The Wall Street Journal: Nicaragua cancels social security overhaul amid deadly protests

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega canceled an unpopular package of measures to overhaul the country’s social security system, seeking to contain rising unrest after five days of violent street protests that left as many as 26 people dead in this poor Central American nation.

In a televised speech Sunday, Ortega said that he revoked legislation to increase payroll taxes and cut pension benefits to shore up the country’s threadbare social security fund.

“We are revoking, canceling, putting to the side the resolution,” said Ortega. A new solution to the social security system will have to be hammered out in negotiations with workers and employers, said Ortega.

The president said he was also inviting Nicaragua’s Cardinal Leopoldo José Brenes and the country’s bishops to take part in a dialogue with the government and the country’s leading business organization to end the unrest. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Ortega’s decision to rescind the social security law would be enough to stop the protests.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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