Ortega alleges that there are not 500 political prisoners, only “criminals,” but the international community has confirmed the official massacre and his brutal repression.
HAVANA TIMES – The regime of Daniel Ortega accused non-governmental organizations in the United States and the European Union of being accomplices in the “crimes” that took place in the context of protests against the government, which broke out in mid-April, leaving more than 300 dead.
“They are complicit in these crimes and they also should pay for these crimes,” he said in the “Plaza de la Revolucion” (Plaza of the Revolution), in the presence of representatives of his Council of Ministers and Foreign Ministers of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – People´s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP).
The former Ambassador of Nicaragua to the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Luis Velasquez, believes that Ortega’s accusations are “only a way out for not accepting his own responsibility, because the responsibility of what has happened here in Nicaragua belong to him fully and nobody else.”
“They have killed and imprisoned, under his command. Nicaraguans rebelled against an unjust and illegitimate government, and that same government responded with violence and bullets,” stated the former diplomat.
According to Velasquez, Ortega “is attacking organizations that have had the courage to denounce his crimes.” Ortega alleges that the hundreds of dead since April (of which the government only recognizes 199, although without identifying them) were provoked by his detractors “trained by NGOs from the United States and from Europe,” which he did not specified.
Velasquez believes, “that is an argument that dictators always make, that there are no political prisoners, only common criminals,” but he affirmed that just about “everyone here and in the whole world is clear that those (political prisoners of the regime) are prosecuted for political reasons.”
“That is the rhetoric of all dictators,” he emphasized.
The former Ambassador of Nicaragua in Costa Rica and former legislator of PARLACEN (Central American Parliament), Mauricio Diaz, labeled Ortega’s speech as “brovado,” done because “he felt backed up by the other representatives of the “Chavista axis” meeting in Managua.”
The mask fell
“What we hope for here is a constructive solution, that we do not continue in this path of uncertainty and insecurity. Commander Ortega continues to waste opportunities to do so,” criticized Diaz, for whom Ortega’s mentions in his speech of the world wars and colonialism is “pure smokescreens” and a “speech merely rhetorical, demagogical, boastful and removed from reality, with nothing to offer.”
Velasquez and Diaz agreed that international human rights organizations have already seen the use of lethal police force and government repression in its different stages: killings, persecution, criminalization of the protests and besiegement of citizens.
International human rights organizations have already come and seen the lethal use of the police force and the brutal repression. To attack others, saying that everyone is bad, except him, is even ridiculous.
Velasquez is convinced that Ortega’s goal will not prosper. “The international community is already mobilized and already knows, for the first time, with whom it is dealing with. I say this because previously the international community had given Ortega the benefit of the doubt, but now his latest actions have left him totally exposed and they are considering sanctions and other measures to isolate him, and that is moving forward independently of what he says.”
More than 550 political prisoners
Ortega said there are no political prisoners and that those imprisoned by his regime are “common criminals” being prosecuted for their crimes.
Earlier in the week, the Interior Ministry and the “Porras Commission”—formed by the National Assembly to supposedly verify the human rights violations during the crisis—also denied the existence of political prisoners and the beating suffered by the women political prisoners in the “La Esperanza” prison, reported by their relatives. Even though, until now, they have denied access (to the prisons) to national and international human rights organizations, including the Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
However, the Permanent Commission on Human Rights (CPDH) estimates the political prisoners of the regime is now more than 600 people, contrary to the 273 that the Ministry of the Interior recognizes, according to a report presented by the Deputy Minister of the Interior, Luis Canas.
The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CPDH) counts, on the other hand, 552 political prisoners, among them 507 men, 40 women, and 3 women transsexuals.