NicaNotes: Fabricated Guardian Stories Aid Violent Failed Coup in Nicaragua

Fabricated Guardian Stories Aid Violent Failed Coup in Nicaragua

By Nora McCurdy and Nan McCurdy

Reprinted from Popular Resistance / November 9, 2018

Cathedral protests highlight Ortega’s broken Alliance with Nicaragua’s church” an article in today’s [British liberal newspaper The] Guardian by Toby Stirling has no true facts – this has become typical of The Guardian’s reporting on Nicaragua.

Even the pictures used are full of lies. The opposition put a number of crosses around the Managua Cathedral a few weeks ago supposedly representing people killed by the government. The names on the crosses in the picture are not opposition victims and moreover were not killed by the government: For example, Darwin Alexander Salcedo Vílchez was a Sandinista supporter who was killed in Esteli, when a caravan full of Sandinistas heading to a pro-government march in Managua was attacked by an opposition group.

 

Gregorio Orozco was killed in the countryside in a murder unrelated to the political unrest; a report done by Nicaraguan researcher, Enrique Hendrix, shows how Sandinista deaths and others unrelated to the protests like Orozco’s are used to inflate the so-called Human Rights Organizations lists of government victims. In the last few weeks scores of Sandinista family members have gone to the Managua cathedral to remove crosses of loved ones that the opposition was using to try to shore up the numbers of dead that have been at the heart of their anti-government campaign.

Any remaining crosses have since been removed by the church itself because the priests at the Cathedral have had to tone down their political activity and ask the opposition parishioners to do the same.

Managua’s Auxiliary Bishop, Silvio Baez, a known leader of the opposition, was caught on tape at a meeting proudly boasting about the church’s role in the creation of the opposition Civic Alliance. He also talked about the possibility of bringing back the roadblocks – the places where Sandinistas were kidnapped, raped, tortured, and killed – and not just a few – over a hundred people were seriously tortured, some of them killed.  Bishop Baez was also taped saying how much he would like to see President Ortega put in front of a firing squad. The Guardian tries to make the hierarchy out to be heroes when there are multiple videos showing priests participating and directing torture of Sandinistas.

The audios of Bishop Baez, the veracity of which was confirmed by Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, were made public the last week of October and since then thousands of people have demanded Baez be removed. The members of the Saint John Paul the Apostle Christian Base Community in the September 14 neighborhood of Managua wrote a petition to the Vatican requesting that Bishop Baez be sent to a post outside Nicaragua and to date there are 491,576 signatures, including people’s identification card numbers. The 44 boxes of petitions were received by the Papal Nuncio who said he will get them to Rome. In Nicaragua today about 45 % of people are Catholic, so if you consider those 15 and older there might be 2 million Catholics. A fourth have signed the petition to remove the bishop.

According to The Guardian protesting has been outlawed. This is a complete fabrication by the Nicaraguan opposition. What’s more, not a single person has been arrested in Nicaragua for protesting. In Nicaragua the laws are similar to those in most US and European cities: you have to get a permit. That’s it. The Nicaraguan authorities had not been enforcing this law previously, presumably to avoid controversy. The fact is they haven’t had a protest since this change because none of the opposition leaders are willing to put their name on the permit request because if there is violence – which is usually the case – they will be held accountable.

The author of The Guardian article also doubled his prisoner count to 550 when in reality the number of people who have been in prison related to violence since April 18 is half that. Most were arrested beginning mid-July and these are people accused or already sentenced for murder, torture, rape, arson and robbery.  Not exactly political prisoners. And hundreds of people captured who were involved in coup violence but on a more minor scale have been released.

Nicaragua has been the victim of an attempted coup by the oligarchs, the Catholic Church, US financed NGOs, and the US. And major media like The Guardian have helped them.

BRIEFS

Nicaragua Suffered a Bloody Coup Attempt 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a communique to the international community on Monday which stated that, from April to July, the Nicaraguan people were submitted to a violent coup by political groups disguised as non-governmental organizations in association with organized crime and financed from the exterior.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that these groups committed kidnappings, torture, extortion, assassinations, looting, obstruction of public roads, as well as destruction and arson of public buildings. The Ministry communique stated that the terrorist actions and crimes committed resulted in 198 deaths, of which 22 were members of the National Police, 1,240 people injured, and of these 401 were police officers injured by firearms. The coup plotters caused damage to the country’s infrastructure, with 252 buildings vandalized, damaged and/or burned, 209 kilometers of streets and roads destroyed, 278 pieces of heavy machinery damaged and burned, and 389 vehicles ruined. The statement also noted that the damage to the economy was at least US$205.4 million of destruction in the public sector, US$231 million in tourism losses and US$525 million in transportation damage/losses, as well as 119,567 jobs lost.

The government has complied with the laws in the investigation and legal processing of the planners of the crimes and the participants in those crimes. As of November 5, there were 273 people in prison accused of violent crimes.The government is carrying out a national consultation about how to promote a process of reconciliation and peace in the schools, communities and families to promote values and practices of respect, solidarity, dialogue and how to live together amicably.  (Radio La Primerisima, 11/12/18)

More than 95% of Nicaraguan Families Now Have Electricity
The government has invested US$1.2 billion in bringing electricity to Nicaragua families.  From 2007 until now Nicaragua has increased electrification from 52% of households to 95% nationally.  (Informe Pastran, 11/13/18)

Police Announce Special Security Plan for Purisima, Christmas and New Year’s
The National Police announced a special security plan for the coming holidays of Purísima, Christmas and the New Year. The plan, called “Nicaragua in Peace, Harmony and Good Will,” will strengthen security and guarantee the public order in municipalities around the nation. The plan will last for the rest of November and December. This will include preventive action, more watchfulness in neighborhoods, at bus stops, in markets and malls and at tourist spots. (Radio La Primerisima, 11/13/18)

Trial Begins for those accused of murder, destruction and chaos in Sebaco
The trial began on Nov. 13 against nine men accused of murder, destruction and terror in Sébaco in June. One of those killed was Sandinista Luis Alberto Espinoza Ruiz who was shot on June 30 at very short range with a 12-gauge shotgun. (Tu Nueva Radio Ya, 11/13/18)

Trial Begins against Medardo Mairena for Murder of Four Police Officers and a Teacher
On July 12, there was a very carefully planned attack on police and other personnel in the municipal building of the town of Morrito. The opposition organized a march of women and children and when it was close to the building the armed opposition came out firing, killing four policemen and a primary school teacher. They then kidnapped nine other wounded police officers who were ultimately released a few days later.  This article gives more detail: http://www.tortillaconsal.com/tortilla/node/3672 . Mairena, together with Pedro Mena, Luis Orlando Pineda and Silvio Pineda are accused of organizing, executing and providing orientation for the crimes of murder, kidnapping and other crimes in Morrito, Chontales and San Pedro de Lovago.  It is estimated there will be 75 witnesses during five sessions already on the calendar. Those killed were primary school teacher Marvin Ugarte, and four policemen: Luis Emilio Bustos Lopez, Marlon Jose Lopez, Lenin Olivas Alinas and Faustino Tellez Vargas.

Nicaragua Carrying Out a Tourism Campaign in Germany
According to the World Organization of Tourism, Germans rank third in tourism expenditures in the world, after China and the US and Germans are the number one group of Europeans in terms of tourism to Nicaragua. Minister of Tourism Anasha Campbell presented a tourism campaign in Germany where she was joined by Immanuel Zerger, operator of the Solentiname tour agency.  (Informe Pastran, 11/13/18)

Firm rejection of interventionist policies
In remarks at the ceremony commemorating the 42th Anniversary of the death of Commander Carlos Fonseca, President Daniel Ortega reaffirmed his firm rejection of the interventionist policies of the United States and the European Union. “That same interventionist policy has destroyed peace and security in countries such as Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Algeria. All these countries were destabilized and that has caused much violence, poverty and large migrations”, President Ortega said. (Nicaragua News, 11/9/18)