A general strike called by Nicaragua’s opposition to demand the release of political prisoners is having mixed effects.

Small businesses, some supermarkets and private schools were closed in the capital on Thursday. But pharmacies and gas stations were open. Traffic was lighter than usual, with many private vehicles off the roads, but buses and taxis were circulating as usual.

The government had warned banks they would be sanctioned if they participated in the strike called by opposition coalitions.

Women cross a road with low circulation due to a general strike called by the opposition to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Thursday, May 23, 2019. The nation-wide strike was called to pressure the government to free political prisoners. (AP Photo/Alfredo Zuniga)
Women cross a road with low circulation due to a general strike called by the opposition to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Thursday, May 23, 2019. The nation-wide strike was called to pressure the government to free political prisoners. (AP Photo/Alfredo Zuniga)

A private school attended by some of President Daniel Ortega’s grandchildren was among those closed, though it said for security reasons.

Evelia Herrera says she opened her shop in Managua because if she doesn’t work she doesn’t eat.

The strike seemed to be more effective in other cities.