Training young leadership and exerting control over the “independent” means of communication.
The strategy of the USAID in Nicaragua is designed to be accomplished in the long term, during the period 2010-2020, looking out on the 2021 elections.
For this, the USAID worked on the basis of three general objectives:
- To increase the participation of the opposition in the country’s political scenarios through the training of a new opponent leader.
- To strengthen the opponent means of communications in order to drive the media war.
- To promote an antigovernment awareness in vulnerable sectors of the society, mainly in the Caribbean Coast (The Department of State defined this region as an area of high priority in face of his political objectives in the Nicaraguan territory).
In order to accomplish the first 2 objectives of its strategy, the USAID destined an approximate amount of 68 414 563.00 USD. In 2016 they increased the previous amount adding 7 995 022.00 USD to strengthen the implementation of the following programs:
- Training In Data Journalism And Data Visualization
This program is being carried out by the American institution International Research and Exchange Board (IREX), and also with funds of the Open Society. They expected to have for the period 2015-2020 an initial budget of 3 850 000.00 USD but then, in the year 2016, they received an amount of 890 000.00 USD for a total of 4 740 000.00 USD.
The program is implemented in Nicaragua through the initiative “Voices for All” which is promoted by the IREX with the participation of the local NGO FUNDEMOS.
This project is mainly directed to influence on the Nicaraguan public opinion and to create a negative opinion about the Daniel Ortega’s government.
- Institutional Strengthening Program
This Project was carried out during the period 2013-2018 by the American contractor Dexis Consulting Group & Chemonics. They used an initial budget of 6 498 767.00 USD, but then, in the year 2016, they received an extra amount of 2 500 000.00 USD, for a total of 8 998 767.00 USD.
This program was aimed to strengthen the ability of mobilizing the opponent Nicaraguan organizations in order to accompany the media campaigns that were generated or any other situation that deserved their attention and responded their interests.
- Civil Society Grants Program
It was carried out by the local NGO Ethics and Transparency (Ética y Transparencia), during the period 2013-2017 with an amount of 1 980 000.00 USD.
Its objective was to train and to reactivate the opponent organizations in order to promote constitutional reforms and prepare media actions to discredit the electoral processes and denounce supposed cases of corruption within the government.
- Program for the Strengthening of the Means of Communication.
This program is being carried out by the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, under the Cooperation Agreement No. 524-A-14-00001 with a budget of 1 600 000.00 USD for the period 2014-2017. Later on they added an amount of 930 000.00 USD for a total of 2 530 000.00 USD.
The program, in its first stage, was focused on undermining the image of the Nicaraguan government at the beginning of the electoral process of 2016 through the training and funding of the independent jeans of communication.
In 2017 the USAID/Nicaragua office decides to extend this program until 2020, giving an extra amount of 3 700 000.00 USD, for the upcoming electoral process of 2021.
- Local Governance Program
It is being carried out for the period 2010-2018 by the American NGO “Global Communities”, with an initial budget of 25 999 763.00 USD. In the year 2016 they received an extra amount of 2 950 000.00 USD for a total of 28 949 763.00 USD.
The main objective of this program was to weaken the government by generating political pressures from the municipalities. The program activities were aimed to promote the civil disobedience and instability within the administrative institutions ruled by the FSLN, using local businesspeople related to the opposition as agents of social change.
- Democratic Leadership Development Program (DLDP)
It was carried out during the period 2010-2018 by the NDI, under the Cooperation Agreement No. 524-A00-10-00003-00, with an initial budget of 18 000 000.00 USD. In 2016 they received an extra amount of 1 655 022.00 USD for a total of 19 655 022.00 USD.
This is one of the most important programs of the USAID and its purpose was to create a mass of young people critics of the government so that they could serve as agents of change to become in the mid and long term the generational replacement of the opposition.
- Promotion of Economical & Social Development in Nicaragua.
It was carried out by the local NGO Nicaraguan Foundation for the Economic and Social Development (FUNIDE, by its acronym in Spanish), under the Cooperation Agreement No. 524-A-11-00001, during the period 2011-2016 with a budget of 2 491 011.00 USD.
This NGO, which was created by the USAID, had as main objective to strengthen its own image in order to gain public credibility in the national and international economic and financial sector. This would allow presenting it, in the mid and long term, as a spearhead institution against the government economic policy, creating negative states of opinion.