In the face of sweeping changes, many tobacco companies based in Nicaragua have found themselves in the middle of the protests and witnessing a country they call and consider home transform before their eyes.
Juan Martínez, executive president of Joya de Nicaragua, commented on social media about the protests and its impact on Joya’s employees and business:
“Just as volcanoes and earthquakes have shaped the physical landscape here, social hardships and the path to overcoming them have shaped our society. In recent days, Nicaragua has been shaken, including our beloved city Estelí.
Thankfully, our people and their families are safe. We have not and will not stop making cigars, in order to guarantee the livelihood of all the families in Estelí and in other parts of the country.
One thing prevails, and that is the unity and spirit of the Nicaraguan people. Thank you for your support, and please stand with us as we forge our path to a new and better Nicaragua.”
Jonathan Drew, a strong proponent of Nicaragua’s people and its tobacco industry and the president and founder of Drew Estate, also commented on social media about the turmoil engulfing the country:
“Let’s all send our prayers and deepest heart felt thoughts to all of the people in Nicaragua, who are going thru the worst turbulence in recent times. We love you and wish you safety. Praying that things will be resolved soon in every district of the country. We love you Nicaragua!”
As citizens protested against the changes, the country saw contributions by workers and employers into the social security system increase. Pensions of retired workers also were reduced. Protests and unrest has since decreased following President Ortega rolling back the controversial pension reform resolution on April 22.
For more on the unrest in Nicaragua, click here for an in-depth article from the Bloomberg outlining the events that led to the protests.