Ortega’s Final Act of Confiscation against Confidencial

The offices confiscated from Confidencial in December 2018 were painted and this Monday several Ministry of Health officials were at the site. Photo: Nayira Valenzuela / Confidencial.

HAVANA TIMES – Today, February 23, the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo will execute the last act in the confiscation of the building housing Confidencial, the Esta Semana and Esta Noche programs, Niu Magazine and the Cabal consulting firm, in complicity with the Ministry of Health (Minsa).

Vice President Rosario Murillo announced that on Tuesday Minsa will inaugurate a maternity home in the newsroom confiscated from Confidencial. The initial occupation by armed policemen took place in December 2018. The announcement occurs days after they dismantled the offices and painted everything bright pink, the color used by Murillo’s FSLN propaganda.

“Minsa informs us that tomorrow [Tuesday] it is inaugurating two maternity homes with the invaluable help from Taiwan. One in Waslala, Matagalpa, and the other here in Managua,” said Murillo. She did not specify the amount of the alleged financing from Taiwan.

In December 2020 the presidency illegally gave the seized private property to the Ministry of Health, without having ever officially notified the confiscation.

A sign placed in the parking lot indicates that it will be used for services of the Ministry of Health. This Monday we observed the facade of the building recently painted in bright pink, the color of the ruling party. An armed policeman tried to prevent the Confidencial journalistic team from approaching to photograph the facilities.

“We are facing a crude attempt to launder a State crime against freedom of the press, expression, and association, with the complicity of the Ministry of Health,” denounced the director of Confidencial, Carlos Fernando Chamorro. “Ortega confiscated the facilities of a media outlet that is celebrating 25 years of independent journalism. However, he has never been able to confiscate the journalism, nor silence Confidencial.”

Theft and illegal adjudication to the Ministry of Health

In January 2021, Minsa began to take possession of the offices occupied by the Police in December 2018 of numerous media and non-profits. These included the Nicaraguan Human Rights Center (Cenidh), the Popol Na Foundation, and the Institute for Public Polices and Strategic Studies (Ieepp).

Murillo added that this week the National Diabetes Center will open at the also confiscated facilities of the Institute for Democracy and Development (Ipade), on the Highway to Masaya.

The First Lady and only government spokesperson added that on Wednesday the 24th a maternity home will be “inaugurated”, in the facilities confiscated from the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh).

Additionally, she mentioned the opening of a center for people with alcoholism and drug addiction, somewhere in Managua. Although Murillo did not specify the exact location, it could be in the building confiscated from 100% Noticias or that of the Information Center & Advisory Services in Health (Cisas), where similar signs were posted.

Murillo said the new maternity homes will be inaugurated by three Ministers of Health; Martha Reyes, Carolina Davila and Sonia Castro.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.