CORRECTING THE RECORD: WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING IN NICARAGUA?
By Kevin Zeese and Nils McCune, Popular Resistance
July 10, 2018
There is a great deal of false and inaccurate information about Nicaragua in the media. Even on the left, some have simply repeated the dubious claims of CNN and Nicaragua’s oligarchic media to support the removal of President Ortega. The narrative of nonviolent protesters versus anti-riot squads and pro-government paramilitaries has not been questioned by international media.
This article seeks to correct the record, describe what is happening in Nicaragua and why. As we write this, the coup seems to be failing, people have rallied for peace (as this massive march for peace held Saturday, July 7 showed) and the truth is coming out (e.g., the weapons cache discovered in a Catholic Church on July 9th). It is important to understand what is occurring because Nicaragua’s is an example of the types of violent coups the US and the wealthy use to put in place business dominated, neoliberal governments. If people understand these tactics, they will become less effective.
Mixing up the Class Interests
In part, US pundits are getting their information from media outlets, such as Jaime Chamorro-Cardenal’s La Prensa, and the same oligarchical family’s Confidencial, that are the most active elements of the pro-coup media. Repeating and amplifying their narrative delegitimizes the Sandinista government and presents unconditional surrender by Daniel Ortega as the only acceptable option. These pundits provide cover for nefarious internal and external interests who have set their sights on controlling Central America’s poorest and yet resource-rich country.
The coup attempt brought the class divisions in Nicaragua into the open. Piero Coen, the richest man in Nicaragua, owner of all national Western Union operations and an agrochemical company, personally arrived on the first day of protests at the Polytechnical University in Managua, to encourage students to keep protesting, promising his continued support…
The Full Article can be read at: https://popularresistance.org/correcting-the-record-what-is-really-happening-in-nicaragua/
Special to NicaNotes
Washington Post Reporter Joshua Paltrow authored an article that appeared July 14. Similar articles appeared in other papers. Below is long-time US resident in Nicaragua and the author of today’s Briefs Letter to the Editor:
Washington Post Article “They are Shooting at a Church” by Joshua Paltrow
Your report of an apparent government attack in Nicaragua (“They are Shooting at a Church,” Joshua Paltrow, 14 July) reads as if written by government opponents. Statements on numbers dead rely on figures from “human rights groups” that have always been in cahoots with the opposition and receive funding from the National Endowment for Democracy. One of them, the ANPDH – Nicaraguan Association for the Protection of Human Rights – was formed in the 1980’s by the NED to serve as an apologist for the “Contra” forces then funded by the US government.
The report features Catholic priests hiding from the gunfire. The Church has from the beginning taken the side of the powerful elite opposed to the government. There is readily available video evidence and personal testimony of the torture of Sandinistas in the presence of priests, for example of a man called Sander Bonilla in Leon. The priests’ behavior has been so terrible that the Pope sent a new Papal Nuncio, Waldemar Stanislaw to get them in line. On July 14, Waldemar said “The [national] dialogue has to be kept alive. There are dead on one side and the other, and this should be recognized. And we should all examine our conscience.”
The protesting students and delinquents (at the beginning in April there were many students; since May they have been largely replaced by delinquents paid by the opposition have successfully used “self-attacks” to generate news coverage in their favor. They’ve used this technique dozens of times. They start shooting and raising a ruckus at one of the universities they control then send out messages saying they are being attacked by the police or by Sandinista-sympathizers. The anti-government media always arrive punctually. I personally know a number of people who have gone close and taken videos when they do this and they find it is just a show. The worst part is that they use these self-attacks to send part of their group to burn things: radio stations, government buildings, homes of Sandinista sympathizers; they then say the government is burning its own buildings.
These “media shows” often coincide with something important like reconvening of the national dialogue which the Church is supposed to convene as a neutral party. In the case reported, it drew attention away from the extremely successful “caravan” by thousands of government supporters on Friday from Managua to Masaya. It was also no doubt staged because of the presence of the Washington Post. One group set fire to university buildings while another group was elsewhere in the university with your journalist, saying they were being attacked. Yet another group was in a different area firing guns and mortars to make it seem like an attack was taking place. Paltrow went to a Catholic church where the priests were part of the scam, as we’ve seen many times.
The videos that have been sent around social media since last Friday were staged, like they always are. They are now very good actors: but there is a video showing a girl laughing who seconds later is shown in the public video screaming, praying and crying. There is another video showing students cringing from the supposed attack behind a barricade, while the cameraman is standing alongside them but out of view, indifferent to the supposed “bullets”.
Polls show that Sandinista sympathizers make up approximately 55% of the country’s population but the Washington Post presents the opposition line as if it represents majority opinion. The reality is that most Nicaraguans are exhausted by these violent protests and now simply want peace. The opposition is determined to continue the violence and retain international support, hence the events on which you reported.
By Nan McCurdy
Monimbo, Masaya Almost Free of Violent Opposition and Roadblocks after Two Months
For more than two months the historic people of Monimbo in Masaya were held captive by terrorists and dozens of large roadblocks. Homes, schools, the historic market, museums, the town hall, the cultural house, the museum, health offices, office of the prosecutor, the family violence courts, and the area where all of the Masaya road-making equipment and trash trucks are parked were burned and destroyed, much to the horror of the population and the nation. The most recent barbarity was the torture, killing and burning down to nothing of Police Sub-official Gabriel Vado Ruiz. They also kidnapped sub-official Gabriel Vado Ruiz on July 12. He was tortured repeatedly.
The terrorists surrounded and besieged the Masaya Police station for 45 days. The police inside defended the station against attacks by guns, bombs and mortars. Jose Abraham Martinez was killed by the terrorists June 3. Roadblocks had been installed since April impeding free circulation of the people. People were charged to pass by, assaulted, kidnapped, violated, and more. They took over INATEC, a national training center and used it as one of their headquarters. It was here that Agent Gabriel Vado Ruiz was tortured and killed. The Police spent the day helping the people return to peace and free circulation. The INATEC center was freed today, July 18 – known as “the Day of Happiness” because Somoza left on this day in 1979. (19 Digital, La Voz del Sandinismo, July 17)
Terrorists kill Sandinista Militant with 26 Shots in San Jose de Bocay, Jinotega
Sandinista militant Jose Luis Centeno Rodriguez was killed July 17 by terrorists with 26 shots in San Jose de Bocay, Jinotega. People from the area denounced the terror campaign against Sandinistas. (Tu Nueva Radio Ya, July 17)
Police official kidnapped, tortured, killed and burned in Monimbo, Masaya
Agent Gabriel Vado Ruiz was kidnapped July 14 en route to a family reunion in Jinotepe, Carazo [about an hour’s drive from Masaya – and note that these are both areas where the opposition terrorists have been very active]. Vado Ruiz was taken to Monimbo and tortured until his death Sunday morning July 15. The terrorists put his body out against a roadblock and lit his body on fire. They took videos and pictures and put them on Facebook. Here is a link, but it is awful. (Telesur, July 16)
Masaya Priest Identified as Accomplice in Assassination of Agent Vado Ruiz
In Masaya San Juan Bautista Parish priest, Harvin Padilla directed the terrorist gang that tortured and killed Agent Gabriel de Jesus Vado Ruiz. His phone with messages to the terrorists are the proof – you can see this in the video. “I advise you that I am Father Harvin in the San Juan Church…Keep the terrorists tied up however you can because it’s good evidence for the international countries…look for how to hide these *#*# even in the bottom of a latrine…try to get them not to upload photos and videos to Facebook of the one you are burning, so there won’t be a problem…if you hear the church bells be alert.” https://www.el19digital.com/articulos/ver/titulo:79096-cura-es-complice-de-terroristas-que-asesinaron-a-sub-oficial (19 Digital, July 17)
Four Police and Grade School Teacher Ambushed by “peaceful protest”
On Thursday July 12 four police and a teacher were killed in the small town of Morrito, Rio San Juan, when a ‘peaceful’ opposition march was used as cover for a deadly assault as it passed the police station. The pictures of the dead policemen make clear they were unprepared for combat. Yet the opposition initially said “it was the police who opened fire on the march, and some marchers, who happened to have weapons, fired back.” When this story led to questions as to why the peaceful marchers were actually armed, it was changed. Then it was alleged that it was workers from the adjoining town hall who fired on their colleagues, the police. This town is so small that practically everyone must know each other. And these were the versions of the slaughter presented on the opposition media. However, a journalist for 100% Noticias was giving the true version when the station cut the signal. It turns out that one of the dead police was his brother.
Nine police, four women and five men, and others, were kidnapped after the killings and taken fifty km north to the roadblock at San Pedro de Lovago. This roadblock and area is directed by two opposition leaders who have participated in the Dialogue, Francisca Ramirez and Medardo Mairena. Mairena was captured July 13 trying to escape the country at the airport. He is accused of organizing the attack in Morrito, providing the weapons and vehicles. While kidnapped, some of the police were videoed agreeing with the opposition’s version of events (they were no doubt threatened). (Channel 8, Radio la Primerisima and Channel 2, others July 12)
Kidnapped Police in Morrito are Freed
The nine police kidnapped in Morrito Thursday from the police station were freed late Friday. Six have bullet wounds but are stable. One of the women was thrown off a cattle truck and has fractures. They all were beaten. Those who ambushed and killed four police and one teacher from a “peaceful” march next to the town hall and police station came from the roadblock in El Lovago, department of Chontales with high-powered military-style weapons like M16s and AK47s. Five municipal workers were also wounded. Those killed were Commissioner Luis Emilio Bustos Lopez, Sub-Official Major Requene, Official Evert Mairena and Fausto Tellez. The terrorists arrived in many very nice trucks armed to the hilt (someone took a video of the arrival). They were dropped off and the vehicles went to hide until the operation was over. (Radiolaprimerisima July 13)
https://nuevaya.com.ni/ofician-misa-a-policias-asesinados-en-rio-san-juan/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=push_notification&utm_campaign=PushCrew_notification_1531607526&pushcrew_powered=1 Mass for Assassinated Police
Presumed Police Assassin, Medardo Mairena, Detained
Medardo Mairena was detained on July 13 as he tried to escape at the airport. The police stated that he organized and ordered the bloody attack on the police station in Morrito that killed five and kidnapped nine. He is also accused of directing other assassinations, kidnappings, tortures, arsons, destructions and ransacking of buildings since April 18. He is accused of being one of the heads of the organization that installed roadblocks and violated people’s rights from these roadblocks. The statement said that the police are committed to reestablishing peace, security and stability for the people of Nicaragua. (Telesur, July 13)
Terrorists Medardo Mairena and Pedro Mena are Accused of Assassination and other Crimes
The Prosecutor accused Medardo Mairena and Pedro Mena of murder, terrorism, organized crime, kidnapping, robbery and others. Under murder they are accused of being responsible for the killing of the four police and teacher in Morrito. The Initial hearing is set for August 15. (Tu Nueva Radio Ya, July 17)
Mexico will not Support Coups
Beginning December 1 with the installation of the new president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Mexico will be ruled by principals of non-intervention, freedom of countries to have self-determination, and peaceful solutions to conflict, according to Mexican analyst Miguel Angel Ferrer. For example, he said, Mexico won’t be involved in the affairs of Venezuela or Nicaragua. Mexico will no longer participate in US efforts to overthrow the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua. (Informe Pastran, July 13)
Papal Nuncio Admits There Are Dead on Both Sides
In a press conference given by Cardinal Brenes and the Papal Nuncio Waldemar Stanislaw, the Nuncio said, “The dialogue has to be kept alive. There are dead on one side and the other, and this should be recognized. And we should all examine our consciences.” The Nuncio was sent to Nicaragua by the Pope to get the other clerics in line. Some of the clerics are openly on the side of the opposition instead of impartially mediating the dialogue. Many priests have allowed their churches to be used for violent gangs paid by the opposition and their weaponry. At least four priests are now implicated in torture of police and Sandinista sympathizers. (Tu Nueva Radio Ya, Radio 580, July 14)
Protesters Torch University
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Nicaragua-Protesters-Torch-University-Burn-Medical-Center–20180713-0015.html (Telesur, July 13)
Thousands Participate in Reedition of 1979 Strategic Retreat from Managua to Masaya
The Repliegue (Strategic Retreat) was done with great excitement and participation despite serious violence still occurring from the opposition. Most of Masaya has been freed of barricades, however Monimbo still has dozens of barricades and many gangs. This year people didn’t have the trust to leave their motorcycles and vehicles parked in order to walk in to hear Daniel Ortega’s speech. Near the beginning of the march people were attacked at the round-about near the UNAN (Nicaraguan National Autonomous University that has been held by gangs since April). Ten people were attacked, six shot and one has since died. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPDdOLARLRQ
Authorities Arrest Twenty-Four Terrorists that used the UNAN as Their Base
Twenty-four National University-related criminals were detained this weekend (July 14, 15) and have already admitted to many crimes. Hundreds of weapons were found on them and at the UNAN (National Autonomous University of Nicaragua) which was taken over in April and from which many crimes were carried out (pictures of arms: https://nuevaya.com.ni/presentan-a-terroristas-y-armamento-utilizado-para-cometer-crimenes/). http://www.radiolaprimerisima.com/noticias/general/246491/detienen-a-24-delincuentes-que-operaban-en-el-pais/
-Initially in April the police received constant complaints from the area of the UNAN of assaults on people in the neighborhood.
-Delinquents detained included those who killed 27 yr. old Jose David Oviedo, security guard, on May 25, on the south side of the UNAN.
-Four of the detained were arrested when found on a Blue Toyota Prado, license M185-381 and carrying a number of rifles, pistols, revolvers, hand-made guns. They were taking the guns to others at the UNAN (note: High-rollers are funding these operations given they were in one of the most expensive Toyotas that exist in Nicaragua).
-Members of the Francisco Javier Hernández Morales gang, alias “Pancho Enano”, arrested in a white vehicle license #M 067185, armed with pistols and revolvers and carrying a large quantity of marijuana admit to assaulting a USAID driver and robbing the vehicle, a grey Hilux, license CD0207, and 2 9mm Glock pistols, which they used to rob people. Eventually they abandoned the truck to a human rights organization.
-Members of this gang burned Radio Nicaragua and a number of vehicles.
-This same gang assaulted various security guards, stealing weapons.
-July 11 in Nindiri the police captured three men in a Mazda CZ13224. They were transporting military-style weapons from the Managua Cathedral to Monimbo.
-One of the three detained was Kevin Rodríguez Espinoza Gutiérrez, 21 years old, founder of the M19 movement, participant in the take-over of two universities – the UNAN and the UPOLI with Victor Cuadras and Lester Aleman. They planned criminal, destabilizing acts like burning and destroying buildings, including public buildings and radio stations and also criminal acts against people.
–They were involved in burning “Tu Nueva Radio Ya” Radio station with 22 workers inside and the Caruna building.
-Miguel Angel Gonzalez was one of the group that killed US citizen, Sixto Henry Vero.
-Edwin Antonio Altimirano was one of the killers of the two policeman in San Jose Oriental, Managua on June 11.
-On July 4 a large group of terrorist left the UNAN, with high-power weapons and were given cover in a nearby Catholic Church, Divine Mercy.
-With help from the priests who came to the church a caravan was organized to get the arms out of Divine Mercy and take them to the Managua Cathedral.
-This is when the blue Toyata Prado was captured with arms (see above). The owner is Donald Antonio Castellon. This is when the capture took place of five of the 24.
-Some of the arms found with this group are the kind that snipers use.
-There is more information on those arrested and the arms and activities – see links.
(Tu Nueva Radio Ya and Radio la Primerisima, July 16)
Videos showing terrorists at the UNAN, their weapons, how they make their fake videos
- Sandinista Caravan was attacked on its way to the repliegue at the round-about Rigoberto Lopez Perez by the terrorists that were from the UNAN.
- Here they are staging a media show. In the background audio, you can hear them talking about guns and needing more weapons.
- More proof of them with weapons that same day:
- Confession of one of the UNAN delinquents that was caught when he tried to go to the UNAN:
- More proof of them heavily armed and staging the attacks:
- And finally a recap that shows even more evidence of them not only with rifles, shotguns, and handguns but also with snipers.
- The room at the UNAN used to fabricate bombs and homemade weapons:
- What was left after the terrorists burned the historic CDI “Arlen Siu”:
- Proof that the Delinquents in the UNAN were in cahoots with the Catholic Church: