Nicaragua: COSEP Denounces “Smear Campaign”
They claim there are conspiracy plans and present cartoons by PX Molina and Manuel Guillen as proof.
By Ivan Olivares (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES — Nicaragua’s Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP) issued a statement Wednesday in which its executive committee (made up only of the presidents of chambers and associations that comprise it) gave its support to the president of this institution, Jose Adan Aguerri, in the face of an alleged “campaign” being carried out against him.
The statement doesn’t mention who is or are promoting this campaign, nor does it provide evidence for its existence. It only states that the “campaign” is founded on “anonymous sources and individual ideological standpoints” and that it is trying to “divide COSEP in order to convert them into instruments for political party interests.”
COSEP president Jose Adan Aguerri, who has led the organization for ten years straight, thanked the chambers for their support. During the press conference that was held on Wednesday, and after chairing a meeting of all 25 chambers of the employers group, Aguerri cited the cartoons that had been published in the digital newspaper Confidencial, as well as in La Prensa newspaper to illustrate some of the alleged components of this smear campaign.
When asked whether his complaint was specifically against those two independent media platforms, the business leader restricted himself to affirming that “I’m not going to get caught up in this game.”
However, the person who did accuse Confidencial director, Carlos Fernando Chamorro, and the chief editor of La Prensa, Eduardo Enriquez, was Cesar Zamora (the president of the Nicaraguan Energy Chamber), during an appearance on the “Jaime Arellano en la Nacion” TV show, which is broadcast on Channel 100% Noticias.
“This is part of a well-assembled campaign against COSEP, and especially against Jose Adan. Carlos Fernando Chamorro [also the director of TV shows “Esta Noche” and “Esta Semana”, which are broadcast on Channel 12], is the mastermind behind these attacks on COSEP and Jose Adan,” highlighted Zamora.
“In my opinion, this is a strategy. We are a means to them, in the sense that their strategy is against Daniel Ortega. They want to see Ortega out of power, and we are standing in the way. This is happening right now, because there is a chance to halt the Nica Act in the United States, if an agreement is made with the OAS,” he noted.
According to Aguerri, “they don’t want there to be an agreement with the OAS preferring instead that the Nica Act be established in full-force, and allow them to attack President Daniel Ortega. They know that COSEP stands in the middle and opposes the Nica Act, because we have publicly said so,” he asserted.
Presidents of the business chambers that supported the document backing Aguerri, stressed the fact that “the COSEP president’s public appearances and standpoints reflect the general feeling of each and every one of our business organizations, our principless and our vision for the country.”
When asked about why he had labeled a “campaign” what others would call a necessary debate for the country, based on arguments and differences of opinion about COSEP’s role in alliance with an authoritarian government, the business leader insisted on using this term, maintaining that “the difference in opinions has taken on a personal dimension and has become disqualification and accusation,” and he complained about the cartoons published in Confidencial and La Prensa.
“When certain elements link together, they begin to say that all of us businessmen are thieves… when they begin to say we are all prostitutes… I believe that we have to think about whether this is real journalism or whether this goes beyond journalism and is a campaign. This is a decision which everyone seeing this has to make their mind up about,” he emphasized.
“These people only read what they write, and they don’t find out what the rest of us are doing,” Aguerri added, claiming that recent COSEP statements tried to show what this organization has done about transparency and corruption.
Read this related post: In Defense of Public Debate in Nicaragua