The Nicaraguan legislature has approved the immediate closure of the country’s nearly 100-year-old Nicaraguan Academy of Language (ANL). This comes as part of a wider slew of closures affecting 83 entities. This occurred by decree rather than following a plenary session of the legislature.
Nicaragua’s leftist government, led by Daniel Ortega, justified the move on the basis that the ANL is a “foreign agent”—a charge it has denied.
The closure proceeds on the basis of a 2020 law according to which organizations receiving money from abroad have to officially register themselves as “foreign agents.” They then have to justify their spending under this regulatory regimen.
The government is alleging that the Academy (ANL), along with other similarly affected organizations, failed to register as foreign agents and to properly disclose financial reports. Elements within the government have gone further, alleging that some of the recently closed NGOs were working towards a Washington-backed coup d’état.
For his part, Sergio Ramírez, the Cervantes prize-winning poet and former Nicaraguan vice president, has described the decision as a bid for “total social control.”