Lewisham's inexplicable continued twinning with the city of Managua (Nicaragua)

1 Jan 2024

Twinning arrangements are a great way to foster links with people in other countries, but they can be misused by unscrupulous governments.  Lewisham has been twinned with the city of Managua in Nicaragua since 1988. The borough is also twinned with Antony near Paris and Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf in Berlin.

The Nicaragua link dates from the idealistic time of the Sandinista revolution and Labour’s lurch to the far left across Britain including in Lewisham. It ignores the fact that Nicaragua is a dictatorship under Daniel Ortega, strongly criticised by Amnesty International and others for years of oppression and killing its opponents.

Local campaigner Stephen Locke recently asked the Council what resources are being used to maintain the link with Nicaragua and what is being done to disassociate Lewisham from the regime of Daniel Ortega. The Council claims that no resources are being used - in which case, what is the value of the link?

They claim the Council has no connection with the government of Nicaragua despite the apparently cordial meeting the current Labour Mayor had with the Nicaraguan Ambassador in 2018. That meeting occurred after more than 300 protesters had been killed in Nicaragua in the previous 6 months.

“It’s time to re-think this completely and scrap the Nicaraguan link” says Stephen. “Instead we should be linked with a city in Ukraine that really deserves our support in their fight for independence, the rule of law and democracy.”


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