HAVANA TIMES – Costa Rica is used to paying for the mismanagement of governments in Nicaragua, especially when its northern neighbor has had dictators like the Somozas and Daniel Ortega.
Nicaraguan workers, fleeing from the misgovernments in their country, have also contributed a lot of sweat and effort, to the well-being of Costa Rica, in agriculture, construction, services of different types and many more fields of formal and informal work.
At this time that Covid-19 is affecting almost every country in the world, and cases in the Americas are rapidly increasing, the Ortega-Murillo government is minimizing the pandemic and, incredibly, instead of taking preventive measures, is still promoting the spread of the Coronavirus.
Costa Rica is concerned that the negligence of the Nicaraguan government affects its population and may prolong the crisis. President Carlos Alvarado has expressed this on several occasions.
Today the newspaper La Nacion, the most widely circulated in Costa Rica, published an editorial on the way the Ortega-Murillo government has handled the Covid-19 situation. We publish it in full below.
Editorial: The Criminal Path in Nicaragua
La Nación de Costa Rica
May 17, 2020
What at first could be described as a dangerous mixture of disdain, myopia, irresponsibility, disrespect, ignorance, opportunism, concealment, lies and denial has become, for weeks now, a cold and unacceptable criminal strategy in Nicaragua.
We refer to the way in which the dictator Daniel Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, have approached the emergence and expansion of Covid-19 throughout its territory.
The official data, minimized to the absurd, does not reveal it, but the facts documented by medical personnel, the media, non-governmental organizations and citizens who must confront reality daily, reveal an emergency of increasing proportions.
Although the lack of reliable information prevents making elemental projections, everything indicates that Nicaragua could be on the verge of exponential growth, driven by the so-called “community spread”, the inability (or lack of will) to follow up on cases, the lack of sufficient precautionary measures and the enormous limitations of a hospital system on the verge of collapse.
The consequences of all this, already serious, may very soon turn into a real humanitarian tragedy, with repercussions beyond borders, particularly on Costa Rica.
According to reports obtained first hand and disclosed by Confidencial, one of the most independent and serious media in the country, the Hospital España, in the city of Chinandega, has become one of the main sources of infection, and around 20 health professionals there have fallen victim to the virus.
The Nicaraguan Medical Association calculates the number of infected members in the country at 60. Its vice president, Javier Nunez, revealed what he already considers it a “massive contagion”.
On our [Costa Rica’s] northern border, there are multiple cases of truck drivers whose tests have resulted positive for coronavirus; a part of them are Nicaraguan and others have spent days in the neighboring country.
Relatives of political prisoners [in Nicaragua] report around 20 infected with the virus among them, who are given little attention.
Meanwhile, the macabre “express burials” of deceased patients for what the authorities call “atypical pneumonia” proliferate in the main cities. The authorities, far from promoting social distancing, continue to convoke public activities, while President Ortega, on more than one occasion, has said that the country cannot stop “because it would die”, as if a political and geographical abstraction were more important than its own inhabitants.
Despite the fact that the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has been extremely cautious when referring to Nicaragua, its director of Health Emergencies, Ciro Ugarte, expressed last Tuesday the concern of his representative [in Managua] by the lack of information on the number of cases, the number of tests carried out, and the follow-up of the contacts, adding: “We are essentially concerned about the absence of social distancing and because the call for massive events continues to manifest itself.”
Nothing good can be expected from Ortega and Murillo. Their disrespect for human rights has been constant. It reached its peak during April of 2018, with the brutal repression of peaceful demonstrations, in which hundreds of people were killed and in which the security forces and paid thugs even attacked doctors and hospitals for treating the victims.
What is happening today is another pathetic chapter in that criminal behavior, executed with astonishing coldness; a real offense against the most elemental value of human lives and one more sign that, with them in power, only more suffering can be expected in Nicaragua.