Travel advisory issued for Nicaragua due to crisis, South Floridians react

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - The crisis in Nicaragua has hit home for many South Floridians who have family there, and they spoke with 7News about it after their return from the country.

The government has issued a level 3 travel advisory, so those planning to travel to Nicaragua should reconsider their trip for safety reasons.

Reportedly, two dozen people, including a 10-year-old boy, have been killed in Nicaragua, as of Monday.

The death and destruction started as unrest over a social security reform plan, and then lead to protests over the way the country has been governed.

“The Nicaraguan people have said, ‘enough is enough’ and so they have rebelled in this manner,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Lawmakers gathered in South Florida Monday morning to discuss what they want the U.S. Government to do to help the people in Nicaragua through the Nica Act.

“That would eliminate all of these loans and monetary gifts to Nicaragua until reforms are in place,” Ros-Lehtinen said.

The reforms could include doing away with what some call an oppressive regime under Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

All this to not only to help the people of the country, but also many in the United States. “What’s happening in Nicaragua is a local issue for us,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo.

“Not only to the Nicaraguan people who live in Miami, but whose families are affected,” said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

“This affects our neighbors, our friends, our relatives,” said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.

As of Monday, the U.S. Government advises against traveling to Nicaragua.

Those who have returned to South Florida from Nicaragua have also said now is not the time to visit family and friends there.

“They are killing young people at the university, in the cathedral. The videos that they post… it’s incredible. It’s really, really bad,” said Sandra Niebla who returned from Nicaragua. “Don’t go there and if you’re an American, get out.”

Ninoska Martinez also returned from Nicaragua, Monday. “There was a lot of chaos, vandalism, a lot of people dead,” she said. “Everybody is in the street. They are protesting.”

Felipe, a man who traveled to Nicaragua recently, wanted to warn others from going to the country in this state.

“It’s not a good idea to go there now,” he said. “I think this week is going to be better.”

A protest is scheduled to take place at the Consulate General of Nicaragua in Downtown Miami at 6 p.m. Monday.

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