The Ortega regime’s police, paramilitaries and fanatical followers continue to threaten the mothers and wives of political prisoners, despite the fact that their family members are in prison for their political beliefs.
By Mynor Garcia (La Prensa)
HAVANA TIMES – Julia Malbina Bermudez, wife of retired Nicaraguan army major, Tomás Maldonado, believes that the 90-day deadline the government set to free all political prisoners in the La Modelo prison is too long. She does not believe Daniel Ortega will keep his promise because many analysts and international diplomats think the dictator is a serial liar.
Maldonado, along with retired major Carlos Brenes, was also tried for terrorism for allegedly leading the barricades in Jinotepe and Diriamba during the protests between April and July of 2018.
They were also convicted for organized crime, affecting public services and for damages. The trial was held in February in the Seventh District Court of Managua. Bermudez, who lives in Jinotepe, emphasized that Ortega is not trustworthy.
“We Nicaraguans know who we are dealing with. He’s unscrupulous, a person used to lying and not keeping promises,” she said. “I don’t believe in this 90-day promise. I do not accept it.”
Maldonado is a diabetic and has circulation problems. Although he has received some medications, his health has visibly deteriorated during the eight months he has been in prison.
“The hot weather right now really affects him as a diabetic. The medications in prison are not the same as at home where there is a doctor available nearby, he can consult the doctor whenever he has a problem and he gets treatment, immediately. Not in the prison,” said Bermudez, who has a degree in nursing. She explained that diabetics need to double their consumption and that instead of three meals, they can eat up to six times a day.
The home of the retired officer is next to Jinotepe’s convention center, where Ortega’s followers regularly meet. The center is still covered with hateful graffiti, accusing Maldonado of being a terrorist, kidnapper and murderer.
Paramilitaries and the police continually harassed his family forcing Maldonado’s wife and children to abandon their home. His son Johao Maldonado, whom the regime accused of the same crimes, had to seek asylum in Costa Rica. Doña Julia is asking the Civic Alliance to seek the return of thousands of exiles with the government, and to make sure that they can return safely.
Two Brothers and Musicians Both Ailing in Ortega’s Dungeons
Doña Juana Lesage, mother of Luis Miguel, Jean Carlos and Harvin Roberto Esteban, is also insisting that Ortega free political prisoners now, instead of waiting. She says that two of her three sons are sick.
Lesage said that Jean Carlos is having problems with his eyesight and mental health. Her other son, Luis Miguel, suffers from dehydration and poor circulation.
“They’re holding Luis Miguel in the Infiernillo (Little Hell) prison. Jean Carlos is in maximum security in cell 300 and Harvin Roberto is in the 16-1 gallery—now they call it gallery 17. My boys can’t stand it any longer. They’re not just sick, they’re worn out,” she said.
Lesage also doubts the government will keep its promises and calls on the international community to intercede to free the locked-up protesters.
Ortega’s paramilitaries kidnapped these college students in August of 2018 when they were visiting their grandmother in Santa Teresa, in Carazo. After weeks of being illegally held in the infamous El Chipote interrogation prison, they were accused of multiple crimes, including terrorism. Their trial has been postponed several times.
Gilda Gago is also calling for the release of her husband, dairy farmer Domingo Lacayo, 50, who has been unjustly held in the La Modelo prison for eight months.
In his hometown of Jinotepe, Lacayo is renowned for his high-quality dairy products where he sold milk, curdled or fermented milk (leche agria), and yucca. He has been accused of terrorism and organized crime, among other crimes. Police kidnapped him on July 26 while he was buying supplies from a local veterinarian. Like the others, his wife does not trust Ortega’s representatives at the negotiating table.