Category Archives: Nicaragua Unrest

Writers and Intellectuals of the world demand the Government reinstate the doctors fired and respect for the freedom of expression

On Thursday June 18, 2020 writers and intellectuals from around the world published in La Prensa this following open letter to the President of Nicaragua and his Vice President wife, criticizing the government´s recent actions dismissing several key doctors in hospitals around the country for their criticisms of the government´s management of the pandemic.  The signatures include many intellectuals known for their historic support for the Sandinista revolution.

 

Writers and Intellectuals of the world demand the Government reinstate the doctors fired and respect for the freedom of expression

[see original Spanish]

June 2020

President Daniel Ortega Saavedra

Vice President Rosario Murillo Z.

With real bewilderment and concern we have heard  about the decision of your government to fire doctors and hospital workers, just for expressing their critical opinion about the management of the COVID 19 pandemic in your country.

More than fifteen doctors, all first line professionals, with ample experience and years of service in your public hospitals, have been fired in recent weeks without explanation and in an unjustified manner, after signing with many other doctors the request to follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the Panamerican Health Organization for the management of the pandemic, recommendations that your government has ignored. We think that politicizing medicine and science is a crime. Scientific knowledge should prevail over politics.

While throughout the world doctors have been recognized for their heroic work and the risks they have taken in their courageous treatment of the sick with COVID 19, in Nicaragua your government has put your health care personnel at risk by not providing adequate protective equipment and even rejecting donations of that equipment.

Your country, with forty deaths, has the highest record of deaths of doctors and nurses in Central America. Even with this high risk, the health care personnel continue providing service in spite of the inadequate conditions. The fact that, instead of thanks, they receive unjustified letters of dismissal, obliges us to raise our voice to be in solidarity with them and the people of Nicaragua.

As the rulers and public servants that you are, we ask that you support, respect and protect your health care personnel, that you join the worldwide recognition for the praiseworthy work that these brave and valuable professionals are performing.

We who sign here condemn the dismissals of doctors and any other act that might weaken even more the precarious health care system of Nicaragua. We categorically reject your government´s way of proceeding, which constitutes a dark legacy for the respect and freedom of expression of the medical profession.

We demand that the persecution end, and that the doctors be reinstated to their posts. Politicizing medicine is a crime, even more in the midst of this terrible pandemic. The Nicaraguan people should not continue getting sick and dying because of the infection of a virus which, following the appropriate measures, can be prevented. In the midst of this pandemic, saving the lives of your people should be more important than any other interest and consideration.

Ortega judge orders the suspension of the Mayor of Wiwilí from her post

Since October 2018 three key officials in the mayor´s office in Wiwilí, Jinotega have been murdered – Legal Advisor, Director of Municipal Services, and Director of Acquisitions. In spite of these unresolved crimes, the mayor, a woman – one of the few Liberal mayors left in the country – has strongly denounced these crimes as an attack against her administration. This article updates her situation and provides another example of the manipulation of the justice system for political purposes. In violation of municipal law, the Treasury did not transfer her assignment of funds from the Central Government, forcing her to lay off municipal workers, most of whom were Sandinistas. They then sued her government for an impossible amount of compensation. In spite of the fact that she worked out a payment arrangement, the local judge called her to a contempt of court hearing for not paying the total amount. When her lawyer showed up for the hearing, he was told the hearing was cancelled, and then the judge ordered her arrest.

Ortega judge orders the suspension of the Mayor of Wiwilí from her post

By Martha Vásquez Larios in La Prensa, June 13, 2020

[original Spanish]

The request for contempt of court charges and an arrest warrant was made by the Prosecutor Marlon Rolando Leiva Flores, the same person who requested the suspension from the office of mayor without any legal argument.

The Ortega judge Diana Isabel Jarquín Valle, from the Local Penal Court of Jinotega, this Friday ordered that Reyna Hernández Mairena be suspended from performing her post as  mayor of the municipality of Wiwilí, as an interim measure, which is why  she is left inhibited from exercising her functions as such. This is a sign of how the Orteguista regime through legal pretexts attempts to snatch away another municipal government that it lost in popular elections.

This arbitrary blow to the law and penal process the judge did after the fact that this past Wednesday June 10, she declared the mayor in contempt because she did not appear for a hearing where they illegally accused her of alleged disobedience or disregard for authority and  detrimental to the administration of justice.

The request for contempt of court charges and arrest warrant was made by the prosecutor Marlon Rolando Leiva Flores, the same judge who requested the suspension of the mayor from her post without any legal argument. That request was presented by the Public Ministry at 1:20pm on Friday June 12, and the judge issued her ruling the same day at 2:15pm, in other words within 55 minutes.

Nevertheless, the defense attorney presented a motion for dismissal on June 9, 2020 at 3:02pm, and the judge still has not ruled on that motion.

The operator is from the Sandinista Front

“The speed and way in which the judge has acted in the case show that she is an operator of the Sandinista Front to obtain the mayorship of Wiwilí-Jinotega in an illegal way,” said the defense lawyer of the mayor, Maynor Curtis.

The mayor Hernández Mairena was known for her steadfastness and courage in denouncing incidents of extrajudicial executions in the zone against opponents of the dictatorship, which are ignored and not investigated by the Orteguista Police

Repressive and non-interim measures

The judge clothed the stripping of the mayor from her post with ostensible legality, arguing the application of interim measures, when she already ordered her arrest, which is contradictory. “In effect, with the purpose of the interim measures being to ensure the effectiveness of the process, ensuring the presence of the accused and regulating the acquisition of the sources of evidence as articles 166 and 167, number 1, subsection j, 169 of the Penal Processing Code, and based on the principles of proportionality, appropriateness, and need, in addition the interim suspension of the accused is ruled in the performance of the post as Mayor of the municipality of Wiwilí, jurisdiction of the province of Jinotega: Reyna Esmeralda Hernández Mairena, likewise the accused is left inhibited from exercising functions, attributions and competencies unique to the post, conferred by Law 40 of the Municipal Law—” reads the official notification.

“Article 166 of the Penal Processing Code concerning the purpose of interim measures says that the purpose of the measures is to ensure the effectiveness of the process, ensuring the presence of the accused and the normal acquisition of the sources of evidence. While determining the interim measures the judge will take into account the appropriateness of each one of them in relation to the punishment that could end up being imposed, the nature of the crime, and magnitude of the damage caused, and the danger of evasion or obstruction of justice. In no case can the interim measures be used as a means to obtain the confession of the accused or as a plea bargain, and this is what the judge is doing,” explained Curtis.

Political persecution

For the mayor, Reyna Esmeralda Hernández Mairena, this has always been a matter of political persecution, because since she was inaugurated they have killed three of her officials, reduced the budget assigned to the municipal government transferred from the Ministry of the Treasury and Public Credit to just 800,000 córdobas, which is why they are practically operating with their own funds.

Then 43 Sandinista former municipal workers sued for compensation of millions of córdobas with unpayable and unbelievable salaries for such a small municipal government, but the Ministry of Labor and Orteguista judges have ruled in their favor, establishing a payment of nearly 16 million córdobas.

“That amount is unpayable for the municipal government with the paltry budget that they assigned it, nevertheless the Municipal Council ruled in February 2020 to pay 800,000 córdobas annually until it is paid, but the workers directed by the Party accused the mayor through the penal process in May 2020. The only reason I see is that they want to remove her from the mayor´s office through legal artifices. If they find her guilty, put her In jail, a Sandinista from the Council would assume the administration, maintains Curtis.

This trial is the one that would have begun on June 10th, but staff from the judicial complex took on the task of telling the lawyers that there was no hearing in that court, and then the judge ruled illegal absence and contempt of court against mayor Hernández.  Before that the judge should have ruled on a motion promoted by Curtis for the rescheduling of the hearing of the trial, which the lawyer argues the judge did not address.

 

 

 

Press Release from 34 Nicaraguan Medical Associations

This call for a National  Quarantine by 34 Medical Associations in Nicaragua is in response to the exponential growth of infections, and  increasing national and international criticism of the Nicaraguan government for its response. It was published as nearly a half page ad in La Prensa June 2, 2020.  The same day the announcement was released  COSEP announced their full support for this call. 

PRESS RELEASE

[original Spanish]

To the People of Nicaragua

In the face of the unstoppable advance of the Coronavirus pandemic in Nicaragua, we the different Medical Associations of the Country, address today the Nicaraguan people and the International Community, to once again warn about the dramatic situation that our country is going through, and that threatens to worsen in the next days and weeks with terrible and fatal consequences for Nicaraguan homes.

As had been warned by International Centers for disease control and different National Medical and Epidemiological Specialists, the exponential increase in COVID-19 cases has caused a collapse in the public and private health care system of Nicaragua: saturated hospitals, lack of beds, lack of medicine and such essential products like oxygen are added to the fact that dozens of doctors and health care workers are infected by COVID-19, with the result of an important number of deceased Doctors, nurses and technicians. Which is reducing the number of medical and paramedical resources in  different institutions, causing overtime workloads, physical and emotional exhaustion on the part of health workers.

Nicaragua finds itself currently in the phase of accelerated expansion and community transmission, which will continue worsening with greater loss of life, if the corresponding authorities continue denying the situation, and anti-epidemic measures are not taken urgently and at a large scale to try to contain the advance of the pandemic.

With the moral, academic and workforce authority that the fact of being in the front lines in treating this dramatic health crisis confers on us as doctors, we the Medical Associations of Nicaragua  call on the people to urgently begin a voluntary NATIONAL QUARANTINE, that might help reduce the impact of this disease with the reduction of Contagion, transmission and death among the population. This NATIONAL QUARANTINE consists in staying at home for at least 3-4 weeks, doing food purchasing once a week, ensuring distancing of at least 1.5 meters between people, using face masks or protective screens outside of the home, and constant hand washing.

We demand that the private sector take strong measures in the face of the propagation of the virus and protect life, instituting actions that might reduce the risk of exposure and transmission, not just with personal hygiene measures, but with actions like the temporary closing of non-essential businesses until the growing number of those infected be reduced.

As of today, all of us are potential sources of contagion and transmission of the disease; which is why we reiterate the call to the Nicaraguan population, private enterprise and public institutions to stay at home. We are capable of controlling the pandemic with your decisive support and the power that you have to avoid the spread of the virus. This is the only way that has demonstrated the control of the disease based on the experiences of other countries who have mitigated and diminished the transmission, obtaining the flattening of the curve and control of the Pandemic.

Let us protect our lives. Nicaragua is not alone.

Managua, June 1, 2020

 

“If the school year is going to be lost, then lose it”, the reality of thousands of Nica children in the face of COVID-19

The Nicaraguan government has been harshly criticized internationally  for its lack of response to COVID-19, including not implementing social distancing measures. Keeping  schools open is one example of them. On May 25 the Government released a White Paper associating criticism of its COVID-19 response  to attempts of “coup supporters” to destabilize the economy.  This article gives a glimpse into the impact of the virus on the educational system, and the decisions that parents are facing in light of the virus and government policy.

“If the school year is going to be lost, then lose it”, the reality of thousands of Nica children in the face of COVID-19

By Ana Cruz in La Prense, May 24, 2020

[original article]

Losing the right to education or taking the risk that your children be infected with COVID-19. This is the dilemma that parents face in light of the decision of the Ministry of Education to continue classes in spite of the fact that the pandemic is in the phase of exponential expansion.

For some people the home has been turned into a school, while others are already resigned to repeating the school year, because the Ministry of Education decided not to suspend classes for public schools, which is why many students had to quit attending classes to avoid being infected with COVID-19.

He is just a five year old boy, and he was beginning to get used to getting up early, doing homework, having a teacher and classmates, but now he asks, why am I not going to school? Tania Muñoz, former political prisoner from Masaya and an opponent to the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, told La Prensa that for more than a month one of her grandsons, “the youngest”, had to quit school to ensure his health.

Muñoz explained that, after the first case of COVID-19 was announced in Nicaragua in March 2020, she began to talk to her daughters and sons that were still going to class, so that they would quit going or quit sending her grandchildren.

One of the youngest grandchildren of Muñoz quit going to class in the Benito Juárez Public School, where he was in third level of preschool, because his relatives said that “they were not giving us options there to continue classes from home.”

The former political prisoner stated that, when she spoke with her daughter, she told her that she did not want “to be bitterly crying over the death of one of her grandkids just so he wouldn´t lose a year of school. I told her that if the boy was going to lose the year, let him lose it, but we are not going to expose him to being infected” with COVID-19.

Now, in the afternoon and sometimes into the evening, the Muñoz home is turned into “the school”, because her grandchildren and children work on studying the guides that they receive from the private schools where they go, while the youngest who was pulled out of the public school works on coloring and getting to know numbers and letters, until he can safely return to school.

Without options

The situation of Muñoz´s grandson is not unique in Nicaragua. According to statistics offered by the Vice President of the Ortega regime, Rosario Murillo, at the beginning of the school year there were a total of 1,800,000 students in different schools in the country.

According to Murillo, in preschool the registration was 280,558 children. In primary school, 890,932 children, including distance primary school in the countryside, while there were 390,569 students registered in secondary school, including distance secondary school in the countryside.

The presidential advisor on educational issues, Salvador Vanegas, in an interview on Channel 10 at the end of April 2020, after more than 3 weeks of the announcement of the first COVID-19 case in the country, recognized that 50% of the students in “the more urban” public schools quit going to school.

“The fall in attendance varies from one municipality to another. In more urban municipalities like Managua, absenteeism was larger. The farther the schools are from the urban areas the more they are operating practically with normal attendance of between 88-92%. In the more urban schools, it has dropped to approximately 50%”, said Vanegas.

Juana Palacios, who had one of her sons studying in a public school in the capital, recognized that certainly part of that percentage of absenteeism was due to the absences of her son, because she says that since the report of the first case of COVID-19 in the country, she began to send him in a staggered way, and protected with a mask.

The son of Palacios is 14 years-old and was in the third year of high school in a school in the capital. His mother states that she sent him in a staggered way at least for a week and a half with the hope that the Ministry of Education “would do something.” The mother was hoping, at least, that they would allow her son to receive guides from his teachers once a week, but that they would not make him be exposed. Nevertheless, that did not happen, and she decided to quit sending him.

The third-year students in addition informed his mother that, during those days that he had to attend in a staggered way, he noticed that only between 8-10 of his classmates were showing up, when in his section there are more than 20 students.

Palacios recognized that even though classes were not suspended, they decided to put a sink for hand washing at the principal entrance to the school, but she thinks that this “was not enough.”

The mother tried to talk with the teachers and reach an agreement, so that her son would not quit exercising his right to education, but it was not possible because the order was clear, they had to keep attending classes.

“I spoke with the teachers, I told him that I was going to quit sending him because of the situation, and he said to me that I should do what I thought was helpful”, commented the mother of the secondary student.

Now the adolescent passes the time closed up at home and from time to time – on learning about the topics that are being taught in the school – works on reviewing them with the help of his older sister, but not always, because the teachers are not providing guides to the children who withdrew out of fear of infection from COVID-19.

“I cannot expose him. If he has to lose the school year, let him lose it, because here we are only in the hands of God,” said the mother of the student.

The family of Palacios survives on a minimum salary, and the contribution that now her older daughter provides, who is now working, nevertheless, this is not enough to put the adolescent in a private school, which is why they have the hope that – once the pandemic passes or they can control it – the student can return to classes in a public school and with all the assurances of safety for his health.

Up to now according to the government in Nicaragua a total of 279 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported, 17 have died, 199 have recovered and the rest are active cases.

They violate the right to education

The high number of absences in public schools, according to experts on educational issues, could have been avoided if the Ministry of Education would have complied with its task of providing options to the student community to continue safely exercising their right to education.

Ernesto Medina, the president of the Eduquemos Forum, stated that the first thing that the authorities of the country had to have was the “political will to help the poorest find a solution, and unfortunately so far we have not seen this, because they have not suspended classes and are not providing an alternative to those who report that they are going to quit sending their children to protect them from COVID-19.”

The expert stated that it is critical that the authorities “seek out a humane solution, because the solution cannot be to expose some children to the danger or threaten them with losing the school year for defending the right to life.”

On his part, Jorge Mendoza, the Director of the Forum on Education and Human Development, recalled that in times of emergencies “the creation of alternative programs is justifiable,  they should even be already prepared,” which is why he states that for all those children who have not gone to school because their parents want to protect their right to life, it is critical that MINED ensure they have safe access, with options that would reassure their parents and not allow that the younger ones lose the school year.

In addition, he recommended that the Ministry of Education “suspend classes immediately” and adopt measures that would be adapted to the economic reality of the students and the capacities of the teachers.

The experts agree that MINED, in the case that it would decide to suspend in person classes, should consider the use of means like television, radio or cell phones themselves to teach “essential content”, and in this way the students might be able to continue learning from home and exposing themselves to less risk of contracting COVID-19.

Pronouncement from Health Professionals in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nicaragua

The following pronouncement appeared as a paid advertisement in the Saturday, May 9, 2020 edition of La Prensa. The next day, six former Nicaraguan Ministers of Health  sent a joint letter to the WHO and the PAHO warning about the lack of response on the part of the government to the pandemic; and COSEP issued a statement in support of this pronouncement of Health Care professionals. In addition, the Nicaraguan Medical Association reports 60 confirmed COVID-19 cases among health care professionals, and have denounced this past week that fact that several doctors were fired for reporting on infected cases in state hospitals. It has been five days since the government has released statistics on the incidence of coronavirus in the country.

Pronouncement from Health Professionals in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nicaragua

[Spanish version]

This past March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the outbreak of a new Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), started in Wuhan, China in November 2019, had become a global pandemic. As a consequence of this outbreak, the WHO advised the implementation of national contention and mitigation plans for the epidemic, for the purpose of attaining its control. The lessons learned in China, the European countries and America have taught us that the late implementation of these recommendations has given rise to the collapse of health systems in many countries, with the subsequent rise in the mortality rate and enormous social and economic impact.

We health care professionals, in the face of the expectation that the Nicaraguan government would follow the guidelines of the WHO – like the rest of the Latin American countries – placing priority on the common health and wellbeing of the people,  at the expense of great economic sacrifices, still hoped that the health authorities would develop and implement a national plan with basic measures of preparation in the face of the imminent threat of SARS-CoV-2, such as:

  1. Contention Measures, through:
  2. Identifying location, follow up and isolation of cases and contacts of COVID-19
  3. Appropriate sampling of the population for the identification of suspected cases.
  4. Partial or complete closure of land and air borders.
  5. Training, preparation and supply of appropriate means for all the health personnel for self- protection, and adequate treatment in private as well as public health unit.
  6. Development of treatment and case management protocols for cases diagnosed with COVID-19.
  7. Increase in the perception of risk and education of the most vulnerable populations in the country, like the elderly, people with multiple comorbidities, and immune-compromised patients.

 

  1. Mitigation measures, like:
  • Physical distancing, restriction on mobility and mass concentrations, as well as quarantine and isolation of affected populations.
  • Hygienic-sanitary measures, like frequent hand washing.
  • Use of masks for the general population in places where people congregate with the risk of transmission of the infection.

 

  1. Transparency of information and communications, with clear, brief and precise messages to the general population

Nevertheless, instead of complying with the recommended measures, the Nicaragua Government has promoted mass activities (like the March of Love in Times of COVID, Summer Plan, boxing tournaments, baseball games, Mayo ya welcome parties, etc.), its educational campaign has been extraordinarily timid, with the aggravating factor of exposing health professionals to the risk of infection, with the modalities which have not demonstrated any effectiveness, like the so called house to house visits. Nor have they adequately equipped health units, and health workers lack the basic protective measures to treat the sick population with minimal risk. On the contrary, the use of masks has been discouraged and restricted, and in some cases even prohibited, jeopardizing the health of health care workers.

Likewise, confusing information has been generated on people affected by the infection. This type of communication has created disinformation among the population, blocking the responsible management of the health crisis, becoming instead a factor facilitating the spread of the infection.

For its part, the sampling of suspected cases is extremely insufficient to detect the progression or development of the infection, it is found to be centralized and done under arbitrary and capricious criteria, which pursues the concealment of the status of the epidemic.

It is important to highlight that SICA in their report No. 16 on April 3, 2020, said the following:

“Nicaragua received today the donation of US$1 million on the part of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to face the COVID-19 pandemic, in the framework of the Regional Contingency Plan of SICA: Thanks to this solidarity support, medical inputs and equipment will be increased to treat patients affected by the virus in Nicaragua.”

In the table that summarizes the measures implemented in each one of the country members of SICA, Nicaragua, in contrast to the rest of the countries, did not suspend classes in public and private institutions, nor did it restrict the entry of foreigners into national territory, and did not confirm whether it implemented telecommuting as a measure for the prevention of contagion.

For its part, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) in the first week of April delivered to Nicaragua 26,000 rapid tests for the diagnosis of COVID-19, and in contrast to the rest of the country members of SICA, Nicaragua has not reported on the plan for distribution and testing in the country.

Also the Assistant Director of the Pan-american Health Organization (PAHO), Jarbas Barbosa da Silva, this past April 24, stated that they “cannot do an evaluation” of the situation of the pandemic in Nicaragua, and reiterated that “in Nicaragua the situation is still undetermined”, in other words, data does not exist on “what the situation of the pandemic is at this time.”

We think that as Nicaraguan citizens we have the right to receive quality holistic health care, without discrimination, and it is the inherent obligation of the state to ensure it. In addition to health care being a Constitutional Right, it is a Human Right, and it is the non-transferable responsibility of the State of Nicaragua to ensure this right.

Therefore, we health care professionals, demand and insist that the government of Nicaragua, in the face of the scenario of the natural evolution of this pandemic:

 

  1. Free up massive testing at the public as well as private levels. Doing universal sampling is fundamental to be able to mitigate the epidemic, and reduce its impact on mortality and the health services of the state and the nation.
  2. Make the pertinent data transparent on the evolution of the epidemic in accordance with international epidemiological standards, using technical and clear language.
  3. Publicly establish their contingency plan in the face of this public health emergency, and immediately implement social distancing measures and the restriction of mass gatherings, as well as the isolation and quarantine of those who merit it.
  4. Ensure adequate protective measures for all health care personnel of public treatment services.
  5. Ensure sufficient existence of diagnostic means, medicines and life support systems (like ventilators) to all COVD-19 patients who need it.
  6. Ensure – like the rest of the SICA countries – policies of reduction or cushioning of damage on the social-economic level (freezing rates for water, light, value added taxes and bank debts, support funds, etc.) that would allow for relief in the face of the health crisis for health care workers and the citizenry in general, as well as ensure the effectiveness of human rights for the most vulnerable part of the population.

In spite of the negligent management of the COVID-19 pandemic in our country, and that economic stability has taken primacy over health care and the common good of the Nicaraguan people, we think that – in the moment of the beginning of the rise in the curve of serious cases – it is still possible to carry out mitigation actions that might reduce the catastrophic impact on the rate of lethality and the health care system.

We acknowledge the health care personnel who – in this health crisis – continue offering treatment to the population without the needed protective resources.

TO THE GENERAL POPULATION, WE URGE YOU TO STAY AT HOME, FOLLOWING ALL THE PERSONAL PROTECTION MEASURES!

Sincerely,

[540 signatures from Health Care professionals, General Practitioners, Specialists, Sub-specialists, Odontologists, Bio-analysis Clinics, Psychologists and Nutritionists].

Medardo Mairena challenges the Army of Nicaragua: “Allow international human rights organization to go to the territories”

Medardo Mairena challenges the Army of Nicaragua: “Allow international human rights organization to go to the territories”

by Leonor Álvarez  in La Prensa, May 9, 2020

[original Spanish]

Users of social network reacted to the demand of the Army, that asked that they present proof of the supposed participation of the Army in the repression of opponents and citizens during the 2018 protests.

The coordinator of the Peasant Movement, Medardo Mairena, who is one of the those who accuse the Army of their participation in the repression, published this Friday May 8 a video where he directs a message to the Armed Forces.

Mairena tells the Army that if they want proof of the supposed human rights violation on the part of soldiers, that “they allow international human rights organizations to enter the country and go to the territories.”

“The Army is asking for proof where they have violated human rights, where they have killed peasants. The proof exists in the territories, and they know where it is. It is easy and simple, that they allow the international organizational defenders of human rights to enter Nicaragua and allow them to go to places, so they can verify and demonstrate where the proof is”, he says in the video that lasts one minute and 23 seconds.

This past Wednesday, May 6, the spokesperson for the Army of Nicaragua, Colonel Álvaro Rivas, asked for evidence of the participation of soldiers in the repression against opponents and the murders of peasants, in some strong declarations offered to reporters of the television channels 12 and 10, among other communications media.

“It is a complete falsehood what this individual is saying. So it is necessary, that if he has evidence, that he present it, we as an institution are open to listening, we have made that clear, if he has it, let him come and propose it, look, this is the situation, and we are going to proceed in accordance with the law. Now, accusing is easy, but demonstrating is difficult and complex,” said Colonel Rivas, referring to Mairena. This is what triggered several reactions in social networks, responding to this demand of the Army with videos that assure that there is evidence for these deeds.

Reaction of the Army

In reaction to Mairena´s call, that the doors be opened to the investigation of international human rights organizations, the spokesperson of the Army responded that this institution “strictly complies with what is established in the Constitution and the Law.”

Colonel Rivas also said that the Army has been clear in making known their work, and they base their credibility on the fact that “what we do, we say we do, and what we say, we do.”

“In different moments we have made known to the Nation all the data of our missions and tasks, and not on the basis of speculation and lies, which is the custom of individuals who do that under dark interests. We repeat that we are open to listening and acting in accordance with the law,” was added to the response of the spokesperson of the Army, requested by La Prensa.

Some of the videos published that they say are proof of the involvement of the soldiers were disseminated in 2018, where apparently a military presence is seen in the territories, in moments in which the country was experiencing clashes in the barricades that civilians built throughout the country, to stop the repression from the police and armed groups allied with the Ortega regime.

They also mention as supposed proof the case of the six people killed in Cruz del Río Grande, among them the minor children of the peasant Elea Valle, a 16 year old adolescent girl and a 12 year old boy. The Army said at that time that they were part of a band of criminals, even though the father of the minors, who also was killed in that group, was a recognized opponent from the region, Rafael Pérez Dávila “Comandante Colocho”.

In another published video that they mention in the social networks as proof, the former Minister of the Interior, Ana Isabel Morales, appears, giving instructions about how to mount surveillance operations against opponents in the context of the repression in 2019, mentioning “the compañeros of police intelligence and Army intelligence, who are working here in the territory.”

The country has been living in a crisis since April 2018, when armed repression began against the civil protests that demanded the departure of Daniel Ortega from power.

Since the beginning of the crisis, when citizens and dissidents began to denounce the involvement of soldiers in the armed repression, the Army of Nicaragua has denied their participation, and have said that they would never “point their weapons at the people.”

The Military have presented reports where they deny accusations

The Army has done two reports to counteract the accusations that the Peasant Movement has presented to international organizations. The last one was presented this past March, with the review of 23 cases related to the recent denouncements of Mairena.

In the document titled “Notes on supposed murders which are denounced by the Peasant Movement and some communications media”, the Army determined that “the stories recreated by those who denounce these supposed crimes intend to project them before national and international public opinion as events connected to the deeds occurred in the country starting in April 2018.”

 

The crisis in Nicaragua: chronology of the principal events

The month of April marks the 2nd year anniversary of the uprising that started in April 2018. A team of researchers at the UCA for this anniversary published a book on this ongoing crisis. The last chapter contains a chronology of the principal events. Given all the day to day events experienced in the country, reading the chronology does provide perspective, and that is why we provide the translation here.

The crisis in Nicaragua: chronology of the principal events

[Chapter VI in the downloadable book, Nicaragua 2018: The civic insurrection of Abril]

Hellen Castillo Rodríguez[1]

What follows is a chronology of the principal events that occurred since the beginning of the social and political crisis of Nicaragua between April 2018 to April 10, 2019, starting with some brief immediate background events.

Evolution of the social and political crisis in Nicaragua 2018-2019

(Immediate background events)

Feb 7,

2018

Law 331, Electoral law of Nicaragua, reformed to provide more powers to the Vice President of the Supreme Electoral Council, Lumberto Campbell, who in practice assumed the presidency of this body.
March 12, 2018 Alarm in Nicaragua over the intention of the government to issue laws to control the internet and social networks
March 20, 2018 Mothers, sisters and friends of female victims of femicide in Nicaragua–16 femicides are registered in the course of the year–, protest in front of the Supreme Court in Managua, who demand that public measures be taken to put an end to gender violence.

 

April 3,

2018

Forest fire in the Indio-Maíz Biological Reserve in the Río San Juan province, bordering on Costa Rica.
April 7,

2018

The Nicaraguan government declares a yellow alert- four days after the fire began- when the fire had burned more than 3,000 hectares in the Indio-Maíz Biological Reserve.
April 11, 2018 Demonstration of more than 500 people, mostly youth, to denounce “governmental negligence” and “State inefficiency” in the face of the fire in the Indio-Maíz Reserve, considered the worst ecological catastrophe in the history of Nicaragua. This was the first of other demonstrations over this issue.
April 12,

2018

Self-convened youth march to demand a response to the fire that started on April 3. Minutes later, members of the youth organization of Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSLN), known as the 19 of July Sandinista Youth (JS), National Police officers (PN) and special forces of the Anti-Riot Police repress the demonstration.
April 14,

2018

The central government reports that the fire in the Indio-Maíz Biological Reserve has been completely controlled. Some 5,484.7 hectares or 7,786.44 manzanas, are affected by the fire that lasted 10 days, and that was able to be put out through the efforts of local community members, the Army, firefighters, international aid, and finally, the rainfall in the area.
April 16,

2018

The Nicaraguan government through the executive president of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) surprisingly and unilaterally announces a reform to the social security system, imposing significant increases in the respective contributions from employers and workers, and establishing a tax of 5% on the pensions of retired people.

 

April 18,

2018

The Nicaraguan government publishes in La Gaceta the reforms to the Social Security Law of Nicaragua, announced the previous day.

 

Eruption of the crisis

(Outbreak of protests and governmental repression)

April 18, 2018

In the cities of León, Managua and Matagalpa the elderly, women and youth take to the streets to protest the reforms of the INSS. Journalists from different media cover the news.

Police agents, shock troops and members of the JS with tear gas, sticks, metal pipes and stones repress the self-convened youth and adults who have gathered in the Camino de Oriente shopping center in Managua to protest over the INSS reforms. The journalists are also attacked, and their cameras and equipment stolen.

The government suspends the transmissions of several independent TV channels: 100% noticias, Canal Católico, Confidencial, CDNN 23, Canal 12 and Telenorte from Estelí. The only channels available are official media, owned by the offspring of the Ortega-Murillo presidential couple.

April 19,

2018

Students of the National Engineering University (UNI) and the Polytechnical University of Nicaragua (UPOLI) join the protests over the reforms to INSS.

Police repression begins to use lethal weapons and munitions. The first three people die during the police repression: two students and one policeman.

For the first time since the 1979 revolution, the indigenous community of Monimbó, in Masaya, rise up in repudiation of the governmental repression and in support of the protests. During more than 6 hours they confront the special forces of the Police.

The Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP) demands that the government respect the constitutional right to protest and not repress the demonstrations.

 

April 20,

2018

The demonstration against the INSS reforms are multiplied throughout Nicaraguan territory; at the same time the repression intensifies and lethal weapons and sharpshooters are employed. Independent media, national human rights commissions and social networks point out that just in those days close to 30 people die, mostly students.

The population supports the protesters, opening up collection centers for food and medicines, and creating medical support brigades.

The death of the youngest victim is reported: 15 year old adolescent Álvaro Conrado. He is urgently transported to the Hospital Cruz Azul, but the staff of the center close the doors and deny him medical attention.

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Managua is attacked by anti-riot police. More than 500 people are left trapped inside.

In Managua demonstrators cut down the first structure of the so-called “trees of life”, or “metallic trees” in repudiation of the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship. These felling of metal trees will continue throughout the protests.

In the provinces of Managua, León and Granada the burning of some public buildings takes place, along with some municipal installations and university centers. The attitude of the Police is complete passivity in the face of these acts of vandalism.
In the face of the crisis, COSEP asks the government to begin a dialogue process and calls for the first national march, held on April 23 in the Rubén Darío traffic circle, to demand respect for constitutional rights: freedom of expression, information and the right to demonstrate.

 

April 21,

2018

Daniel Ortega, the president of Nicaragua, accepts installing a negotiation roundtable with COSEP to analyze the INSS reforms and address the issue of exonerations and subsidies, as international financial organizations are demanding.

The context of the protests takes a turn and moves to demanding the resignation of the presidential couple, in response to the repression and abuse of human rights carried out by paramilitaries and the PN.

The journalist Ángel Gahona is killed while transmitting live the events occurring in the judicial complex in the city of Bluefields. His program, El Meridiano, was transmitted through social networks.
April 22,

2018

A wave of looting begins in commercial establishments and supermarkets in Managua. The population in the media and social networks report that members of the JS, supported by the Police, are responsible for these acts. In response, the population protects commercial centers, supermarkets, and businesses.
Daniel Ortega transmits through state television a message to the nation where he revokes the INSS reforms in order to defuse the protests
April 23,

2018

From Spain, where he traveled to receive the Cervantes award, the Nicaragua writer Sergio Ramírez dedicates the award to those killed in Nicaragua for demanding justice

Thousands of Nicaraguans lead a large march in Managua to the UPOLI to present a new list of demands to Ortega that would mean the end to violence and a dialogue to addresses the profound causes of the crisis

The Vice president of Nicaragua, Rosario Murillo, calls for a replica of the large opposition march and calls it: “The Government wants dialogue and peace”.

Peasants (men and women) call for a national strike until the demands are met of the youth entrenched in the universities, principally an end to the repression and immediate freedom of the more than 200 youth captured for exercising their right to demonstrate in the streets of the country.

 

April 24,

2018

−−

After the large march in Managua that demanded the resignation of Daniel Ortega, the president invites the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua to be the mediator in a national dialogue.

The government of Daniel Ortega tries to lessen the impact of social media, and to do so suspends free wifi in the public parks of the country.

The Catholic Church of Nicaragua accepts to mediate in the dialogue requested by COSEP and the government of Daniel Ortega, but a date is still not set.

 

The first warnings come from the International Community. The High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights (OHCHR) urges ensuring that immediate, profound, independent and transparent investigations be done on the deaths in Nicaragua

120 students are freed, the victims of arbitrary and illegal detention and confined to the La Modelo penitentiary system. Those arrested report having been tortured.
April 25,

2018

Peaceful protests and attacks from pro-governmental forces continue in different parts of Nicaragua. Civil society calls to take three days of national grieving.
April 26,

2018

The Permanent Commission on Human Rights (CPDH) counts 63 deaths and 15 people disappeared during the protests.
April 27,

2018

The Nicaraguan Prosecutor´s office announced that it will investigate the deaths occurred within the framework of the protests.

The National Assembly, whose majority are members or sympathizers of the party in power, announces the creation of a Truth Commission, completely composed of recognized militants or allies of the party in power. Demonstrators and NGOs describe this endeavor as a farce.

 

April 28,

2018

Thousands of opponents march again in Managua and several cities of the country to demonstrate against the government. The slogans maintain the demand that the rulers resign, and now demand democracy and electoral reforms to hold early elections.

University youth demand the presence in Nicaragua of the Interamerican Human Rights Commission (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS).

April 29,

2018

Another big march is carried out in Managua called by the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua to pray for the victims and the success of the dialogue.
At the end of a religious service, a motorcyclist barges into the central aisle of the Cathedral of Managua in an act of disrespect and intimidation of Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, mediator and witness to the National Dialogue at the government´s request.
May 5,

2018

The University Coalition is created, composed of five student movements: April 19 University Movement, April 19 Student Movement, Nicaraguan University Alliance, April 19 UNA University Movement, University Coordinator for Justice and Democracy.
Demonstrations continue in the cities of Managua, Chinandega, León and Estelí. The bishops of Nicaragua demand “in depth clarification” of the deaths occurred in the student protests.
May 7, 2018

Civic protests are generalized throughout the country. The response of the regime is repression in Managua, Masaya, Chinandega, León and Estelí.

Students entrench themselves in the state National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN-Managua) and demand social justice and support for the demands of the movement.

The University Coalition chooses their 5 representatives to participate in the National Dialogue.
May 9,

2018

Demonstrators hold the third large march against Daniel Ortega, in which the Movement for Nicaragua, the Peasant Movement and civil society participate. More than 70,000 people attend. The government responds with their own smaller counter march in Managua.

 

May 10,

2018

Movement begins of civil society to recover national symbols. They paint curbs, posts and pedestals of monuments that had the colors of the FSLN blue and white, and remove the red and black flag from public places and municipal institutions.

The Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy is created, composed of those invited to participate in the National Dialogue: members of the University Coalition, Peasant Movement, private enterprise, civil society and academic sectors.

May 11,

2018

Self-convened people begin the installation of roadblocks in several cities in the country. Large protest demonstrations continue throughout the country, in spite of the violent repression against the unarmed population.
Anti-riot and para police forces carry out violent attacks and looting in Masaya.
May 12, 2018

Masaya becomes the scenario for fierce confrontations between demonstrators and police, to which are added – according to denouncements on social networks and independent Nicaraguan press – armed groups allied with the government. According to local reports, the city awoke the next day looking like a “battle field.”

The Nicaraguan Army breaks their silence on the violent events in the country in which it says it had no participation, and issues a press release where it calls on  people to say “no to violence, no to instability, yes to tranquility, yes to peace,” and states that “We are the people themselves in uniform.”

 

May 13, 2018

Demonstrators in Managua hold a caravan in support of the city of Masaya, that has resisted for more than 48 hours a nearly uninterrupted fight against the attacks of anti-riot and para-police forces. There are nearly 22 continuous kms of vehicles along the Managua to Masaya highway.

A multi-sectoral roundtable – composed of the University Coalition, the Peasant Movement, civil society organizations, private sector and academic sector – send a letter to Paulo Abrāo, executive secretary of the IACHR, inviting the organization to investigate, evaluate and assess the denouncements of violence, persecution, repression and death occurred in Nicaragua since the beginning of the protests in April.

May 14,

2018

The Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua (CEN) announces that the National Dialogue will begin in two days.

In the end the government consents that a mission of the IACHR visit the country to “observe the human rights situation”. This is reported by the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro.

May 16,

2018

The first session of the National Dialogue is held in the Seminary of Our Lady of Fatima in Managua. Protected by a disproportionate deployment of police and army, with special forces, helicopters, drones, planes and heavily armed bodyguards, Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo attend in their capacity as heads of state. At the entrance to the area, angry multitudes boo at their passing and refute the defamatory remarks that the rulers have made about the demonstrators: in addition,  they reproach them for their responsibility for the killings of unarmed youth. The Civic Alliance, as counterpart in the National Dialogue, the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua, as mediator and witness, and the diplomatic body credentialed in the country are present.

 

May 17,

2018

A group of representatives of the IACHR arrive in Nicaragua to observe the situation and collect denouncements from the civilian population. At the end of their stay, they publish a Preliminary Report in which, having as a source the official information of the government, confirm that 76 people died, 868 were wounded and 438 arrested. They recommend creating a Special Follow up Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI) and a group of independent experts from the IACHR in order to clarify the events of April.
The Support Group for the Mothers of April is created.
May 18,

2018

The second session of the National Dialogue is held, where both parties arrive at the first agreement: 72- hour truce to stop the violence and relax the roadblocks throughout the country. Likewise, at the proposal of the Civic Alliance, all the participants in the dialogue roundtable approve the preliminary report of the IACHR and agree to abide by its 15 recommendations.
May 19,

2018

With the “Caravan of Bravery in Managua” the first month of the start of the protests is commemorated. Throughout the country marches and sit-ins are held to honor those killed by the government
In León the march of the Movement for Nicaragua and the April 19 Movement from that same city is held, in which more than 100,000 people participate.
At night police and para-police forces attack the National Agrarian University (UNA). The representatives of the IACHR observe the attack in person. With this aggression the government violates the truce agreement established in the first session of the National Dialogue.
May 21,

2018

The third session of the National Dialogue is held, without significant results.
May 23,

2018

The fourth session of the National Dialogue is held. The Civic Alliance makes a call to democratize Nicaragua. Daniel Ortega refuses, and denounces a “soft coup.” The lack of consensus forces the Episcopal Conference to suspend the talks, and proposes a mixed commission composed of three representatives for each party, in an attempt to overcome the impasse.
May 24,

2018

 

A cadaver appears in the drainage ditch of the El Plomo hill, with clear signs of torture. He is taken without identification to the Medical Legal Institute.

Arbitrary and illegal detentions continue. One of those detained is able to be released through social pressure.

It is reported that in El Chipote2 are found many other people arrested whose detention had not been reported.

More denouncements of disappeared Nicaraguan youth begin to appear on social networks.
The repression continues in several parts of the country. The cities of Chinandega and León are attacked by para-police forces, leaving three people killed as a result.

2 El Chipote is a jail located in the high part of the Tiscapa hill in Managua. During the Somoza dictatorship it was one of the principal torture centers. Currently the national human rights commissions denounce that there are many people detained there who are tortured, particularly in this period of crisis.

May 26,

2018

A report from Amnesty International (AI) states that the government has committed “crimes against international law” by “carrying out a lethal repressive policy”.

Marches, sit-ins and roadblocks remain. Those barricaded in roadblocks in several cities of the country are subjected to attacks with all types of weapons on the part of para-police forces.

A wave of street violence begins in which mobs and criminals that the population identifies as connected to the government go out at night, shooting at civilians and creating chaos.

An article is published in Confidencial3 that gathers several case stories that fully illustrate the pattern of shooting against demonstrators in Nicaragua, which allows one to surmise that the PN used sharpshooters.4
May 28,

2018

Students take over the UNI. At 10am attacks begin from the National Police, anti-riot and para-police forces. The clashes continue until 6pm. Three deaths are reported, along with many wounded and several people arrested.

The first round of work of the Mixed Commission was held; they reached a consensus to relax the roadblocks, as long as the first issue of the agenda in the dialogue – to be renewed on May 31 – would be the end of repression, dismantling of paramilitary groups, and the call for early general elections, among other points.

 

May 29,

2018

Demonstrations and roadblocks are maintained in a generalized way throughout the country.

Amnesty International presents a report on the situation of the country, titled “Shoot to Kill”, in which it concludes that the “Government of Nicaragua is using a strategy of lethal repression”.

3 Confidencial is a magazine that has been published in Nicaragua since 1996 as a media outlet for information and analysis among decision makers in government, diplomatic corps, private sector and civil society. In 2010 it relaunched itself to the public as an interactive digital newspaper.

4 The article is from the journalist Wilfredo Miranda Aburto, who singled out that: “Confidencial has in its possession 19 CAT scans done in the Lenin Fonseca Hospital. They show precise shots in the forehead, parietal, temporal and occipital regions of the heads of the victims. Most of the gunshot wounds present entry and exit wounds. Trajectories that leave a wake of destruction in the brain mass” (2018).

 

May 30,

2018

On the occasion of Mothers Day in Nicaragua, and in support of the more than 90 mothers who up to that point had lost their sons or daughters due to the governmental repression, held in Managua the so-called “Mother of all Marches”. It is estimated that more than 500,000 people participated. The march is reaching its end when the participants are attacked by sharpshooters and paramilitary groups allied with the government. At 5pm the first students are killed, among them a 15 year old boy, slain in front of his mother with a shot to the neck.
In other points in the capital, like the Highway to Masaya, clashes are recorded of police and paramilitaries against demonstrators. Similar events occurred in other cities, and a total of 19 deaths are reported and dozens of wounded. Daniel Ortega announces that he will not leave power.
May 31,

2018

The Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy issues a press release announcing that, after the massacre of May 30, they are not willing to renew the National Dialogue as the government has not given the order to end the repression and violence against the Nicaraguan people

The inhabitants of the city of Masaya, the indigenous community of Monimbó and the municipality of Waslala call for a national strike, after the wave of violence and repression perpetrated by the government.

June 1,

 

2018

In the city of León groups allied with the government of Ortega burn the Agricultural Ministry (MAGFOR) and create chaos.

The Central American Province of the Society of Jesus makes a pronouncement repudiating the massacre perpetrated by the government, the National Police and para-police forces in Nicaragua. At the same time, they denounce in an open and public letter threats received against the life of Fr. José Alberto Idiáquez, the President of the Central American University (UCA) who is participating in the National Dialogue roundtable as part of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy.

June 4, 2018 Masaya suffers an armed attack that leaves 5 deaths.
Monimbó keeps up the struggle.

 

June 6, 2018 The OAS urges all parties to “promote peaceful negotiations with clear results that address the fundamental challenges of the country, including the strengthening of democratic institutions and holding free, fair and timely elections”.
June 7,

2018

Demonstrations against Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo continue throughout the country.

An undeclared curfew is imposed on Managua and other cities. When night falls, pro-government and paramilitary patrols take the streets

The bishops meet with the government to try to reactivate the dialogue. The president asks the Episcopal Conference for 48 hours to “reflect” on their proposal for democratization.

The United States decides not to wait and suspends issuing visas for “people responsible for Human Rights abuses and undercutting democracy in Nicaragua”. Even though names are not mentioned, the measure indicates that it will affect members of the government and the National Police.
June 10, 2018 Properties of between 5- 1,500 manzanas in size begin to be occupied by land invaders organized by the FLSN party and officials from municipal governments
June 12, 2018 The public becomes aware that Daniel Ortega, in order to resolve the crisis, show himself willing to move up the presidential elections, planned for 2021. The proposal supposedly was presented to the bishops and the Civic Alliance by the US Ambassador Laura Dogu and Caleb McCarry, a delegate of the Foreign Relations Committee of the US Senate who visited Nicaragua on June 9 and met with Ortega. Later events and speeches will contradict this disposition of Ortega.
June 13,

2018

The Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy calls for a 24-hour general strike to increase pressure on the government, a measure that up to now they had refused to take due to the consequences it could have on the Nicaraguan economy. At this point the crisis has cost the country $600 million dollars.

 

June 15, 2018 The National Dialogue is renewed. The government and the Civic Alliance address the “roadmap” for “democratizing” the country, specifically the proposal to move up presidential elections to 2019. At the request of the Civic Alliance, the parties agree to invite international observers to investigate the acts of violence

.

June 17, 2018

Six members of one family – including two small boys – die burned in their home in a fire deliberately caused by forces allied with the government in the city of Managua. One survivor and several neighbors state that the attack that produced the fire was committed by para-police groups of the government with the support of the PN.

With this crime, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) denounced an escalation in the brutal repression of the Ortega-Murillo regime. In addition, the organization lamented the fact that in these 60 days another 12 minors have been killed.

The 33 year-old young man Darwin Potosme dies at the hands of a sharpshooter during an attack on the central park in the city of Masaya.
Peoples uprising and attacks
June 18, 2018

The population of Masaya, 28 kilometers from Managua, declares itself “territory free from the dictator”. The city remains under siege from pro-government repressive forces.

The High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights, Zeid Ra ád Al Hussein, states that the situation in Nicaragua “might well deserve” the creation of an international investigation.

The renewal of the National Dialogue is planned, which finally is delayed a week, and included representatives of the IACHR.

 

June 19, 2018

The songwriter Carlos Mejía Godoy presents a new song: “Monimbó siempre con vos [Always with you, Monimbo´]”, in honor of the indigenous people of Monimbó.

New clashes leave at least 3 dead and 30 wounded. In the days that follow the repression increases against the students of the UNAN.

June 21, 2018 Work in defense of Monimbó is reorganized, where barricades are reinforced to prevent the entrance of anti-riot forces and paramilitary groups. The barricades are guarded 24 hours a day by the population.
June 22, 2018 The IACHR presents a report that raises the numbers to 212 dead, 1,337 wounded and 507 detained by “the repressive action of the State” which, according to the denouncement, “has been directed at dissuading participation in the demonstrations and crush this expression of political dissent”.
June 23, 2018

Armed groups attack a barricade guarded by students holed up in the Rubén Darío university campus, wounding 15 students with gunshot and kidnapping three youth protestors.

The 14 month-old baby Teyler Leonardo Lorío Navarrete is killed. According to his mother´s testimony, Teyler was hit by a bullet from the Police when his family was taking him to the home of his grandmother in a neighborhood in the eastern part of the capital. The Police refute this version and accuse a criminal of the act. His mother, nevertheless, maintains that her baby was killed by the Police.

June 25, 2018

The dialogue is renewed in the country, with the presence of a technical team of the IACHR. The group forms part of the Follow up Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI) responsible for oversight over fulfillment of the recommendations and cautionary measures previously issued by the IACHR.

Hundreds of Nicaraguans who live in New York and in other states close by in the United States walk twelve blocks in the center of Manhattan, NY, demanding an end to the repression in Nicaragua.

June 26, 2018 A team from the High Commissioner of the United States for Human Rights (OHCHR) arrives in Nicaragua to participate, along with experts from the IACHR, in the investigations on the violent acts in Nicaragua.
July 1,

2018

“The march of flowers” is held, that walked through Managua in memory of the minors killed during the protests. It is the first time that a large march is held since the tragic event of May 30. Shock groups and paramilitaries return to attack and kill another person.
July 5,

2018

The United States sanctions three high Nicaraguan officials, within the framework of the Magnitsky Act. They are Francisco Díaz, chief of the National Police and in law of Daniel Ortega; Fidel Moreno Briones, Secretary General of the Municipality of Managua; and  Francisco López Centeno, Vice president of Albanisa – state enterprise partner with the Oil Enterprise of Venezuela (PDVSA).
July 7,

2018

As part of “Operation Clean up” 5 Ortega launches a new offensive against “rebel” cities: Matagalpa, Jinotepe, Diriamba, León, Masaya.

Paulo Abrāo, Executive Secretary of the IACHR, denounces from Nicaragua that “pro governmental armed groups supported by the Police are entering into cities in a massive way”. “Shooting and bursts of gunfire. Yesterday Matagalpa. Now around Jinotepe and Diriamba”, he relates. In just four days nearly 40 dead are counted.

July 9,

2018

The roundtables of the National Dialogue are suspended due to the attacks suffered by the bishops in the basilica of San Sebastián, in the city of Diriamba.
July 10,

2018

Ortega appears before official media to clarify that finally there will be no early elections. “There will be time, just as the law orders, there will be time for elections. Everything has its time,” he notes.
July 11,

2018

 

The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, expresses his concern over the “intensification” of the violence in Nicaragua, and points out that dialogue is the only way of finding “a peaceful solution to the current crisis.”

5 “Operation Cleanup” – term used popularly – consisted in the joint dismantling by force of roadblocks and barricades, carried out by members of the National Police, paramilitaries, and mobs allied with the government, as well as armed attacks against the population that demonstrate against

 

July 12,

2018

The Permanent Council of the OAS meets to address the situation in Nicaragua. The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, advocates for early elections and offers his support to Daniel Ortega so that it might be a “clean and transparent process.”

That same day, dozens of thousands of Nicaraguans take to the principal streets of Managua shouting “Together we are a volcano” and “The people united will never be defeated.” Throughout the route of the march the pervasive slogan is “Ortega and Somoza are the same thing.”

 

The Union of Agricultural Producers of Nicaragua (UPANIC) revealed that some 5,500 manzanas of land for agricultural, housing and forestry uses has been invaded by heavily armed people, who looted and violently stripped the legitimate owners of their respective possessions.
July 13,

2018

Nicaragua wakes up under a 24-hour national stoppage.

Accompanied by a military caravan of cars and motorcycles, the presidential couple celebrate in the police station of Masaya the 39th anniversary of the historic “Tactical Retreat”. For the first time since 1980 the Retreat did not end in the indigenous community of Monimbó, Masaya

During the Retreat, the people of Monimbó stayed hunkered down in the barricades, and all the population of Masaya closed themselves in their homes to show their repudiation of the government.

At the end of the “Tactical Retreat”, the National Police carry out a harsh attack against the population that protested in Monimbó. The attack lasts two and a half hours and leaves two people dead as a result.

Medardo Mairena, coordinator of the National Council in the Defense of the Land, the Lake and Sovereignty, and member of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, is captured and transferred to the cells of El Chipote. The peasant leader is accused a priori of terrorism and the murder of four policemen in the municipality of Morrito, in the province of Río San Juan.

 

July 14,

2018

Armed groups attack the UNAN of Managua. The students seek refuge in the nearby Divina Misericordia Church, where they spend more than 15 hours under constant automatic gun fire from police and paramilitaries. This repressive act leaves another two dead.
July 15,

2018

Another ten people die at the hands of police and paramilitaries in a series of attacks on the indigenous community of Monimbó, in the city of Masaya.
July 16,

2018

With combined forces of the government, the so called “Operation Clean up” continues against five cities of the Pacific, among them Managua, Masaya, Diriá and Catarina; their inhabitants remain in a state of anxiety and high alert.

Two people are reported dead.

July 17,

2018

More than 1,500 troops of the Army, Police and paramilitaries lay siege to the city of Masaya and shoot at the indigenous neighborhood of Monimbó, an attack that lasts more than seven hours and leaves as a result four people dead.

The Organization of American States (OAS) calls an extraordinary session for July 18 to address the Nicaraguan crisis when it enters into its third month.

July 18,

2018

It is now three months since the start of the protests against the regime imposed by President Daniel Ortega, with close to 300 people killed.

A group of US senators, Democrats as well as Republicans, present the bill “2018 Law for Human Rights and the Fight Against Corruption in Nicaragua”, that seeks to put an end to the wave of violence that Nicaragua is suffering, and that includes the application of new sanctions on the government of Daniel Ortega and the demand to call early elections.

July 19,

2018

Daniel Ortega celebrates the 39th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution, reaffirming that he is not leaving power and launching a virulent attack against the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua, accusing it of being “a coup supporter.” The event includes the presence of the diplomatic corps accredited in the country, among whom is the representative of the Vatican, Apostolic Nuncio Mons. Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag.

 

July 20,

2018

In La Gaceta No. 138 is published “Law 977 Against Laundering of Assets, Financing for Terrorism and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction”. The organizational defenders of human rights in Nicaragua state that this legislation would allow for a high amount of discretion on the part of judicial authorities to process any citizen who opposes the regime of president Daniel Ortega for the crime of terrorism.
July 21,

2018

The Catholic church, which says “it does not suffer for being slandered (…), it suffers for those who have been killed”, calls the faithful to a campaign of fasting.
July 23,

2018

After nine years of not offering declarations to national or international media, Daniel Ortega offers an interview for the Special Report program of Fox News, the conservative television channel and sympathetic to President Donald Trump. In the interview- conducted by the journalist Bret Baier− Ortega denies the accusations of repression and human rights violations that international organizations charge him with, and states that there is a panorama of normality in his country, and rejects the call for early elections.
The 31 year-old Brazilian student Raynéia Gabrielle is killed. She dies from a shot to the thorax when paramilitaries blasted her vehicle that was passing through the Lomas de Monserrat neighborhood in Managua.
July 24,

2018

On the 100th day of the crisis, Daniel Ortega says he has “defeated the coup”. In an interview to the interstate channel TeleSur he accuses the United States of “interventionism” and expresses that it would be “ideal” to have a dialogue with his US counterpart, Donald Trump, to deal with the policy of that country toward Nicaragua.
Persecution y criminalization
August 2,

 

2018

The Organization of American States (OAS) approves the creation of a working group for Nicaragua for the purpose of supporting the National Dialogue and contributing to the “search for peaceful and sustainable solutions.”

 

 

August 26,

2018

In the neighboring country of Costa Rica, a massive march is held of repudiation to the xenophobia toward Nicaraguan immigrants who are arriving in the country, fleeing the social and political crisis that Nicaragua is undergoing.
August 27,

2018

Brandon Lovo is condemned to 23 years in jail, and Glen Slate to 12 years in jail, for the supposed murder of journalist Ángel Gahona, on April 21 in the city of Bluefields. Both Afro-descendent youth became the first political prisoners that are sentenced by the Ortega-Murillo dictatorial regime. The family of the murdered journalist refute the version of the government about the culpability of those sentenced.
August 31,

2018

Daniel Ortega terminates the invitation of Nicaragua to the representatives of the OHCHR, after it presented a report which denounces the human rights abuses and abuses committed by the security forces of the government during the protest that occurred since April in Nicaragua.

The European Union suspends the aid program with the National Police of Nicaragua, which had not executed 3.5 million euros.

Authorities of UNAN-Managua expel 82 students for participating in the protests against the regime of Daniel Ortega.
Sept 1,

2018

The delegation of the OHCHR leaves Nicaragua for Panama because the Government “invited them to leave” the country.

In the Jean Paul Genie roundabout in Managua groups of government party sympathizers destroy the memorial done by relatives and friends of the victims of the repression.

The National Police and members of the Sandinista Youth besiege the self-convoked inhabitants in the cities of Granada and Nandaime to keep them from marching.
Sept 2,

2018

Paramilitaries in three pickup trucks shoot at participants in the “March of the Flags” and wound two people.

Sympathizers of the party in power hold a caravan through the neighborhoods and principal streets of Managua to ask for justice against the “terrorists.”

 

Sept 4,

2018

Edwin Carcache (27 year-old) is arrested, a leader of the Movimiento Estudiantil 19 de Abril, for joining the university struggle and protesting against Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.
Sept 8,

2018

The “Balloon March” is held, convoked by parents and relatives of all the people who have been detained and face different judicial processes, principally accused of terrorism. Blue and white, the colors of the national flag, stand out.
Sept 10,

2018

Amaya Coppens (23), student leader of the Movimiento 19 de Abril, is captured in León, along with Sergio Midence Delgadillo (28), accused of the crime of simple abduction, terrorism and minor psychological injuries.
Sept 20,

2018

A Solidarity caravan for Nicaragua arrives in Peru to expose and denounce the murder and abuse that the Nicaragua people are experiencing, in the face of the worst social and political crisis that the country has experienced in the last decade.

The selective eviction of some of the so called “land invaders” begins, people who had invaded land in some cities of Nicaragua. The last report of UPANIC indicates that of the 9,800 manzanas of private property that were invaded, some 2,483 manzanas are recognized as recovered.

Sept 21,

2018

The government of Daniel Ortega orders workers (men and women) of State institutions to hold sit-ins in the principal roundabouts of the capital, to prevent the gatherings of members of the self-convened movements.
Sept 24,

2018

An arrest order is issued against Félix Maradiaga, academic and director of the Institute for Strategic and Public Policy Studies (IEEPP), who at the beginning of September denounced before the Security Council of the UN the persecution and repression of the Nicaraguan government against civil society.

 

Sept 27,

2018

The university students Elsa Valle, Elizabeth Centeno and Yuri Valerio are freed from the “La Esperanza” women´s jail, after being arrested on July 14 for protesting against the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega. Days later, Elsa Valle would reveal that she suffered a miscarriage in prison as a result of the abuse suffered during her imprisonment.
Oct 2,

2018

The House of Representatives of the US approves the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act, known as the Nica Act, a law that imposes sanctions on the government of Daniel Ortega. The legislation is opposed to international financial institutions granting loans to the government of Nicaragua and demands that measures be taken to ensure electoral transparency and the fight against corruption. In order to become law it requires the approval of the US Senate, and the approval of President Donald Trump.
Oct 4,

2018

The “National Blue and White Unity” is officially presented, composed of the different social sectors who are opposed to the regime of Daniel Ortega, among them the Civic Alliance and the Articulation of Social Movements, for the purpose of fighting for democratization and justice in Nicaragua.
Oct 9,

2018

The anti-governmental demonstrator Carlos José Bonilla is sentenced to 90 years in prison for the aggravated murder of the Policeman Jilton Rafael Manzanares, and for attempted murder of another four police officers.
Oct 14,

2018

The Police prevent the first march called for by the National Blue and White Unity (UNAB) and capture 38 people.
Oct 17,

2018

Red lipstick becomes a symbol of protest against the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega. Social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) propagate a massive digital feminist campaign called “#SoyPicoRojo” as a new form of demanding the release of political prisoners.
The National Police repress and militarize the island of Ometepe, for the purpose of capturing all those on the island who have demonstrated against the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship.
Oct 18,

2018

Amnesty International publishes the report “Instilling Terror”,6 in which a team of experts in the analysis of images, weapons and munitions show that: “During the months of June and July 2018 groups of national police in black uniforms were identified, using a wide variety of military style arms and weapons of indiscriminate impact. Among the weapons that they carried were identified AK-47 style rifles, which only use lethal munition, Russian Dragunov sharpshooter rifles, Remington M24 SWS and FN SPR rifles, that allow for precise shots over very long distances, light RPK machine guns and PKM machine guns (arms that are fully automatic, and therefore in no way applicable for public security tasks). In addition, slam gun Pistols, portable RPG-7 anti-tanks grenade launchers (…), all shot on occasions in an indiscriminate manner”.
Oct 20,

2018

The Nicaraguan Central Bank (BCN) notifies commercial Banks of the suspensión of the mechanism of online purchases of dollars. This disposition indicates that, in order to request the purchase of dollars, they must do so in writing 48 hours in advance, indicating amount, purpose and actors in the transaction. This type of measure was considered by some analysts as a type of foreshadowing of financial banking restrictions”.

6  On the “possible serious human rights violations and crimes against international law” that the Nicaraguan authorities would have committed between May 30 and September 18, see the complete report from Amnesty International Instilling Terror: From lethal force to persecution in Nicaragua (2018).

Oct 21,

2018

19 year-old university student María Alejandra Castillo García is freed, after suffering a miscarriage in the cells of El Chipote, where she was detained since Sept 23.

After Sunday Mass, after three weeks since the Police increased the harassment of the Blue and White marches, hundreds of Nicaraguans protested in the Managua Cathedral to demand the freedom of political prisoners

The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH)7 publishes a report where it reveals that the victims of the repression number 528 people killed; some 4,102 wounded; 1,609  people abducted by unauthorized armed groups, of whom 1,486 remain detained illegally or disappeared, and 21 homes of citizens destroyed due to the fact that their inhabitants protested civically and peacefully against the regime. From April 19 to this date the ANPDH has not ceased to register denouncements of abductions perpetrated by paramilitaries.

Oct 25,

2018

It is leaked that the government of Daniel Ortega will be taking 4% of the salary of each State worker for the purpose of mitigating the scarcity of funds in the party and the State.
Oct 26,

2018

Nicaraguan authorities deny entry to the authorities of the Center for International Law and Justice (CEJIL), who were trying to enter the country to meet with representatives of the IACHR for the purpose of analyzing the situation of Nicaragua.
Oct 27,

2018

President Daniel Ortega, through the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Mail (TELCOR) orders businesses that provide Cable TV services in the entire country to take off air the signal of 100% Noticias, an opposition enterprise that transmitted by cable on Channel 15, and put in its place the pro-government Channel 6.

7 This report of the ANPDH (2018) presents timely data on the victims killed during the crisis in Nicaragua for having exercised their right to civic protest.

 

Oct 30,

2018

17 political prisoners jailed in the La Esperanza National Penitentiary System for Women denounce- to their relatives and human rights organizations – that penal authorities allowed the incursion into their cell of some twenty hooded men dressed in black, who savagely beat them.
A delegation of MESENI and the IACHR request entry to the La Esperanza women´s jail to confirm the status of the health of the 17 political prisoners who were beaten. The authorities block their access.
Oct 31,

2018

The Petronic DNP gasoline station chain (Nicaraguan Distributor of Oil) changes their corporate image after the economic losses that the business suffered based on the campaign against them disseminated in social networks. Its current name is PETROCEN. This business is a partner of the Venezuelan oil Company

and is connected to relatives of the rulers of Nicaragua.

Nov 1,

2018

Rosario Murillo announces the creation of a policy of peace, and a bill called “Law of National Reconciliation”; the interpretation of the opposition of these measures is that their true objective is to prepare the conditions to promulgate a general law of amnesty which would leave the crimes committed during the crisis unpunished.

 

Nov 2,

2018

Alex Vanegas, known as the marathon runner, is violently arrested for the sixth consecutive time. This time his “crime” consisted in depositing flowers on the tombs of the victims of the repression. Alex, at 61 years of age, has run in different parts of Managua wearing a blue and white shirt – the colors of the national flag – in demand for freedom for the political prisoners of the dictatorship.
Nov 6,

2018

The Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation (FVBCH)8 releases a systematization 9 on cases of the violation of freedom of the press where they reported that between April 18 and October 18 there were 420 violations against freedom of the press in Nicaragua.
Nov 7,

2018

The Prosecutor´s Office demands 21 years in prison for nine students of the UNAN-Managua who survived the attack on the Divina Misericordia Church on July 14th and were later arrested. They are found guilty for the crimes of terrorism and illegal arms possession.
Nov 8,

2018

COSEP presents a report monitoring economic activities in Nicaragua10 that reveals that between April and Sept of this year 417,000 people have lost their Jobs or have been suspended from their places of work.
Nov 26,

2018

The 62 year-old defender of human rights, Ana Quirós, is arrested and expelled from Nicaragua. Epsy Campbell, the Vice President of Costa Rica, reports hours later that Ana was taken to the border post at Peñas Blancas, where she was received by Costa Rican authorities.
Dec 13,

2018

The National Police without a warrant searches the offices of CENIDH, the Institute for the Development of Democracy (IPADE), the Leadership Institute of the Segovias (ILS), the River Foundation, and Popol Na, all of whom previously had been stripped of their legal status by the National Assembly.
The National Police attack and loot the newsrooms of the communications media Confidencial, Esta Semana and Esta Noche, of the journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro.

8 The Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation is a civil society organization that works for the defense and establishment of freedom of press and information in Nicaragua.

9 Journalism in the Americas: “Nicaraguan organization reports 420 violations to the freedom of the press in the last six months”, November 7, 2018, available in Spanish at https://knightcenter.utexas.edu/es/blog/00-20318-organizacion-nicaragueense-reporta-420-violaciones-contra-la-libertad-de-prensa-en-los

10 See monitoring of business news of COSEP, November 9, 2018, available at http://www.cosep.org.ni/index.php/comunicaciones/monitoreo-de-medios/6754-monitoreo-de-noticias-empresariales-9-de-noviembre-de-2018

 

Dec 19,

2018

The IACHR reports that MESENI and the GIEI, entities responsible for monitoring the human rights crisis in Nicaragua, are suspended temporarily by the government of Nicaragua.
Dec 21,

2018

GIEI presents in Washington a report that concludes that there is no evidence of a coup, but there was a strategy of repression carried out with the knowledge of high representatives of the Nicaraguan government.

The Police raid the television station 100% Noticias and dismantle the studios and transmission equipment; in addition, they suspend their transmissions, based in Managua. In the operation its director, Miguel Mora, is detained, and the journalist and press director, Lucía Pineda Ubau.

Jan 9,

2019

Rafael Solís, magistrate of the Supreme Court, resigns from his post in that branch of the State, and also his militancy in the FSLN. In a letter sent to Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, Solís points to the increase in violence and repression against the population and a complete party takeover of the Judicial Branch in Nicaragua.
Jan 11,

2019

The OAS holds an extraordinary session to analyze whether to apply or not the Democratic Charter to Nicaragua in the face of the social and political situation the country is experiencing, while understanding that basic freedoms and citizen rights are being violated.
Feb 16,

2019

The regime of Ortega reports that it had held an encounter with a group of private businessmen in the presence of two prelates of the Catholic Church, in order to “begin a negotiation” on important issues for the country.

 

Feb 18,

2019

Edgard Altamirano López, Judge of the Ninth District Penal Court of Managua, sentences to 216 years and three months of jail the peasant leader Medardo Mairena, who participated in the National Dialogue as part of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy. In the same sentence the peasant leader Pedro Meña is given 210 years in prison, and Luis Orlando Icabalceta 159 years.
Feb 21,

2019

To overcome the social and political crisis that the country is experiencing since April 2018, Daniel Ortega calls for some negotiations to take the place of the National Dialogue.
Feb 26,

2019

The Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy announces a preparatory session in light of the installation of a negotiating table with the government. In their press release,11 the Civic Alliance explains that their agenda is “(…) the freedom of political prisoners and the re-establishment of freedoms, rights and guarantees, established by the Constitution.”
Feb 27,

2019

A National Dialogue begins with representatives of the government and the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, but without the participation of President Daniel Ortega. A few hours before the start of the dialogue, the government reports that a hundred political prisoners have been released.
March 15,

2019

A second group of political prisoners is freed. Their release happens after the Civic Alliance threatened to abandon the negotiating table that seeks to resolve the social and political crisis that Nicaragua is experiencing.
March 16,

2019

More than 160 people are detained in Managua while they gather to participate in a protest called by the UNAB to demand the release of political prisoners. The people detained are set free after several negotiations carried out by the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, as well as by the Apostolic Nuncio Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag.
March 29,

2019

As part of the National Dialogue begun between members of the Civic Alliance and representatives of the government of Daniel Ortega, an agreement is signed12 that includes the freedom of all political prisoners and respect for constitutional and citizen rights.
March 31,

2019

UNAB declares itself to be in permanent mobilization and calls for the Nicaraguan population to hold campaigns of “express picket lines13 to demand justice from the government of Daniel Ortega and freedom for people jailed for political reasons.

11 To learn more about the preparation campaign of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, see the complete press releases published on Feb 26, 2019: Preparing ourselves for the start of the negotiations- in Spanish at (https://www.alianzacivicanicaragua.com/preparandonos-para-el-inicio-de-la-negociacion/).

12 The agreement “to strengthen citizen rights and guarantees” establishes the commitment to comply with at least 10 constitutional principles in a term not longer than 90 says.

13 The “express picket lines” were called by the National Blue and White Unity (UNAB) as a form of protest that protects the safety of the demonstrators, after the National Police prohibited the blue and white protests throughout the national territory.

April 5, 2019 50 political prisoners are released by the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega, who were detained in the La Modelo jail for men in Tipitapa.
April 10,

2019

The journalists Lucia Pineda Ubau and Miguel Mora have spent 110 days of forced enclosure in the El Chipote jail, after having been detained arbitrarily for bravely exercising their profession. Lucía and Miguel live their captivity under inhumane conditions, to which is added a judicial process that has been postponed three times.
May 20,

2019

The negotiations of the National Dialogue between the representatives of the government and members of the Civic Alliance are suspended with the murder in the La Modelo jail of the political prisoner Eddy Montes,14 who is shot by one of the guards.
June 11, 2019 The regime of Ortega and Murillo release 56 political prisoners, among them the journalists Lucía Pineda Ubau and Miguel Mora. Nevertheless, police agents continue detaining youth who participated in the protest demonstrations, which is why there is more than a hundred people detained according to human rights organizations.
July 13,

2019

The 22 year-old student María Guadalupe Ruiz is detained, for having participated in student protests against the regime of Ortega and Murillo. She is currently the only woman who is in jail for political reasons, in addition to the 120 political prisoners who remain in jails in Nicaragua. The regime refuses to release them, in some cases denying they are jailed or accusing them without proof of committing common crimes.

14 See the article: This is how the murder of Eddy Montes happened, according to the accounts of freed political prisoners. Available in Spanish at https://www.laprensa.com.ni/2019/05/21/nacionales/2551494-asi-ocurrio-el-asesinato-de-eddy-montes-segun-los-relatos-de-los-excarcelados-politicos

 

July 31,

2019

The regime officially notifies the Vatican and the OAS of the end of the negotiations, entities that were mediators and witnesses of the process, through which the release of political prisoners is partially fulfilled and the agreement for the restitution of citizen freedoms is completely unfulfilled. The agreements on democratization and electoral reforms are also left without effect; the issue of justice, truth, reparation and non-repetition, as well as their respective mechanisms for implementation, among them the safe return of exiles, freedom of expression, restitution of legal status and assets confiscated from non-governmental organizations; disarming the para-police forces and the full autonomy for universities, municipalities, and regional governments of the Caribbean Coast.

 

 

[1]   Social Communicator and assistant researcher in the Interdisciplinary Institute of Social Sciences (IICS-UCA).

VIII Anniversary of the Passing of Comandante Tomás Borge to Immortality and Celebration of Labor Day (April 30, 2020)

This speech, though long, is significant because it provides the perspective of Daniel Ortega on the current situation, since he has had very few public statements since the advent of the pandemic. Opposition leaders in the Civic Alliance have been very critical of the government for lack of transparency around the incidence of the coronavirus, and not implementing the recommendations of the WHO,  and therefore has not been eligible for international financing to mitigate the economic impact of the virus that other Central American countries have already received. Here he calls for sanctions to be lifted, reads a long report from the Ministry of Health that focuses on the other causes of mortality in society, and accuses those advocating for people to stay at home of being the same ones who promoted what he calls a ¨Military coup attempt”  in April 2018. By the examples he uses he implies that his opponents want essential workers to stay at home as well.

VIII Anniversary of the Passing of Comandante Tomás Borge to Immortality and Celebration of Labor Day (April 30, 2020)

Speech by Daniel Ortega

[original Spanish; capital letters as reflected in the original document]

Good afternoon, Brother and Sister Nicaraguans, Families of these Blessed Lands of Diriangén, Nicarao, Darío, and Sandino.

Today we celebrate 8 years of the Passage to Immortality of our Brother, Comandante Tomás Borge. He was fighting even before the Sandinista Front was founded. Now in the years of 1956, when Rigoberto brought the tyrant imposed by the Yankees and killed Sandino to justice, Tomás, a young law student, was captured with Ausberto, Edwin Castro, Cornelio Silva; [the tyrant] who later killed Cornelio, Ausberto and Edwin, the father of Edwin, our Compañero Head of the Sandinista Front Bench in the National Assembly. Tomás was already there, fighting. And Carlos, who was a boy studying in High School, going into the streets to demand the freedom of Tomás, with other Youth.

So it is that this day, on the eve of May 1st, Day of the Workers of the World, Workers of the Formal Sector who are less and less every day, to the extent that Industrial Activity becomes automated, less Workers. There are Enterprises where there already are robots, and only one or two people, making sure the robot functions properly. And the Workers of that Enterprise already disappeared.

That is why Informal Employment has grown so much. They are Workers! In other words, that way of thinking, that the only Workers are those in the Formal Sector, does not make sense, because Capitalism itself has taken responsibility, in its development, of creating unemployment, first, when machines began, when Industry, the Industrial Revolution, and the Workers, desperate, took to destroying the machines there in Europe, in England; desperate, they saw machines as an enemy that was coming to take their jobs away.

Of course, in the end machines were imposed, which created an immense amount of unemployment in the Developed Countries, and now in these Times, in the Times of State of the Art Technology, where large industries are becoming automated, vehicles where Workers are not involved either, but are being assembled by the robots that are there in the factory.

That is why on the eve of May 1st, we greet all the Workers of the World, and those Workers who are not recognized as such, Women who even in the capitalist Countries are denied the Right to work…And how much it cost them to achieve that Right! And then, to work, but with a difference in terms of the men. And that Woman working in the Home as well, as if the work of the Home is not work, as if the work of providing Love is not work, caring for the children, as if it is not work to be washing and ironing. Mothers who even are mother and father, and who have to be cooking, and others who are able to get a job, and have to leave in the early morning to work.

So it is that our Greeting is for all the Workers of the World, those who are still in the Formal Sector, who are less and less, as well as those who are left in the Informal Sector, who are more and more.

And well, the Workers who are logically in Field Activities, the Farmers, the Producers of food, in our case, in our Country, are Workers who are getting up in the hours of the early morning. In some farms still, there are many Farms here of Extensive Ranching, with traditional practices, where now at 3 or 4 am the Workers go out, they are called “Fieldhands” in the farms. These Fieldhands are Honorable Workers , they saddle up the horses and go out to the Field to bring in the cattle for milking. They are Farm Workers, like those who participate in the preparation of the land, in planting, for the production of Basic Grains, for the production of Vegetables.

And the Workers who are in the State, at the service of the Population, and I would say there, in the most sensitive tasks are Heath Workers, it is the most sensitive task, because it deals with watching over Life, the Health of Nicaraguans. And Teachers. Without Education, without Culture, there is no Future, and these Teachers ensure us Education and Culture.

And these two large Labor Forces are fundamental for Stability, for the Security of the Country, those who are Workers, Soldiers in the Army, Workers in the National Police.

And the Workers of the Ministry of the Interior who are in the tasks of protecting everything that has to do with movement through the Country. And well, we go also with the Compañer@s of Customs, they do not rest, the Custom Workers, those who are in the Border Posts, land as well as those in the Ports, Airports, working tirelessly there.

Even on the days when we are at rest, they have to always be there, in the Health Sector as well as the Army, Police , like the Compañer@s who work in the Border Posts, in Customs and Immigration, they have to be ensuring those Activities. They do not have the complete rest that Holidays provide.

Then we have also the Brothers and Sisters who drive Ambulances. There they go running with the Ambulances to bring life to the people who suffered an accident, be it a car accident or an accident of one of their organs, who suffered a heart attack, who suffered a drop or rise in their sugar. They go running to take them Alive to the Hospital, and so that in the Hospital they can save their Lives.

And how many Workers in different Activities, Firemen, likewise, who are always ready to treat, with the vocation that they have, with that passion they have, to treat fires, the fires that we have here in Nicaragua, fires are all over the World, every day more fires, they have to do with the imbalances that the development of Capitalism has caused in the Planet.

Just as it has sent into unemployment millions and millions of Human Beings in the time of the bonanza of Capitalism, not even talking about when crises come, then the Workers are in the streets. They are not capable of taking money from their immense fortunes to maintain the Workers…No, they fire them and that is it!

This is what is being experienced at these times in the World, Savage Capitalism sending Workers into unemployment, beginning with the Pandemic. Many capitalists like the Pandemic very much, logically the most powerful of whom are doing the numbers to take over the Enterprises that can no longer resist and whose values fall; so they are already ready to launch a blow and accumulate more wealth. And if that wealth is concentrated in these times in a minority, after this situation that the World is experiencing, that minority is going to be much smaller that is going to take over Capital.

With the exception, logically, of the Countries where Projects of a Social Orientation, a Christian Orientation are moving forward. Christianity, its essence is demanding justice, defending the poor… Christ said it well: it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Reign of Heaven. This is what he said, this is what he said. This is the Force of Christianity, the Force of Christ.

And we meet people who adore the golden calf,  there are always those who adore the golden calf, the pharisees, the priests who adore the golden calf and kiss the feet and lick the feet of the Empire. They are the same ones who Jesus Christ went to remove from the Temple at whiplash, and he called them “whitened sepulchers.” That is what he said to them. Human Nature, Human Wretchedness, falsifying Values.

But the People, they do have that Spirit, they have that push, and for that reason so many battles, so many struggles have been fought in the World, and continue being fought. In these moments a battle is being waged, where Savage Capitalism wants to take advantage of this Pandemic to exercise greater control over Wealth, and impose its tyranny with more force, because Savage Capitalism is a tyranny that is disguised, like the false priests, is disguised as Democracy.

So they want to take advantage of this situation. What for? To exercise greater control, and we are seeing how they are acting, in the midst of this situation intensifying sanctions against Peoples, sanctions which are attacks. Because no International Organization of the United Nations has approved any sanctions against Cuba; on the contrary, the United Nations has pronounced that the blockade on Cuba be lifted.

Year after year the immense majority of the Countries in the United Nations, with two exceptions, have voted that it be lifted, but because Democracy is not respected, and since what has been installed in the World is the tyranny of Savage Capitalism, so the United Nations is worthless, it is worthless, because the votes of more than 190 Nations are not respected, which is the average of those who vote to lift the blockage against Cuba.

Taking advantage of this circumstance, the spokespeople for Savage Capitalism, in order to attack with more rage, violence, venom the Brother People of Venezuela, taking measures which are completely demented, which show what Martí named well, when he said, “I know the monster, because I live in its bowels.” Because he lived in the United States and knew the monster well, Martí defined it in this way.

It is the monster striking blows on all sides, taking advantage of a tragedy. For what purpose? To try to destroy Cuba, try to destroy Venezuela, try to destroy Nicaragua…Yes! And it attacks Countries which are Countries now of greater weight, it is striking out in a total confrontation.

Our Solidarity, on this day, with the People of Cuba, with the People of Martí, of Fidel, our Solidarity with the Government of Cuba led by Compañero Miguel Díaz-Canel, and under the direction always of Comandante Raúl Castro, Victorious Comandante.

And our Solidarity with Brother Nicolás Maduro. Today Nicolás sent a Message of Greeting on the anniversary of Tomás. Nicolás was here for the funeral services of Tomás, he accompanied us in the Plaza, he was there, and how much we are grateful to Nicolás for that Message. And as we said to Nicolás what affection and love that the Nicaraguan People have for the Bolivarian Revolution, the Venezuelan People, Comandante Chávez, under the mantle of Bolivar who covers all of us.

And Nicolás leading that battle, one of the hardest battles that any Government in our America has faced against the Empire, and where it is able to fight in a victorious manner. And the barbarians have gone to the extreme of deploying their warships there in the zone, under the pretext that they are fighting drug traffickers.

Let them fight the drug trafficking in the United States! There are the biggest drug traffickers in the World, in the United States, because there is the largest consumption in the World. And who are the ones who move the drugs in the Neighborhoods of US Cities? Who are moving them? Who are enriching themselves? How many Yankee officials bought off? How many Yankee Policemen bought? But if they themselves show them in the movies they make, the FBI, the DEA, they make their movies and  they themselves show there the way in which their agents are bought, in the United States.

And with what arrogance that demonstration of force in these moments in which the World is dealing with a tragedy. Yes, it is a tragedy because, well, it is true that the World has confronted a lot of tragedies, this is one more tragedy, how many times wars, World Wars, wars in certain areas have caused enormous damages, death to Humanity, and all of a sudden this epidemic appears.

And instead of the Government of the United States assuming a constructive attitude, assuming leadership in the United Nations and saying, “This is the moment to suspend sanctions, this is the moment to unite efforts to confront this Epidemic which is affecting all of us, the Developed Countries and the Developing Countries, the rich Countries and the poorer Countries, the Epidemic affects all of us.” They have not done that, what they have done is throw punches everywhere, and throw slander around, like that one of offering rewards[1].

What is it that they want? A reward to kill the legitimate President of Venezuela. This is an openly criminal attitude of the US Government, be offering that millions of dollars. For what purpose? So that they kill the President Nicolás Maduro and other Officials of the legitimate Government of Venezuela.

They are doing it openly, blatantly. And where is the United Nations? What does the United Nations say? And where are the Countries that say they are respectful of Democracy and defenders of Human Rights? What greater violation of Human Rights? Who has given the Yankee Government the right to be going around offering rewards for killing Rulers of the World? Really this has not been seen, from what I remember, as brutal a moment as now had not been seen before.

They have been accustomed to committing their crimes, well, offering rewards when situations have happened, like the acts of terrorism that we condemned, there in the [Twin] Towers. They offered a reward afterwards for Bin Laden, the people of Bin Laden who they themselves had trained, they trained the terrorists that later blew up their Twin Towers.

We have to unite Peoples to continue defending the Right to Self Determination, to Sovereignty for the Peoples of the World, and demand Unity, respecting diversity, that Unity of Nations, respecting diversity in terms of Military Powers, Economic Powers, and Countries with small Economies. For what purpose? To unite efforts, and that passes through suspending first of all acts of aggression that the Government of the United States is launching, aggressions of every type, opening and reheating wars, a trade war.

Which it is doing in these moments with China. The latest, the US Government announcing that it is going to take sanctions against China; in other words, at the last minute trying to cover up what came to light with this Pandemic. And that is that, that powerful Nation, with so many resources, with so much wealth, was left naked, in terms of its enormous deficiencies in Health matters… There are no beds! There are no respirators! There are no masks! They are fighting over them, they are snatching them up. Suddenly, a Country bought masks there, and they ran to buy them, to offer more in order to end up with the masks. This is a thing of mortal madness. They are the barbarians of the Modern Epoch. It is Attila destroying the World.

They do not realize that this is destroying a great Nation, and they are destroying that great People, but we already know, nothing is eternal, and I am sure that changes will have to be made in the United States. The ideal would be that the current Government of the United States would dare to take one step forward, to act really with courage and assume leadership, respecting all Nations and suspending all aggression. That would really be what would win respect for the United States of North America. I hope they reflect and do it, because it would be the best sign that the World could be receiving to continue confronting this Pandemic.

We have received a Letter from the Network for the Defense of Humanity, Network of Intellectuals, they are organized for some time now, where in the face of these acts of terror, of terrorism, the face of the defamatory campaigns that are launched against our Peoples, they say, “Not only do we refute this infertile and mean-spirited method, but in addition we forcefully reject the disrespectful and unfounded descriptions, and we call for an in depth debate of all the ideas that really would help to overcome the threats that hang over Humanity during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

The Message says, the Letter that they have sent us, “It is our desire to communicate to You, one of the Presidents alluded to in the libel of the International Foundation for Freedom…” They are people from the Right who continually meet and publish their Proclamations, dispensing fire on People, of course, they are instruments of the Empire.

So they say that what is proper here, in any case, is to debate, in a positive sense, to do an assessment of the social and ecological holocaust produced by the Policies that the signers of the libel preach, embody and publicize.

“Discussing the comparative merits for everyone of the selfishness and unfettered individualism, in the face of the Ethics of Solidarity and the Economy of Good Living.

Debating about what would sustainable modes of production and just production relationships be in the World that is coming, that will no longer be the prior one.”

Certainly it will not be the world prior to the virus, because the great failure has been revealed, the great disaster of the summit of World Capitalism, in the Health System which is what is most felt, which is what is most cherished by a People,  it is the Life of the US People, and there are no beds! The stories are on US television itself.

Yes, there are big Hospitals, we already know that, but how much does it cost to go into one of those Hospitals? How many North Americans can have access to one of those Hospitals? And the Health System in the United States has been debated, it has been an issue of deep debate, and that Policy of privatizing Health has been imposed.

And here we have the results: Who can go to a Private Hospital here, and say, look, treat me? Let´s see, pay first, or provide your credit card. That is what they tell them in a Private Hospital here. The patient could arrive dying there, and it is not a matter that they are going to say to him, go ahead, we are going to treat you. The Sacred Principle that Doctors have is not respected, it is not respected, nor what a Hospital should have. You simply look where? To the State Hospital, to the Hospital of the People, and that is why we have made so many investments in the Field of Health.

This explains, note well, that in the midst of all this situation, where logically you have to treat, deal with this new Epidemic…How many epidemics have we not confronted! Well, I was born in La Libertad, Chontales, there in Chontales is my Town, in La Libertad, when I was born my older brothers had already died, my older sister, Germania, who had died at the age of 4; afterward a boy was born, he was the second, Sigfrido is the name my father gave him, inspired by the novel of the Nibelungs, of the Germans, a Hero, Sigfrido, and they named him Sigfrido. Likewise Sigfrido died, at an earlier age than Germania. They are there in the cemetery of La Libertad, there are the tombs of the two, the boy and the girl.

What did they die of? Of these epidemics. They called it in those times Whooping Cough, the children ended up suffocated, of course, it sounded like a whistle, a noise there, so popularly they called it Whooping Cough. I am talking about the 1940s. The children, victims, and my parents did not have the possibilities to take them to a Health Center or a Hospital, simply there, as best they could…

My father worked in the Mining Enterprise, he had gone there, he had gone from around Masatepe. My father had been born in Masatepe, in the corners of Masatepe, son of a Peasant woman, in a hut of straw. This Peasant woman was a cook in the home of my grandfather, my grandfather had resources, he was the Director of the Institute in Granada, he was married to a woman from Granada, he had standing. Well, they were married, they had no children, and suddenly my grandmother the cook started showing she was pregnant, and she left to have my father there in the corners, because logically she could not continue working there. So afterwards my father left for La Libertad, looking for work there, where he found my mother and there were born those two children who died from those very epidemics.

And I was telling you that, here we are waging the struggle, seeking the balancing point, For what purpose? So that we might confront the epidemic as all epidemics are confronted, maintaining the norms that the Health Authorities order, while vaccines are found. Because this happens with epidemics, epidemics hit hard, and vaccines do not exist, because a new epidemic appeared, H1N1, the last one, before this one, that caused a lot of deaths.

So, well, be fighting there with the epidemic while treatments are found, in accordance with the knowledge that already exists, the experience that one has, what treatments can be applied to be able to protect the most vulnerable People, and that this cause the least number of victims, of deaths. That is what we have done.

It is impossible that there not be deaths, it is impossible that there not be People who are infected, why? Because we are connected, the World is interconnected. The epidemic did not originate here, it is true, it was there in the People of China, in Wuhan, but then there is communication, and the people who come and the people who travel, Nicaraguans who at the time the epidemic started were in places where it was already beginning to spread, who were in Europe or were now in the United States, and then traveled here to Nicaragua, then already were bringing in the virus, and no one knew they were bringing the virus, because we were not yet in a state of Alert as later the WHO declared, the World Health Organization, that declared the Pandemic on March 11th.

All this began already since December of last year, it had begun, take note, but where was the great Medical Science of the United States? Where were the Health Authorities of the United States and the Developed Countries? Where were they? It simply was advancing, advancing, and suddenly when they realized it, there was contamination all over, and the Developed Countries were contaminated, and so they took extreme measures.

But in spite of that people moved, here in Central America, for example, the Brother Central American Countries have prohibited the passage of People between our Countries, only Commerce and trucks, logically passing through the controls that they have to pass through; but it is very difficult to prevent people from passing through trails, in the World, not just here, in the World, all over, and so there goes the contamination.

And in the midst of this situation, notice, we have had 4 People die, and I believe in total there are 14 people infected. A number of cases have been treated who have been taken into isolation to give them treatment, and then do exams on them there on whether they have the virus or not. And extreme measures have been taken in what has to do with International Air Travel, and we logically have to join this type of Measures, where simply, what is proposed? That a person who comes from another Country, come with the Certificate that they did the exam on that person there, and the person is not bringing Coronavirus.  He came to Nicaragua and here he is given another checkup, because it is said that at times the Technology in the tests does not work well, and the exams fail and give the wrong diagnosis. So that is what we are proposing.

Ah but there are some Countries that want to send us people without those conditions…They impose those conditions there, but we already know what Country it is and what Countries those are. Here they want to send people, and there we are sending them some Notes: Yes, they can come, but fulfilling all these Requirements. Pilots fulfilling these Requirements, complying with the Norms, not ones that we are inventing, they are the ones that they have invented, they have invented them. The Measures that they have invented are very strict. So, it is fine, we have Rights as well, to defend our population, to apply that as well, and we have told them that.

We have been in the Meetings where the issue of Air Transport has been dealt with, with World Organizations, and there you have been as well, and you know how the issue has been debated, and where we are going in terms of the Measures that have to be taken, so that a greater contamination does not happen if air traffic is not controlled, when air traffic is reopened, but air traffic has not been reopened yet.

There they sent us, before the Pandemic was decreed, they sent us like 70 Nicaraguans in a flight, and of course, since there was no Pandemic yet, we did not do it, the pestilence already was there, but it was proposed that they would do the test, this and the other, and at the last minute they did not do the test, they did not do the test! In other words, the US Authorities did not do the tests and sent us 70 Nicaraguans who were coming from those jails, Detention Centers which are jails.

There is a news report now, where there is a Nicaraguan who left in the 80s for there, and they received him as a political exile, he now is 70 some years old, and the poor man is in a wheel chair and cannot move himself, and his wife desperate because they are throwing him out. They gave him the status of an exile, and they have him stuck in there, where they are not reviewing those people who are stuck there. What the Yankees have there is a little concentration camp. It is a concentration camp! They have no reason to be jealous of the concentration camps of Adolf Hitler.

Read the story. It is in a US newspaper. The people are desperate, all on top of one another, hundreds of immigrants all crammed in, and all feel that they already have the disease, and no one is treating them. They are demanding attention, and the Authorities themselves say that there is no way to treat them. In other words, they are really dramatic situations where the Human Rights of the people that they have are not being respected, of the Citizens who they have in the places where they have put them one on top of the other, there overcrowded.

So, note well, I was telling you that, here we are waging the battle, taking into account International Norms, that is our starting point, but without falling into extreme, radical  Measures, which would be to kill the Country, they would kill the Country, they would kill the People. So maintaining normal Activities, observing the Norms, taking Special Measures with the most vulnerable people.

Here is what we have in this period: On March 18th the first case was reported, as of today now 14 people have been treated; many more have been treated, but the virus has been found in 14 people, the virus has been confirmed in 14, and follow up has been given to 162 people, until ensuring that the virus did not exist, the virus was not there, there were other problems that they had, but they had indications in Health that were concerning to them, and they sought treatment, to see if they had the Virus.

So, in this fight 971,443 Families have been visited, where Prevention Talks were offered to 3,336,096 Citizens, People. This Report is from yesterday, now we have reached 4 million with that was done in the rest of yesterday and today. 18,891 Talks on Preventive Measures have been offered in Health Units. Fumigations with Clorox have been done in 29 Markets, 31 Bus Terminals, 137 Transportation Units, 427 Schools, and 187 Health Units.

Notice closely, if we say to people, stay at home, who is going to fumigate? If we say stay at home, what Nurse is going to work? Hey, they have Rights too, and if you stay, I am staying as well. What doctor is going to work? What Police is going to work? What Soldier is going to work? That is why I say to you, the Country is destroyed! Through that way the Country is destroyed, and those who have had this discourse, are the same ones who wanted to sink the Country in April of 2018, and that always take advantage if there is a fire like the one in the Indio Maíz; now they are taking advantage of the Epidemic. For what purpose? So that the Country be destroyed, thinking that if the Country is destroyed, they are going to survive, they do not realize that here no one is left, and they are the ones with that discourse.

Then, Clorox has also been distributed, 10,325 pounds of Clorox in homes and Health Units. I was telling you that, since March 11th until April 29,th 4 Citizens have died. Homes in which BTI has been applied, which is for Dengue. What I mean to say by this is that we have not stopped the battle against the other Epidemics, because if we focus only on Coronavirus, and we do not treat the other Epidemics, suddenly all the Pestilences will rain on us, and then yes it would be a death toll in the Country; so the other Pestilences also have to be treated.

Rat control in homes to fight rats. Rat urine, when it has Leptospirosis, kills. You pick up a piece of fruit from the ground, that was urinated on by a rat…I remember a Brother Cuban General who was here in the 90s, he had been here before, he was healthy, we were talking, he returned to Cuba, and in days passed away. He picked up some guayabas and they had been urinated on by a rat. It was devastating, a devastating Leptospirosis!

So, you have to protect the population from all evils, all the pestilences that are circulating, because they circulate all over. And that is why vaccinations, in other words, we got into vaccines, Vaccinations had to be done. Here we have the data of Vaccinations, afterwards we will give you the data on Vaccinations.

Then we have in this battle against COVID-19, 21,707 Health Workers have been directly involved in Actions, and indirectly 15,952, for a total of 37,659. In other words, the Health Workers have not gone home, if they go home, there COVID-19 rains on us and all the other evils begin to multiply, until Polio would reappear that we were able to eliminate many years ago…Yes!

So, take note, Nicaraguan Brothers and Sisters, I was telling you last time that we should not lose sight that here in Nicaragua, like in the entire World, many people are dying now for other illnesses, and we have in this period, since the moment that the Pandemic was announced, was formalized, the Pandemic was decreed on March 11, until today April 30, we have 4 deaths from the Pandemic, but we have 2,829 deaths for all the other problems that affect our Country and all Countries.

Of course, it is understandable that the World has focused on keeping track of only those who are dying from the Pandemic, and logically a death in any part of the World hurts us, we are in solidarity with the Families who are grieving and who are suffering over the death of a relative. Yesterday we saw 3, the father, mother and daughter, 3 deaths in the United States.

So no one is keeping track of those deaths from other diseases, the deaths from traffic accidents, deaths through drownings, deaths by suicide…No one! This counting is not done, why? Because we are all focused on, and we ourselves are not talking about how many died in this, we simply are focused on the Report, because, of course, in these moments the principal enemy to attack is that, but pain is also in all these other Families.

Deaths by acts of violence, by crime, take notice, 2,829 deaths. There are heart attacks, and we are in solidarity with those Families as well. In other words, we are in solidarity with all the Families who have lost a Beloved Member in all this period as well, and at any time.

We cannot allow that these Families might believe that here our Heart is only with the person who dies of Coronavirus. We are with all the Families who have a deceased Loved One, who died from heart attacks, diabetes, kidney problems, that kidney problems that affects our Country so much, from tumors, cancer; hypertension, whose blood pressure has shot up, more so with this heat you have to be careful, because blood pressure can easily shoot up, and with an increase in blood pressure, there can be a stroke, or heart attack, easily.

Traffic accidents; cerebral vascular accidents, as I was telling you; homicides, liver insufficiency. Note that in traffic accidents in this period, from March 11 to April 29, 108 Men and 12 Women have died. How terrible! How terrible!  But we are now so poorly accustomed to traffic accidents that they no longer move us, and rather become an act of yellow journalism, and attract the curiosity and bad parts of people. Of course, there are other people who do have feelings and when they see it, it hurts them, but there are others who see it just to see blood, unfortunately they enjoy that.

Among those deceased by traffic accidents, between the ages of 13-21, 8 boys, in other words, from youth between the ages of 13 to 21, 8. Now those older than 21 year of age, 112 Victims of violence, there are homicides, femicides, patricides. There I saw on television today that they had captured the person who murdered a 19 year old girl, he killed her and threw her into a well…Terrible! Terrible! Terrible! And that is when, since they are such brutal acts, some say, you have to impose the Death Penalty!, But we are convinced that they are problems that have cultural roots, social roots, psychological roots, and that to the extent that we work more in this field, as we make more progress in this field, less crimes of this type are going to show up.

Here we have those deceased by criminal activity, 85 in total, of them 81 Men and 4 Women. In terms of age, a boy, 13 year old child; from 13-21 years of age, 8, by murder, by acts of violence, who were stabbed or shot. Older than 21 year of age, 76. This is a monstrosity, if we sit down to look at, a lot of deaths, a lot of grief in all these Families. But of course, we do not see that now, because we are all watchful of that Coronavirus, and it is right that you have to be watchful, but we cannot be insensitive to the pain that all these Families are suffering.

Imagine through drownings, from March 11 to April 29, 37 deaths by drowning. Poor Families, who were out on a trip, who were out for recreation, and well, a child or an adult drowns. 37 deaths through drowning.

By suicide, note…40 deaths by suicide! 40 deaths, 40 wakes, 40 funerals for suicide. Of them, 35 Men and 5 Women committed suicide. Of those, between 13 and 21 years of age, note, young boys, 9 suicides, in the fullness of their youth. The pain of those parents, the pain of those Families. Older than 21 years of age, 31. Look, 40 suicides!

So it is that our Condolences for all those Families of the 2,829 Brother and Sister Nicaraguans who have died from different causes in this period. Our Condolences, our Solidarity, our Love.

During this period as well, since here it was not a matter of going home, but it was a question of waging the battle, observing logically the Measures that the Sanitary Norms order, the Services offered from March 11 to April 29, and here is some Good News, Marvelous news, that makes us happy, in the fullness of the death toll, 2,829 deaths, in addition 4 more from Coronavirus, 2,833 deaths…14,571 births! Blessed be God! 14,571 births. In other words, 2,833 died, including the 4 from Coronavirus, but 14,671 were born, many more than those who died. How many times more? 7 times more, the population multiplied, Thanks to God.

Then in the Health Posts, in the Hospitals, Doctor Visits, treating the population, if not, who is going to treat those people, if the Doctors and Nurses go home? Or who is going to come if the sick stay home? To wait to die at home. Doctor visits in this period, note, in those days 2,454,522 doctor visits. The effort, work, discipline and dedication haves to be recognized of the Doctors, Nurses, Cleaning Staff, Auxiliary Staff, those Responsible for Emergency Areas, Responsible for the Ambulances, etc. Note well, 2,454,522!

Emergency Treatments, 408,230 Nicaraguans have been treated in Emergency Treatments; Doctor Treatments, 2,454,522 Nicaraguans have gone to their Doctor Visits, have sought out treatment, because they feel bad and they go for whatever problems they have, from a blow that they received, to more serious discomforts. But if they stay at home, that they might die? Are we going to tell them to stay at home and not go to the Hospital to seek treatment?

Also in this period weight and size has been measured, because this is a work that is done to monitor the nutrition of the Boys and Girls, 1,370,363 Chlldren under the age of 6 and Students of the Primary Schools of the Country, as part of the Nutritional Census. We have not stopped! We have not stopped!

Within the framework of the Vaccination Campaign, up to April 29th 1,217,960 doses of vaccine have been applied, and logically will continue to be applied, to protect Children, pregnant Mothers and Elderly against 16 diseases. If diseases are all over, and if we concentrate solely on COVID-19, then diseases attack us from the other side, and there they will devastate us. That is why it is not a question of “staying at home.”

In the period between March 11 to April 29 a total of 9,049 pregnant Women have been sheltered in Maternal Centers. Note well, these Women did not stay home, whatever they were told, they did not stay home! They are intelligent women, they know what they carry, they carry Life, they bring Life and it has to be cared for, so they go to the Center to receive treatment so that that baby that is coming can be born with all the right conditions.

Note that a total of 58,003 people were admitted to Hospitals in these days. 57,976 people were released from Hospitals, in other words, people entered the Hospitals, were given Treatment, in other cases were operated on, and when they had the conditions, the Patient then wants to go home immediately; well, there they have to wait until the Doctors decide it, and then are released.

How many days are there between March 11 and April 29? 49 days, note in 49 days everything that has happened: Deaths and births, vaccines, fumigations, medical treatment in Hospitals, operations, we are not going into the detail of the operations, because there are so many operations that are practiced.

Dialysis…737 Patients treated with Dialysis, which is very delicate, and generally there are 3 Dialysis per week, note, 3 Dialysis per week, it is very delicate work, because in each Dialysis that is applied the person runs the risk of decompensating, because there is a sweeping there in the cleaning of the toxins that also carries away the good part, so critical situations happen there with the Brothers who have to go to Dialysis because they have kidney problems.

Chemotherapy has been administered to 2,368 Patients, Why? Because they have Cancer. Hey, are they going to stay at home? Or the others that have renal problems, are they going to stay home? If they stay home and do not do Dialysis, their urea will shoot up, and they die, they die at home. So they are Lives that have been saved, Why? Because with total responsibility, with their Family and they themselves have gone to the Health Posts, Health Centers, to the Hospitals.

Then 3,870 Health Fairs were held, Mobile Clinics moved around to treat 5,656 Communities, note well. And then fumigations, 126,892 homes fumigated. There it ends.

So this is a Report about the treatment given to Nicaraguan Families in the field of Health. Here the Health System has not gone home, nor have the Patients gone home, because they would all be dead now, without their Dialysis, without their treatment in Emergency cases.

Then we have had this painful loss of 2,833 Nicaraguan Brothers and Sisters who have died for different reasons, but the Miracle of 14,000 Births, that is why we say, Blessed be God! And well, continue working, Dear Nicaraguan Brothers and Sisters.

Expressing also on this day our Solidarity with Brother Nicolás Maduro, and we send him our Message with the Strength of Tomás, with the Spirit of Tomás, that unwavering Spirit of Tomás. Because today, note well, April 30, is the one year anniversary of the Coup attempt, that was arranged, it was a plan organized by the Empire, compromising a number of Governments who were there to concentrate, and combining that with Coups, Military Coup attempt with small groups who they had penetrated there. But the Coup was defeated.

And we say to our Brother Nicolás Maduro, that we accompany him in this great battle that he is waging, a battle where the Spirit of Struggle of the Venezuelan People is put to the test, which is the same Spirit of Struggle of the Latin American and Caribbean Peoples, and that we are always together in that noble Project that Fidel and Chavez left us, ALBA; ALBA is always working there, advancing, in spite of all the aggressions that ALBA has suffered and suffers.

Dear Brother and Sister Nicaraguans, Dear Families, good evening, and to continue in this Fight for Life, in this Fight for Peace, in this Fight where the Principle of Love, this Christian Principle of loving your Neighbor as you love yourself, this is the Principle that has to move us, to continue moving forward.

And accompanying all this effort concerning what are the activities in the Production Field, of those who are working and not waiting, of those who are planting and not waiting, not setting conditions. Because the wealthy what they want is that we give them money to recover from what they “have lost”. Let them take out a bit of the money that they have accumulated, that is what they should do, and let them invest! And then, it is absurd to ask us for money as if this was a Developed Country, where they can peacefully grab 50 billion dollars and put them in programs for the rich, not for the Poor, for the rich. Printing money, of course, start printing money there.

So to continue practicing this Principle, Love the Neighbor as yourself, this Principle which is what gives us Strength, gives us Optimism, gives us the Security that we are Moving Forward, and that the World is going to Move Forward. These are moments like in other times that have been experienced. So it is that now we are going to the Mausoleum where Comandante Carlos is, Coronel Santos Lopez is, and Tomás is, to deposit a Wreath. Good evening.

 

[1] Refers to the fact that on March 26, 202 US announced a $15 million dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of Nicolás Maduro for drug trafficking.