The Meta company has blocked the Spanish version of RT News, as well as Sputnik, from posting on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The government-controlled Russian news services are accused of fueling the spread of misinformation.
HAVANA TIMES – The Ortega-Murillo regime has signed onto a program for training and interchange between “Sandinista media” and Russian journalists from the RT (Russia Today) Spanish news agency.
Representatives of the Russian media outlet arrived in Managua on Sunday, December 4. They were received at the airport by Daniel Edmundo Ortega Murillo, son of Nicaragua’s ruling couple, who serves as “media coordinator for the Council of Communications and Citizenry.” He was accompanied by Alberto Mora, director of a popular television news and feature show, plus two representatives of the Sandinista Youth.
“With happiness and pride, we receive our comrades: Victoria Vorontsova, director of RT’s Spanish language channel: Alexander Luchaninov, assistant director of RT in Spanish; Karina Melikyan, Director of International Cooperation; Lidia Tishkina, head producer of Spanish broadcasting; Aliana Nieves, news correspondent and anchor; Ivan Fedichev, RT’s assistant website director; and Mirko Casale, author and presenter of the RT program Alli les va [“Here you go”] declared Daniel Edmundo Ortega at the reception.
Ortega jr. announced that over the next few days, they’d continue “strengthening and tightening cooperation, interchange and fraternal ties between the Spanish RT program and the Sandinista media, the media of our citizens’ power. This reflects the unity and fraternal ties between Russia and Nicaragua.”
Cooperation agreement signed on December 5th
On Monday, December 5, the day after the Russian news team’s arrival, the Nicaraguan government-run Council of Communication and Citizenry signed a memorandum of understanding with the Russian state television channel RT. The stated goal of the agreement was: “strengthening collaboration in the permanent struggle for truth.” The memorandum was signed by Daniel Edmundo Ortega and Victoria Vorontsova, director of the RT Spanish channel.
“We’re certain that with these signatures we’re advancing our joint work, our coordination and our collaboration,” stated Daniel Edmundo.
He explained that last July the Sandinista media and RT’s Spanish channel had held their first joint professional gathering. Since then, “we’ve seen advances in our programming of different contents from RT on the Sandinista television channels, outlets of Citizen Power in Nicaragua,” the rulers’ son stated.
For her part, Victoria Vorontsova, director of the Spanish RT channel, affirmed that the objective of the memorandum is to establish strategic cooperation between RT and the Nicaraguan Council of Communications in the area of development and improvement of televised media, to better the quality of the news services produced and loaned, and to broaden the horizons of their cooperation.
“With this memorandum, we agree to exchange contents and lend support for coverage of the most important events and news from our countries,” she declared.
RT’s Spanish programming blocked by both Meta and the European Union
While Nicaragua promotes its alliance with the Russian government news outlet, RT in Spanish has been blocked by Meta, together with the Sputnik news agency. Neither outlet is currently allowed to post on Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram, by request of the European Union.
In February 2022, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission proposed new joint measures against the Russian government due to their invasion of Ukraine. The proposal sought to “put legislative brakes on the misinformation being spread by the Russian government.”
Russia Today, better known as just RT, says it gives “a Russian perspective on world events,” and considers itself an “alternative” information source. Sputnik bills its editorial mission as “telling what’s not been told,” and claims to offer an “anti-liberal, anti-globalization, and anti-system” perspective. Both agencies are the property of the Kremlin.
The RT agreement isn’t Nicaragua’s only alliance with non-Western media outlets. Last year, the Nicaraguan Council for Communication and Citizenry signed a memorandum of cooperation with the China Media Groups, with the goal of establishing a correspondent’s office in Managua and of exchanging informatin.
And last September, in the Russian city of Vladivostok, a cooperation agreement was signed with Radio Sputnik, an international news channel.
It was noted that while the Ortega regime receives the Russian media representatives with open arms, they maintain a virtual war against Nicaragua’s independent press. The Ortega-Murillo regime has closed more than 50 independent news sites, forced more than 180 journalists into exile, and are holding well-known media figures incommunicado in their jail cells, including Miguel Mora, Miguel Mendoza and Juan Lorenzo Holmann, all political prisoners of the Nicaraguan dictatorship.