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Nicaragua warns banks of sanctions if they join strike

• Seattle Times

Nicaragua's finance minister warned banks Wednesday that the government will sanction those that participate in a general strike scheduled for Thursday to pressure for the freeing of political prisoners. Iván Acosta said the banking system has a responsibility to the public sector to be open because it is regulated by the government. Acosta said on the state television Channel 6 that "no bank can close to the public during normal hours, because it is a public service regulated by the government." He noted that some banks had participated in general strikes last year, alleging danger to their workers. But Acosta said that reasoning doesn't hold now that the country "is completely in a normal and peaceful situation." "Any call or any business decision by those groups is going to be sanctioned because they are regulated by law," he said. The labor ministry also warned in a statement that it would sanction businesses that suspended their operations though it

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