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Nicaragua is world’s #1 country where citizens feel at peace, Gallup poll shows

A poll by mainstream firm Gallup found that Nicaragua is the No. 1 country in the world where citizens feel at peace. Nine of the top 14 countries are in Latin America. But the US constantly attacks the Sandinista government and imposes sanctions on it.

Nicaraguans mirador Catarina Masaya
Nicaraguan families enjoy the weekend at the mirador de Catarina in Masaya (Photo by Ben Norton)

(Se puede leer esta nota en español aquí.)

A poll found that Nicaragua is the top country in the world where citizens feel at peace.

The United States and Western media outlets have long demonized Nicaragua’s Sandinista government and its President Daniel Ortega, sponsoring violent coup attempts against him and imposing illegal unilateral sanctions aimed at hurting the Central American nation’s economy.

But studies show that the Sandinista Front is very popular among the Nicaraguan people, who enjoy a high quality of life compared to their neighbors.

CNBC reported this January that Nicaragua is the “No. 1 country where people say they are ‘always’ at peace“.

This is based on a survey conducted by the mainstream firm Gallup.

Gallup interviewed adults in 122 countries across the planet. They found that 34% of people on Earth “always” feel at peace, while 39% “often” do, 17% “rarely” do, and 5% “never” do.

Nicaragua came in first place, with 73% of its population reporting it “always” feels at peace.

Gallup noted that “Latin American countries dominate the ‘always at peace’ list worldwide”.

There are 14 countries in the world where the majority of the population “always” feels at peace. A staggering nine of these 14 are in Latin America.

Nicaragua is No. 1, followed by El Salvador at No. 3, Panama at No. 4, Honduras at No. 5, Paraguay at No. 6, Dominican Republic at No. 7, Uruguay at No. 8, Colombia at No. 12, and Mexico at No. 14.

gallup poll countries peace Nicaragua

Gallup wrote:

The plethora of Latin American countries that top this list may not be entirely surprising: Many of these same countries regularly rank among the most likely in the world to report experiencing positive emotions each day, such as feeling well-rested, smiling or laughing, learning something interesting, feeling treated with respect, and experiencing enjoyment.

Compared with their counterparts in Latin America, people in countries in Northern America — including the U.S. (28%) and Canada (26%) — are significantly less likely to say they always feel at peace with their thoughts and feelings.

Nicaragua is also the No. 7 in the world in terms of gender equality. It has the highest level of women’s representation in all of the Americas.

While Nicaraguans are nearly three times as likely to feel at peace than North Americans, the US government has frequently attacked the nation’s Sandinista government, claiming democratically elected President Daniel Ortega is “authoritarian”.

This is despite the fact that 77.4% of Nicaraguans support Ortega, according to a late 2022 study conducted by one of the leading polling firms in Central America, M&R Consultores. (US President Joe Biden had just a 37% approval rating in the same period.)

Ortega is consistently one of the most popular leaders in Latin America.

approval presidents latin america 2022

In 2018, the United States supported a violent coup attempt in Nicaragua. In this rare moment of instability in an otherwise very safe country, right-wing extremists backed by Washington used bloody tactics to try to overthrow President Ortega.

When the coup failed, the US and European Union imposed several rounds of devastating unilateral sanctions on Nicaragua, which are illegal under international law.

Despite the fact that numerous polls like these show that Nicaraguans feel very safe, the US State Department has since 2018 issued an annual travel advisory, discouraging tourists to visit the country.

Washington claims the Central American nation is dangerous, suffers from supposed “arbitrary enforcement of laws”, and has “limited healthcare ability”.

Nicaragua’s Sandinista government created a system of free universal healthcare for everyone. The United States, on the other hand, has one of the most expensive and inefficient healthcare systems on Earth, and medical expenses are the cause of two-thirds of US household bankruptcies.

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