Ortega Delivers 250 Russian Buses in Campaign Event

Two weeks before the electoral sham

President Daniel Ortega speaks during the delivery ceremony of some Russian buses. Taken from El 19 Digital

The strongman orders national radio and television network to synchronize for his campaign event in which he dedicated himself to taking selfies with supporters without masks.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Two weeks before the electoral sham in Nicaragua, President Daniel Ortega — who is seeking a fourth consecutive term — appeared on national radio and television to deliver 250 buses to Managua’s transportation cooperatives, taking selfies with his supporters, and announcing that another fleet of 300 buses will arriving in December to be delivered to 11 departmental capitals.

Ortega, who is characterized by being an absentee ruler and by delivering long speeches about Yankee imperialism, this time spoke little. It took him 33 minutes to thank the Russian Federation for the transport units, although he did not specify whether they were donated or acquired on credit. Then, curiously, he spent 30 minutes taking selfies with the bus owners and his supporters.

During his speech, Ortega expressed appreciation that since 2007, when he returned to power, the cooperation of the Russian Federation has been strong. Vladimir Putin has supported him in defending sovereignty, training the Police, modernizing the capital’s transportation, and recently with a supply of vaccines against covid-19.

“They have given us invaluable support in the arena of defense of our country. For what? For us to have the tools to defend peace and consequently, to defend sovereignty. We also have trade. We export products from Nicaragua, and we import products from Russia. And they have given us tremendous assistance with the vaccines against covid,” Ortega said. 

According to the president, in recent months Nicaragua has received 3.9 million doses of Russian vaccines Sputnik V and Sputnik Light, with which the Ministry of Health (Minsa) is immunizing people under the age of 30.

Ortega highlighted that from 2007 to date, 1,100 buses from the Russian Federation have arrived in Nicaragua. This time, the transportation cooperatives benefited were: Parrales Vallejos, January 21, Las Jagüitas, Camilo Ortega, Colon, Samuel Mairena, Ivan Montenegro, October 22, Divina Luz, Reconciliación; Union, Effort and Peace; Ricardo Morales, Nueva Nicaragua, Milagro de Dios, Camilo Chamorro, Hagamos Patria, 12 de Octubre, Omar Baca, 30 de Mayo and Andrés Castro.

A Selfie with Ortega

After delivering one of his shortest speeches in recent years, Ortega came down from the podium to greet the transportation providers, hug them and take pictures with them, something he had not done for a long time, but that two weeks before the elections he has taken up again.

While Ortega posed with his best smile, the bus drivers crowded around him to appear in photos next to him, shouting “Long live our president!” and pushed against the bodyguards who tried to clear a path to the president’s Mercedes Benz. 

On the way, some young women approached for a photograph with Ortega, who surprised them by removing the masks they used to protect themselves from covid-19 while the entire country watched him through the radio and television network.

In the approach to the November 7 elections, the regime of Ortega and his wife, spokeswoman and vice president, Rosario Murillo, eliminated political competition. Since May, 39 opposition leaders, businessmen, human rights activists and journalists have been imprisoned, among them presidential candidates Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga, Juan Sebastián Chamorro, Miguel Mora, Medardo Mairena and Noel Vidaurre.

Two other opposition politicians who announced their intentions to run for head of state, María Asunción Moreno and former “Contra” leader Luis Fley, left Nicaragua citing security reasons.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.


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