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The violence(हिंसा) and the clamp down(शिकंजा कसना) that have convulsed(मजबूर कर दिया) Nicaragua, marked by mayhem on the streets of Managua and other cities, have left many dead, and undermined President Daniel Ortega’s authority. The public protests were triggered(शुरू हो गया) by the government’s decision to simultaneously(एक ही समय पर/एक साथ) raise individual contributions(योगदान/अंशदान) and reduce(कम करना/घटाना) social welfare benefits and pensions. The economic rationale(औचित्य/मूल कारण) behind the move was to contain the ballooning social security deficit(घाटा/नुकसान) of recent years, based on the financial projections by the IMF for the end of the decade(दस वर्ष का अरसा). But the economy registered a healthy rate of growth last year and the current account deficit has been falling. Given this, the government could have considered(विचार करना/ध्यान रखना) staggering the painful economic measures. The backlash(प्रतिक्रिया/पिछला बकाया) has forced Mr. Ortega to roll back the reform proposal. But the damage was been done, and the reversal(परिवर्तन/उलटाव) of the decision has energized(सक्रिय) the opposition to mount a concerted challenge to Mr. Ortega’s authoritarian style of functioning. Rosario Murillo, his wife and the Vice-President, is said to be the power behind the throne, and has been criticized(आलोचना करना/निंदा करना) for placing close family members in crucial positions. ‘Comandante Daniel’, as Mr. Ortega was popularly known among his Sandinista revolutionaries(क्रांतिकारियों), has over time altered the constitution to overturn the prohibition(रोक/निवारण) on a second term and, in a separate manoeuvre(युद्धाभ्यास/पैंतरेबाज़ी), allowed for indefinite re-election bids. An example of the creeping(रेंगना/कुलबुलाना) unaccountability was the decision to bar international observers during the 2016 elections, which Mr. Ortega won for a third successive five-year stint(कार्यकाल).

The current escalation(वृद्धि /गहरा हो जाना) has revived memories of the 1970s, with parallels being drawn between the dictator Anastasio Somoza, whom Mr. Ortega overthrew. The release of a few student protesters has done little to ease tensions, as calls grow louder for guarantees that the President and the Vice President will not seek re-election in 2021. Another demand is for the next polls to be advanced. While the outcry reflects public anger against an authoritarian(सत्तावादी) ruler, there is no sign yet that the current mood could be channelled into a coherent(सुसंगत/स्पष्ट) political alternative(विकल्प/वैकल्पिक). The government should do everything in its power to prevent any escalation of the violence, which has claimed more than 60 lives according to the country’s Permanent Commission on Human Rights. The dialogue with the protesters should start. The country offers yet another instance of the dangers posed to democratic accountability by those dispensing with presidential term limits. Leaders in various Latin American states have made it a habit to prolong their tenures by curtailing(कटौती/संक्षिप्त करना) political freedoms. It is time the matter was considered at a larger regional forum.

Important Vocabulary

1.Convulsed(मजबूर कर दिया)
Synonyms: shake up, torment, agitate, bother, disturb
Antonyms:calm, order, quiet, soothe

Synonyms: comprehensible, consistent, intelligible, logical, lucid
Antonyms: confused, disorderly, irrational, obscure, unintelligible

3.Escalation(वृद्धि /गहरा हो जाना)
Synonyms: acceleration, growth, increase, rise, Antonyms:
Antonyms:decrease, diminished

Synonyms: dragging, crawling, groveling, hobbling, inching
Antonyms: standing, upright, vertical

5.Rationale(औचित्य/मूल कारण) 
Synonyms: excuse, explanation, hypothesis, justification, motivation
Antonyms: discouragement, proof, reality

6.Rationale(औचित्य/मूल कारण)
Synonyms: excuse, explanation, hypothesis, justification, motivation
Antonyms:discouragement, proof, reality

Synonyms: constraint, embargo, exclusion, injunction, prevention,
Antonyms: allowance, permission, aid, approval, help



Credit To the Hindu News Paper



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