Nicaraguan Police Transfer Humberto Ortega to a Hospital

Humberto Ortega, retired Army general and brother of Daniel Ortega. 

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – On the evening of Tuesday, June 11th, a contingent of police officers transferred the retired general, Humberto Ortega, to the Military Hospital in Managua to face a medical emergency, sources linked to this institution revealed.

Sources from the Military Hospital indicated that Ortega Saavedra, 77, was admitted with symptoms of having suffered a heart attack at his home, where he has been under house arrest for more than three weeks. 

On June 9, sources linked to Ortega Saavedra’s family demanded that he be given specialized care by his doctor from the private hospital Vivian Pellas, where he underwent surgery several months ago. However, under the house arrest regime, he only had his blood pressure taken by Ministry of Health doctors.   

In addition to coronary insufficiency, Ortega suffers from other ailments, including leg ulcers caused by circulatory problems, which require specialized care. 

Sources from the Military Hospital revealed that Ortega was admitted alone to the hospital, without the company of his partner Angelica, who has been helping him at home and is also under house arrest.

Warned About His Heart Problems

The coercive measure of house arrest against the former head of the Nicaraguan Army was imposed following the publication of an interview with the Argentine media Infobae, in which he stated that his older brother, Daniel Ortega, has no successors. 

Since the night of Sunday, May 19, 2024, the police have established a perimeter around the retired general’s home, and also confiscated his computers and cell phones. 

“They also suspended the freedom of his partner, who accompanies him in his home,” a reliable source  told CONFIDENCIAL. 

In the interview with Infobae, Humberto Ortega indicated that he was receiving medical treatment at the private hospital Vivian Pellas. 

“I have had severe cardiovascular events, in the context of the tense and polarized political and social conflict, and COVID, from 2018. I was urgently admitted to the Vivian Pellas Hospital in Managua. Subsequently, since December last year, I have suffered new events,” assured the retired general. 

Reported Lack of Medical Attention

A source close to his family revealed to CONFIDENCIAL on Sunday, June 9, when he had completed 21 days under “house arrest”, that he remained completely isolated and without specialized medical attention. 

“They have suspended any entry of people to his home, even close relatives, and he has also not been able to be attended by his private doctor,” the source reported. 

That same person claimed that it was a “lie” that he was receiving care from his private doctor and, on the contrary, warned that his health condition was precarious, “which could lead to a fatal outcome.” 

“A Ministry of Health doctor has come, and all he does is take his blood pressure, and the general complains because he feels that the private doctor (at the Vivian Pellas Hospital) who attended him saved his life,” he explained. 

On May 21, the police indicated that specialists from the Ministry of Health and private doctors “visited and assessed” the health of the 77-year-old former military chief. 

“They have found him stable in his condition as a coronary patient, and with other ailments typical of his age and underlying diseases,” according to the statement. 

Attack from Daniel Ortega

On the night of May 28, his brother, the dictator Daniel Ortega, appeared with his wife/VP Rosario Murillo in an event before Army and Police officers to annul a decoration given by the former Army chief on January 14, 1992, to the then US military attaché, Lieutenant Colonel Dennis F. Quinn. 

During the event, Daniel Ortega used several derogatory terms against his brother in the presence of the high command of the Nicaraguan Army, although he refused to mention his name throughout the event. 

“What a shame! A betrayal of the people! A betrayal to the homeland!” exclaimed dictator Ortega before invalidating the decoration by presidential decree. “Even back then, the Army chief had already given his soul to the devil,” he added. 

According to the source close to Humberto Ortega’s family, the retired general demands his freedom and considers that “Daniel Ortega has the power to set him free, to help resolve the national crisis.” 

 The Interview with Humberto Ortega

In the May interview with Infobae, Humberto Ortega stated that his older brother, who has been in power in Nicaragua since 2007, has no suitable successors and that in the event of his death, there will be a significant power vacuum, and elections should be called. 

“If Daniel Ortega is gone, for me, Humberto Ortega, there is no possibility that anyone from that power group can exert influence in a process,” pointed out the retired general. 

When asked if not even the president’s wife, Rosario Murillo, who is the vice president of Nicaragua, the former military chief asserted that no one. 

“No one. No one. I do not want to mention anyone in particular. Without Daniel, there is no one because, all in all, Daniel is the only historical leader who still retains the credits of that (political) struggle. Without Daniel, I find it very difficult for there to be two or three who come together,” he said. 

“Much less one in particular, and more difficult within the family. Children who have not had the accumulation of a political struggle. Not even Somoza could establish his son. With Daniel’s absence, it would be very fragile to sustain everything that has been achieved so far with great effort and enormous complexities,” he reasoned. 

His statement was taken badly at the El Carmen presidential bunker

“Humberto made a statement that must have fallen like a bomb at El Carmen: Neither Rosario nor her children nor anyone from the current power group can be the solution. If Daniel dies, they are lost, and only uncertainty and the danger of chaos would remain,” wrote Sandinista commander Monica Baltodano in an opinion article published in CONFIDENCIAL. 

“Humberto Ortega’s statement was lethal for Rosario Murillo, who has been working for seventeen years to become Daniel Ortega’s successor. She controls the Supreme Court and the Police, and has been projecting her son Laureano in the dynastic line of succession,” said the former guerrilla fighter in exile and denationalized by the regime.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.