September 18, 2018

Mr. President of the Republic of Nicaragua

Daniel Ortega Saavedra


The recent mass firings of doctors and other health care workers in your country speak louder than any policy paper or campaign rally could. In one fell swoop, your administration has undermined the gains your country has made towards democracy, self-determination, improved civil liberties, and your international reputation.

You have no doubt received feedback from concerned observers spanning the public sphere: civil rights groups, religious leaders, heads of governments. Allow us to add our specialized voice to the conversation.

Doctors Against Racism and Anti-Semitism opposes all forms of racism and discrimination in the medical profession. We also oppose violations of the practice rights of physicians, as well as any violations of the civil or human rights of physicians and patients.

Our concerns for Nicaragua are both practical and philosophical.

At a practical level, we want to ensure Nicaraguans receive the health care they need and deserve – both in the short and long term. Highly skilled physicians have emigrated from your country, taking with them years of training and experience. How many of your citizens will perish as a result?

The philosophical point runs deeper, and touches on the values defining present-day Nicaragua. As health practitioners, we care for all patients no matter their beliefs. Doctors who treated protesters in your country were simply doing their job – and obeying their calling. Care is apolitical.

We ask that you immediately reinstate all health practitioners who have been terminated in your country for their treatment of protesters.



Leon Kadish, MD
Chair, Board of Directors
Doctors Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (DARA)