(posted May 19, 6:30 am) — The ongoing political, economic and social crisis in Venezuela is starting to reverberate in Nicaragua. With no explanation and a level of extreme hermetic silence that characterizes the Sandinista government, 120 Nicaraguan medical students who had been studying in Venezuela on an ALBA scholarship abruptly returned to Managua yesterday without completing their degrees.
Government officials and leaders of the Sandinista Youth, which managed the ALBA scholarship program, have offered no explanation for the students’ hasty return; students arriving yesterday at the Augusto C. Sandino airport declined to comment, according to La Prensa.
The Nicaraguan daily reported over the weekend that Sandinista political operator Gustavo Porras allegedly told the students’ parents in a private meeting last week that a decision had been made to end the scholarship program in Venezuela and that the students would be sent home immediately.
Porras allegedly promised parents that the students would be transferred into similar medical programs at Nicaragua’s National Autonomous University (UNAN) in León and Managua, though it’s not clear how that will happen. Porras offered no further explanation for the cancelation of the program.