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Nicaragua: an Uber free zone

News from Nicaragua | Monday, 27 March 2017 | Click here for original article

Mexican taxi drivers anti Uber protest

Mexican taxi drivers anti Uber protest

Nicaragua’s Sandinista government has refused Uber permission to operate in the country.

This decision was taken to prevent Uber undermining the local taxi sector which largely consists of low income drivers working in co-operatives and small family businesses.

Taxis are part of a grassroots associative network that defends the still precarious standard of living of many thousands of Nicaraguan families in a mutually beneficial relationship with local and national government.

Nicaragua’s government policy supports providers of public transport across the country, from Managua’s urban bus and taxi services to the river buses of the Rio San Juan, or from Nicaragua’s very efficient inter-city transport network, to the boats that serve communities along the country’s Caribbean coast.

The support takes various forms, for example compensating bus cooperatives for the cap on bus fares in Managua, preferential prices to taxi and bus cooperatives for fuel, tyres and spare parts and credit for purchasing of new vehicles.

This support for Nicaragua’s transport industry keeps fares within the reach of ordinary Nicaraguans, most of whom are on very low incomes.

As more people in Nicaragua adapt to new technologies, they themselves will develop new ways of mediating exchanges in goods and services without paying a cut to foreign multinationals like Uber.

For the moment Nicaragua has been able to successfully defend an important component of its grassroots, community and co-operative economy against a transnational company that works ruthlessly to gain a monopoly position both within individual countries and internationally.

Extracted from 'Why Nicaragua was smart to reject Uber' http://www.telesurtv.net/english/country/nicaragua/