Ortega’s Police Obstruct Aid Effort for Hurricane Victims

Police arrived at the Managua airport to prevent opposition members from taking a flight to deliver aid.  Photo: Courtesy / UNAB

Riot police and a police chief also invaded a property where opposition leader Felix Maradiaga was staying. They hit him to prevent his leaving the home.

By EFE (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The Nicaraguan Police physically attacked an opposition leader this Thursday who was preparing to bring aid to the victims of hurricanes Eta and Iota, in the North Caribbean Region.

Riot squad members and a police chief invaded the property where Felix Maradiaga of the UNAB opposition movement was at. Their mission, using blows and shoves, was to forcefully prevent Maradiaga from leaving that home. He planned to travel to the Caribbean city of Bilwi to deliver the aid. The Police repression was broadcast on Facebook Live.

The attack occurred when Maradiaga began reporting that the police prevented him from leaving the house to deliver aid.

“We’ve tried to go by land, now by air,” Maradiaga said, while being attacked by riot police.

“We are not going to allow them to deny our constitutional rights,” Maradiaga shouted, while he was attacked by the Police. The officers beat him with their shields and kicks, until they forced him inside the house.

Relief trip by air impeded

Simultaneously, another member of UNAB, Roger Reyes, was detained at the Managua airport with other members of the organization. The police succeeded in blocking the trip to take aid to the victims in Bilwi.

Reyes denounced that UNAB representatives, led by Maradiaga, planned to travel to Bilwi to deliver aid to the hurricane victims, but that the police prevented it.

The government calculated the material losses from the cyclones at 742 million dollars.  Numerous complaints exist about the obstruction of private citizen aid efforts outside the Presidency. Likewise, reports denounce favoritism towards Ortega’s Sandinista Party supporters in Bilwi and other affected communities.

Both Eta, on November 3, and Iota, on November 16, impacted Nicaragua’s North Caribbean Region with winds over 150 mph (240 km/h). The devastation from the Category 4 storms was near total in numerous communities.  

Between the two cyclones they left 21 dead, according to official figures. However, unofficial lists, including data from the Nicaraguan Red Cross, reported 28 fatalities.

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