Ortega Banks on Governing Nicaragua Until 2022

Rosario Murillo and Daniel Ortega. Managua, July 7, 2018. Photo: el19digital.com


HAVANA TIMES – President Daniel Ortega rejected in Managua on Saturday moving up the 2021 elections as a way out of the worst political crisis in Nicaragua in the last four decades and harshly criticized his opponents, whom he described as “assassins” and “coup seekers”, reported dpa.

“There will be time for elections just as the law mandates, everything has its time,” Ortega said at the side of his wife, Rosario Murillo, the powerful vice president, during a rally of supporters in Managua.

“They can’t come and change the rules overnight, simply because it occurred to a group of coup leaders. If the coup plotters want to reach the government they should seek the vote of the people,” said Ortega.

Government sympathizers at a rally supporting Ortega-Murillo on July 7, 2018. Photo: el19digital.com

Ortega’s decision contradicted what he supposedly agreed with representatives of the US government several weeks ago. At that time, several versions circulated that Ortega had agreed to make early elections in March 2019, but it was never officialized, only speculation.

The Catholic Episcopal Conference, mediators in the National Dialogue, had asked Ortega directly a month ago if he was willing to move forward with the elections. Until yesterday, no answer was forthcoming. 

In an apparent allusion to the bishops, Ortega rejected “those who throw curses and sentence us in the name of religious institutions.”

It’s the fault of those who protest

Opponents of Ortega made a human chain several kilometers long on Wednesday, July 4th.

Ortega lashed out at what the presidential couple calls “rightwing coup” supporters, who are protesting against his government and blamed them for the more than 300 murders and 1,500 injuries that have occurred in the country since mid-April.

Not one Police officer or paramilitary soldier has been investigated or charged for the killings, while scores of protestors, mostly students and other young people, are in prison, and facing trials for trumped up charges of drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism.

Unlike the Ortega government, all national and international human rights organizations blame the majority of the dead and wounded on the police and their paramilitaries.

The commander reminded his audience that Nicaragua had been progressing before the “sowers of hatred” tried to destroy the country. “It was advancing and growing economically in peace and with security, an example Nicaragua, an example. A country with few resources, very poor indeed, but with its own effort, and with international cooperation, and brotherly and sisterly peoples, of international organizations, Nicaragua was growing.” He mentioned the good roads that the government had built for the peasants.

“There are those who think about putting the chains back on the people. There are those who imagine that because the vast majority of our people are hardworking, honest, humble, they confuse humility with ignorance, they confuse humility with cowardice, and this is a humble but dignified, humble but courageous people, a people that neither surrender or sell out,” added Ortega in his speech on Saturday.

“Once again, we are waging these weeks, in all these days, a battle for peace, against the sowers of discord that Christ pointed out, there they go.”

“They are the ones who follow the example of Cain who murdered his brother Abel, and how many Cains, how many Cains financing terrorism, how many Cains financing the roadblocks, so that the families,  the communities, the regions, the municipalities drown, despair and surrender; but they do not realize that this people will never surrender!”, highlighted Ortega.

The annual “retreat” event from Managua to Masaya was cancelled

Inhabitants of Masaya behind one of the self-defense barricades. “Ortega has sold out the country.”  Stock Photo: Manuel Esquivel / laprensa.com.ni

Meanwhile, in Masaya, 27 kilometers to the east of the capital, anti-government protesters toured the city on Saturday demanding the resignation of Ortega and his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo. They also called for justice for the victims of the police and paramilitary violence.

The anti-government protesters, who keep the city virtually occupied, warned a month ago that they would not allow the entry of Ortega and his supporters into Masaya for the commemoration of the “Repliegue”, the emblematic march that, at the last minute, the government suspended for the first time in 39 years due to the political crisis.

The “Repliegue to Masaya” is an annual march of thousands of Sandinistas from Managua to the neighboring city in memory of a historic guerrilla action, at the end of June 1979, three weeks before the fall of the dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle.

Anti-government marches also took place Saturday in Granada, Moyogalpa and Rivas, media reported.