Nicaragua’s national newspaper El Nuevo Diario called it quits, on Friday announcing its closure due to “economic, technical and logistical difficulties, which made its operation unsustainable”.
The closure of its print and online publication is a result of the pressure of the Daniel Ortega administration on independent media by restricting access to newsprint, reports Today Nicaragua.
On Friday, the El Nuevo Diario and the international franchise newspaper Metro, distributed Monday through Friday by El Nuevo Diario, stopped circulating. Their online edition, though they continue, have stopped adding new posts.
Both publications are distributed by Editorial Nuevo Amanecer, owned by the Promerica financial group, of Nicaraguan capital, which is also under pressure by the Ortega administration.
Promerica acquired El Nuevo Diario in May 2011, after an economic crisis that almost led to the closure of newspaper that was founded almost 40 years ago.
Through social networks, journalists, staff, contributors, advertisers and readers of both publications said the announcement took them by surprise.
The pending closure of the publications had been feared for months, following the Customs Office, on the order or the Ortega government, holding back paper, ink and other materials for a year from El Nuevo Diario, as well as La Prensa, that also publishes Hoy.
The customs block of raw materials began in September 2018 and in July of this year delivered only 20% of the repair paper and other supplies, according to El Nuevo Diario.
“After almost 40 years of informing Nicaraguan society without interruption, EL NUEVO DIARIO suspends this work as of today due to the adverse economic, technical and logistical circumstances it faces,” sated the front page editorial of the newspaper’s last publication.
An editorial published on the online stated: “We are aware of the importance of El Nuevo Diario as a key means of communication in the journalistic coverage of several relevant stages in the recent history of Nicaragua, since its foundation in May 1980 until today.”
The Ortega government policy towards independent media in Nicaragua has also closed several television programs, and radio stations repeatedly sabotaged, leading some 90 journalists to go into exile, several in Costa Rica, according to the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, which between April 2018 and August 2019 recorded over a thousand cases of press freedom violations, including aggressions, censorship, threats and murder, among others.
Sources: El Nuevo Diario, La Prensa, Today Nicaragua, Confidencial