By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES – Nicaragua’s presidential couple Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo are showing the world their bold secret to Covid-19 prevention. No news is good news.
The approach sounds a lot like Trump, Putin and Bolsonaro, but actually goes much farther. In the US, Russia and Brazil there are daily reports on the spread of the Coronavirus, which many experts feel are underestimates, but at least give an idea of the situation.
The Ortega strategy now includes, almost no testing, no reports on positive cases, writing off the dead to other diseases and promoting mass public activities. It’s the perfect storm that shows NO Fear.
Scientifically recommended pandemic prevention is considered the work of the political opposition and is therefore summarily discarded.
Public employees and other supporters are told that God, Ortega or both are protecting them, and that the disease is no worse than a common flu. If they do not really believe the party line, they just keep quiet and take some precautions.
Of course, Ortega and Murillo are not fools, they’ve been staying in their El Carmen residence/presidential bunker now for nearly two months straight, hunkered down with their extended family. Murillo runs the country by telephone.
The Charade is over
The Ministry of Health was actually giving daily reports that were obviously false, always mentioning 2 to 5 cases of Covid-19 being closely monitored, a few deaths and no community spread, just “imported” perpetrators. Then, starting May 6, a new mode is being employed, No reports at all. This makes total sense. The 99% silence on the situation might as well be 100%.
So, according to the government, everything is “normal” in Nicaragua which is still inviting foreign tourists to come enjoy the virtually Covid-19 free country with no prevention measures required beyond a temperature check at the airport. The only problem is the airlines aren’t flying.
That same “normality” was imposed after the massacre of several hundred students and other citizens in 2018 and the imposing of the Police State, suspending virtually all civil rights. The result, before the Coronavirus, had been the third year of severe economic recession, including many closed businesses and around 100,000 citizens forced into exile.
On Thursday May 8th, Murillo, who gives a half hour daily sermon on the government and Ortega family media, emphasized the “normality” announcing 2,500 activities (I’m not exaggerating) this weekend around the country bringing families together for sporting events, food fairs, markets, festivals and religious gatherings.
The VP, First Lady and only government spokesperson, blames the opposition, as well as organizations of doctors and scientists, for alarming the population. She called them “deformed minds”, with “their shameless toxic feelings” in “their campaign against her government and above all to hurt the people”.
“Their envy, greed and desire to dominate is also a pandemic… their servility with those they believe powerful [most likely referring to the United States and Europe] can be seen as a disease, hate, servility, betrayal, because they sell out the country.”