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.

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