S. Embassy in Managua is open to the public and provides the full range of consular services.

    Throughout Nicaragua, armed and violent uniformed police or civilians in plain clothes acting as police (“para-police”) continue to target anyone considered to be in opposition to the rule of President Ortega. The government and its affiliated armed groups have been reported to:

    Arbitrarily detain pro-democracy protestors, with credible claims of torture and disappearances.
    Systematically target opposition figures, including clergy, human rights advocates, and members of the press.
    Prevent certain individuals from departing Nicaragua by air or land.
    Seize private property.
    Arbitrarily search personal phones and computers for anti-government content.
    Arbitrarily detain certain individuals with unfounded charges of terrorism, money laundering, and organized crime.
    These police and para-police groups often cover their faces, sometimes operate in groups numbering in the hundreds, and use unmarked vehicles.

    Rallies and demonstrations in opposition to the rule of President Ortega have been declared unlawful, but nevertheless occur. Government forces, uniformed police, and para-police have attacked peaceful demonstrators leading to significant numbers of arrests, injuries, and deaths. Looting, vandalism, and arson often occur during unrest.

    Road blocks, including in Managua and other major cities, may appear and limit availability of food and fuel.

    Government hospitals are understaffed and may deny treatment to suspected protestors. Some hospitals throughout the country may not be able to assist in emergencies. Ambulances have reportedly refused to respond or have been denied access to areas with individuals needing emergency care.

    Violent crime, such as sexual assault and armed robbery, is common.

    Civil unrest and poor infrastructure in parts of the country limit the Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in emergencies. U.S. government personnel must avoid demonstrations and require special permission to travel beyond a three-hour drive from Managua. Additional restrictions on movements by U.S. government personnel may be put in place at any time, depending on local circumstances and security conditions, which can change suddenly.

    Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

    If you decide to travel to Nicaragua:

    Consider arrangements to depart the country quickly.
    Ensure your U.S. passport is valid and available for a quick departure from the country, if needed.
    Avoid demonstrations and restrict unnecessary travel.
    Do not attempt to drive through crowds, barricades, or road blocks.
    Maintain adequate supplies of food, cash, potable water, and fuel in case you need to shelter in place.
    Use caution when walking or driving at night.
    Keep a low profile.
    Do not display signs of wealth such as expensive watches or jewelry.
    Be aware of your surroundings.
    Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
    Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
    Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
    Review the Crime and Safety Report for Nicaragua.
    U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, and review the Traveler’s Checklist.

  2. Top | #12
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    Did you make it back?

  3. Top | #13
    Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Hopefully so.

  4. Top | #14
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    This on his profile today:

    No recent activity.
    https://talkfreethought.org/member.php?65-DrZoidberg

    Last post was that of December 9th 2019

  5. Top | #15
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    Maybe he got married.

  6. Top | #16
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Survive.
    Reading travel advisories for dangerous countries is one of my more morbid hobbies, here's Nicaragua.

    Whatever you do, don't read the travel advisory for Central African Republic, it makes Nicaragua look safe
    Now, I'm back. I had the benefit of befriending a local on my first day. All of that advice is complete bollocks. Nicaragua was fine. Sure, there's a high rate of violent crime and homicide in all of the Americas. But its still not bad enough to stay away.

    I wasn't careful in the least. I walked around at night in rough neighbourhoods by myself. As I always do when I'm travelling. The key is the dress. I dress down when I travel. Make an effort not to look fancy.

  7. Top | #17
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tharmas View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Hello

    From Thursday I'll be in Nicaragua for a month. What should I do? I'm planning on doing some surfing in San Juan del Sur. Will try to have sexual intercourse with slutty American yoga girls in search for deeper meaning, I mean who wear their spirituality like a Melania Trump wears a Gucci dress. Apart from that I have no real plan.

    What should I do? Help me guys.
    You don't say in what capacity you're traveling, so I don't know how free you will be to move around Central America. I've never been to Nicaragua, but I have spent time in Costa Rica and Guatemala.

    I am a disabled oldster so I didn't try surfing, but we did enjoy whale watching off he Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. They also boast a couple of active volcanoes. I read that Managua contains fine examples of 16th century colonial architecture, if you're into that sort of thing. No Mayan ruins in Nicaragua, like we saw in Guatemala.

    But all through Latin America Christian holidays are celebrated with passion and fervor. If you enjoy being a visiting anthropologist you will have a field day. Mrs. Tharmas and I spent Easters in both Antigua Guatemala and in Quito Ecuador. The rituals in each, a bizarre mixture of Catholicism and native traditions, involved the totality of the citizenry and the entire old portions of the cities, with pageants, parades, etc. Fascinating. And you will be there for Christmas, which I understand takes a month to celebrate in that part of the world.

    Otherwise, I do understand that the political climate may be a bit unstable, as others have alluded to.
    Managua was an absolute shit hole. Can't recommend it less. Granada and Leon was amazing. I convinced an old communist guerrilla fighter I was also a communist. We hung out in Leon.

    I was mostly in the house we had rented in San Juan del Sur. I spent my five weeks reading and surfing. There wasn't as many hippie chicks as I had been led to believe. It was more a steady diet of "hey, do you want to fuck?"-girls. People did a lot of coke there. Which informed the culture. I also picked up a Nicaraguan girl in a seedy rock bar in Managua, who turned out to be a super rich girl. Fun! She's going to come and visit me in Copenhagen.

    Nicaragua is a pretty boring country. There's not a whole lot to do. The roads are absolute shit. So driving anywhere is a chore. Maximum speeds off the main highway is 30 kph.

    Volcanos were fun though. I'd never seen a live bubbling volcano before. That was cool.

    I probably won't go back

    Edit: for some reason I can't upload pictures. I just get error messages
    Last edited by DrZoidberg; 01-20-2020 at 08:16 PM.

  8. Top | #18
    Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Sounds like an experience. Something more interesting than the typical sanitized guided tour thing.....

  9. Top | #19
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Sounds like an experience. Something more interesting than the typical sanitized guided tour thing.....
    Nah. I usually take a long trip to the tropics each winter. Nicaragua didn't stick out.

    It was interesting to see a country transitioning from democracy to dictatorship. I was in Istanbul when Erdogan decided to seize power. Then dating a Turkish girl. So I got all the local insights. This was similar, since I was seeing a Nicaraguan girl. That was interesting. Also to compare them. I was in Egypt during the revolution, staying at a hotel where all the other guests were journalists. There were a lot of similarities between these three events.

    Here's something intersting I learned. The sitting president, Daniel Ortega, pays huge groups of thugs money to cause trouble for the opposition. They are paid 20 Cordoba a day. Which isn't even a dollar a day. These people sit on Facebook in, what can best described as hate groups. The police take pictures from the demonstrations and distribute the pictures and adress details to the people in the Facebook groups. Who then use the information to target the demonstrators. Orders aren't given. They're just encouraged to "take initiative". The result is that the impact is completely random. Also that a lot of innocent people, who look a bit like other people are often targetted. I heard of one doctor who got shot in the head on the way to work. She had stopped at a red light. Nobody knows why she was executed. She was clearly executed, because nothing was taken from her. Yet, was not involved in politics at all. I met two women who had joined a demonstration. Both got fired from their jobs and had to move to new homes, because their houses kept being attacked. These were highly qualified professionals. So it was minimal material loss. Still annoying for them. Which is why the anti-government demonstrators are masked. The thugs are either doing it for ideological convictions, or because they think it's fun to attack people. Probably the later.

    Anyhoo... I thought it was interesting that Facebook was used as a tool by a dictator to spread terror among a population. I somehow thought it'd be more sophisticated than that.

    Worth noting is that Nicaragua has only had awful dictators and leaders. This goes back to the beginning of time. They've never had competent leadership. When they got indipendence from Spain in 1821 it turned into a kleptocracy almost immediately. It became a fruit and coffee exporting nation. It exported to USA. USA had a vested interest in keeping the government shit. Because that meant the fruit was cheap to buy. Eventually the people got restless and USA had to invade to keep the president in power. In 1930 USA decided to grant it indipendence again. It went back to a USA-backed kleptocracy again. But this time Anastasio Somoza García was in power. Better known as one of the most brutal dictators in history. An absolute psychopath. Protected by USA. They managed to get rid of the Somosa family in 1979. After which they got an equally incompetent Soviet backed communist Sandinista government. Promises of democracy were replaced by a dictatorship. They were a disaster for the people. They had to rebuild a country that had never really been built. Enter the Contras. Guerillas financed by Reagan. So these were Somosas old death squads and torturers sent in by USA to "restore" democracy. When USSR folded they actually got free democratic elections in 1990. Violeta Chamorro became a president. She used to be in the Somosa camp, and instituted a neoliberal shock-treatment of the economy. Similar to what Jeltsin had done in Russia. What a shocker that didn't work out. In 2006 the people were sick of her and voted back the Sandinistas (communists) to power. Who set about wrecking the economy again. In 2018 the Nicaraguans were sick of the communists again but this time the Sandinista president, Daniel Ortega, didn't want to go. So he didn't. Now it's a communist dictatorship again. They just can't get a break.

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