Ortega Criminalizes Negotiators of the Civic Alliance

Alliance calls on the regime to lift sanctions imposed against the people

The lawyer specializing in constitutional law, Azahalea Solis (l), alongside student leader Alejandra Centeno (r) in a press conference of the Civic Alliance. Photo: EFE

Government launches virulent attack and accuses them of being responsible for “crimes and destructive actions”


By Juan Carlos Bow (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo has raised the level of confrontation against the members of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, accusing them on Monday, without evidence, of being “responsible and guilty of crimes and destructive actions,” during the civic protests of 2018. At the same time, governmental delegates hide themselves behind the demand to suspend possible sanctions against Nicaragua, in order not to comply with the agreements reached.

In a rude and foolish press release, read by the Foreign Minister Denis Moncada, the governmental delegates accuse the members of the Civic Alliance of being “the same characters, who last year refused, again and again, to lift the ‘roadblocks of death,’ being, therefore, identified by our people, as responsible and guilty of the crimes and destructive actions committed in that period, in the name of ‘democracy.’”

Under the argument of eliminating the roadblocks, the regime executed the so-called “Clean-up Operation” that left dozens dead and injured in several departments of the country. Overall, government repression caused at least 325 dead, thousands of injured. In addition, more than 600 citizens illegally detained and more than 80,000 Nicaraguans have fled to exile due to Ortega’s persecution.

Irrationality in a press release

The dictatorship speaks in its document that the members of the Civic Alliance “imposed” by “blood and fire” the quartering of the National Police, although at no time did police agents and Ortega’s paramilitary forces stop their illegal operations.

The irrationality of the press release reaches its highest point when it states that during the supposed police quartering the “greatest outrages were committed, including death, fires, kidnappings, torture, perversion and satanic rites, in the best style of the inquisition, invoking also exorcist practices.”

Jose Pallais, a member of the Civic Alliance negotiating team, told Confidencial via telephone that during recent days, the government’s delegates have raised the tone of the insults and threats against them, and that the confrontation “is at levels that we had not seen until now.”

The coup d’état returns

Pallais said that the regime’s representatives are “uncontrolled” and have taken up the claim, without grounds, that in Nicaragua a “coup d’état” was attempted, although various international organizations such as the European Parliament and the United Nations have ruled out that theory.

“We have denounced and continue to denounce on behalf of our people, before the world, all the perverse practices, humiliation, cruelty, degradation, racism and terrorist infamy that we got to know, suffered and defeated, during the failed coup attempt,” affirms the Ortega regime in the press release, without showing a single piece of evidence.

It adds that “these coup practices were directed, financed, and coordinated with diligent supervision, by those who today from the table, intend to continue imposing their vices.”

“The Government has resumed its narrative, of a supposed coup d’état (…) accusation which is groundless. They are using it again simply to confuse public opinion, to blame us for something that never happened, which makes no sense,”  said Carlos Tunnermann, a member of the Civic Alliance.

Suspension of the Nica Act

In addition to throwing out absurd accusations, the regime has linked any progress in the national dialogue to the demand that the Civic Alliance request the international community suspend any future sanctions against the country.

Let the sanctions come! ¿Are the sanctions really coming?

The government says that it expects, in the negotiations, a consensus for a “call for the suspension and cessation of unilateral and illegal measures, known as sanctions, that affect all sectors of the Nicaraguan people. We are referring to the Nica Act and the threats and coercive and restrictive measures, contrary to law and to international charters and conventions.”

The government intensified its demand to suspend the Nica Act, a few hours after its delegates and the Civic Alliance had almost agreed to the early release of some 232 political prisoners—belonging to a reconciled list—and the restoration of public freedoms, such as the right of expression and demonstration. This was a proposal presented by the Nuncio Waldemar Sommertag and the representative of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Angel Rosadilla, witness and guarantors of the negotiations, respectively.

The United States approved the Nica Act last December, which provides for individual sanctions for regime officials, as well as conditions for loans to the Government by international financial institutions such as the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

Lifting of sanctions

Foreign Minister Moncada told journalists that lifting the sanctions “is an essential and fundamental point, on which we must really make agreements on before entering and continue discussing other points and other issues.”

Juan Sebastian Chamorro, a Civic Alliance negotiator, emphasized that they do not have the “power” to change the sovereign decision of a Government, such as the United States, or institutions, such as the European Parliament, which recently called on the European Union to sanction the Ortega regime.

“We will continue to present ourselves at the table (of the dialogue) to continue denouncing the government´s intransigence in its position to make an empty call for the suspension of sanctions, when the power to suspend the sanctions lies with the government itself,” commented Chamorro, when leaving a meeting of the Civic Alliance in the facilities of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP).

In a recent interview on the program “Esta Semana” (This Week), Chamorro said: “the lifting of sanctions would only be done in so far as the country finds the conditions previous to when these sanctions were announced, for example, the restoration of civil liberties, the release of all prisoners, freedom of expression, be able to march, to wave the flag, that democratic conditions exists, that there are free and anticipated elections.”

Ortega’s sanctions

The Civic Alliance issued a statement on Monday in which it calls on the regime to “lift the brutal sanctions it has been applying against the population since April 18 of last year. In particular, we demand the lifting of the prohibition on free expression, free mobilization and the release of political prisoners.”

“It is not through lyrical and empty appeals that sanctions will be lifted, but with real events, such as the release of the political prisoners, the restoration of rights, truth and justice and the holding of free, democratic and early elections,” mentions the statement.

Pallais asserted that the government’s demand to lift the sanctions, is “another excuse” and a “prefabricated appeal” to not comply with the agreements reached, regarding the release of political prisoners and the freedom to demonstrate.

“Ortega sanctions Nicaraguans daily. We are suffering from unemployment, poverty, lack of freedom or the rule of law, exile and prison. These are the sanctions that have to be lifted,” said the former foreign minister.