NicaNotes: Remembering the Triumph over Somoza and Last Year’s Failed Coup

[Editor’s Note: The Sandinista media is covering many events commemorating the fortieth anniversary of much heroism and lives lost leading up to July 19, 1979 Triumph of the Sandinista Revolution over the brutal 45-year long Somoza family dictatorship. At the same time Nicaragua is remembering the worst of the coup violence – deaths, torture, and terrible fear – that happened one year ago, especially on the anniversaries of some of the most terrible incidents such as the death by fire of six members of the Pavon family.

Also, we have new links to updated versions of our book on last year’s failed coup entitled, Live from Nicaragua: Uprising or Coup? Please use these and share them with your friends. ]


How the Opposition Burned a Family of Six And Furthered their Cause by Blaming it on the Government with Backing from the US press

By Dick and Miriam Emanuelsson, Radio La Primerisima, 6/17/19

Translated by: Nan McCurdy

Last year during the attempted coup, the opposition burned down a large house in the Carlos Marx neighborhood of Managua killing members of a family – parents, some of the children, and grandchildren.

It is considered to be one of the worst single crimes during the violence of 2018.

See June 2019 documentary: Fire in the Carlos Marx Neighborhood

The burning/killing of the Pavón family was also used as an excellent excuse by the opposition for a storm of videos, articles and editorials in June 2018 blaming the horrific crime on the police and government of President Daniel Ortega.

The Nicaraguan media accused the government of President Ortega of the arson without any evidence to the point that US President Donald Trump, Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro, the international media, and the rainbow of U.S.-funded human rights organizations condemned “the brutal Ortega dictatorship” for the fire.

The creation of hysteria and psychosis in the masses are two fundamental elements in the psychological war elaborated on in a manual by the sociologist Gene Sharp and converted by the CIA into a “regime change” manual. The crime of the Pavon family house fire followed the manual’s script with hundreds of thousands of messages on social networks blaming the government for the fire. The fake news might not have been so believable if people had asked themselves two simple questions:

Who had control of the neighborhood, its internal streets and the four-lane road in front of the house?

Was it possible for the Nicaraguan Police and its voluntary units to get to the house to burn it, as claimed by the opposition opinion-makers?

For any journalist with a minimum of experience and knowledge of the ABC’s of journalism, these two questions are not only logical but obligatory to ask in order to begin to understand the elements of the dramatic issue of the death of six people whose ages ranged from four months to 46 years of age.

We (Dick and Miriam Emanuelsson) arrived on January 28, 2019, in the Carlos Marx neighborhood. We explored some streets at the entrance to the neighborhood and the back of the burned-out three-story house. A group of about ten boys quickly moved away from us and further into the neighborhood. It seems that they didn’t want to talk to us because we were coming with cameras and microphones. We also didn’t want to risk following them, knowing that gangs were backers of “tranques” (roadblocks) last year and that they can be dangerous, both for one’s physical integrity and for our work teams.

There is a car accessory business in the neighborhood of the burned house. We talked to a worker and a customer who gave us the answer to one of the questions, that of control of the neighborhood and its surroundings:

“Here there was one” (roadblock), said the owner and pointed towards the first entrance to the neighborhood, on the left side of the business, approximately 20 meters from the burned house.

– And there, [in the other direction of the four-lane road that passes in front of the burned house], another roadblock about 200 meters down?

“200 meters, yes.”

– And there was no traffic here at the time of the fire?

“No, there was no traffic. Everything was closed down”.

– Did the protesters have TOTAL control in this area then?

“Everything, complete.”

– How is it possible, then, that they accuse the National Police of having set fire to the house?

“I don’t know. But we don’t accuse anyone, it’s dangerous for people. We don’t think so.”

– But here (at the entrance) there was a roadblock?

“Yes, there,” he said and pointed again. “There was a burned-out fuel tanker. There were three more fuel tankers at the bottom (of the neighborhood).”

“No, there was no traffic. It was all closed,” says a client of the business, neighbor of the Pavón family. “There were a minimum of 30 roadblocks in the neighborhood.”

In the testimony given by the survivor Janeth del Socorro Velásquez López, 29 years old, first on December 22 before the Nicaraguan Courts and the second time for the “Juventud Presidente” documentary filmmakers, she said the following:

“When they started, there were lines of traffic jams. In that neighborhood on that section [the four-lane road in front of the house] there were a minimum of 30 roadblocks. When someone passed by, they [those managing the roadblocks] chased them; `where are you from? ´. I had to tell them I was from the neighborhood. When a motorcycle passed by, they stopped it, attacked it and stole it. They stole everything, they burned the vehicles. There was a group of young people who were in charge of the neighborhood. A girl who is known as ´La Colocha´, because she was the one who investigated those trying to get through on motorcycles,” said Janeth del Socorro to the “Juventud Presidente” documentary filmmakers  in their documentary about the fire.

The other relatives gave similar testimonies, confirming the threatening and thieving character of the leaders of the neighborhood gang.  Even family member Daniel Pavón, who was not in the house that morning, said that ‘La Colocha’ threatened to burn down the house in front of him, his sister Maribel, and his mother.

The sole three surviving family members denounced the roadblock delinquents for the fire and the loss of their family in the documentary.


The death sentence to the family

In the Facebook account of the self-proclaimed Movimiento 19 de Abril-M19A coup plotters, on June 14, 2018, at 4:37 pm, ten hours after the start of the national strike called by the opposition, they posted a threat against the Pavón family, declaring them practically a military objective:

“Dear Sirs. Watch out for that old Oscar Manuel Velázquez Pavón [owner of the business, father and grandfather of the others who died]. These toads [term used for Sandinistas] sons of bitches opened their mattress house business today; they are infiltrated Orteguistas [term for those who support the president] who did not support the strike and they seem to think that they support the people. You know what to do to disappear all those who support the Sandinista shit.”

Thirty-eight hours later they would accomplish their goal in the early morning of June 16, 2018.



By Nan McCurdy

Nicaragua Elected as Member of the Economic and Social Council of the UN by 184 Countries
On June 14 Nicaragua was elected by the UN General Assembly to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of 10 countries representing Latin America and the Caribbean. Nicaragua obtained a large majority of votes, 184, from a total of 190 voting and present. ECOSOC is one of the main organs of the United Nations. It is composed of 54 countries representing all the regional groups. It is responsible for the follow-up to the major UN conferences and summits, including the 2030 agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals and the High-Level Policy Forum. The other nine countries representing Latin America were: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay. (Radio Ya, 6/15/19, Canal 2, 6/17/19)

Cyber Attacks on Radio La Primerisima
The website of Radio La Primerísima “La Gente” suffered two massive cyber-attacks on June 11 and 12 [that were finally resolved June 14]. General Director William Grigsby Vado says that because it included thousands of simultaneous requests for service, they had to take down the page. Grigsby said, “Both attacks are related to people with the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP). And I’m telling you it’s like receiving an award for the work we have done.” From June 14 to 17 there were new attacks on the website. (La Primerisima, 6/12/19, 6/17/19)

Multi-millionaire Mexican Businessman Carlos Slim Supports Nicaragua
In a meeting in Mexico with Presidential Economic Advisor Bayardo Arce, Carlos Slim said that his businesses in Nicaragua are long term and he has no plans to close them down. Slim is the owner of the biggest telecommunications company in Nicaragua – Claró. (Informe Pastran, 6/17/19)

Canadian Magazine Highlights Nicaragua for Tourism
The Canadian magazine, Travel Week, in its June edition called “Luxury Spring,” dedicated two pages to the best places in Nicaragua to “recharge, rejuvenate and recalibrate.” This includes destinations for adventure lovers and for travelers who prefer relaxation and rest, with cozy landscapes, “unspoiled natural beauty, crystal clear beaches and an exceptionally welcoming culture.” (Informe Pastran, 6/17/19; )

Sandinistas Honor Francisco Aráuz Pineda, Hero of Peace
Thousands of Sandinistas honored Francisco Aráuz Pineda at the year anniversary of his murder. He was killed, burned and profaned on a public street by the US-backed opposition on June 16, 2018, in the Colonia 9 de Junio of Managua’s District 7. His sister said “He deserves this commemoration because he was part of the struggles for justice since he was a boy. Francisco’s mother, Amada Pineda, who was one of the women of El Cua (captured and raped by the Somaza National Guard for nine days in 1974), said that even though her son’s murderers are free today due to the Amnesty granted by the Sandinista government in hopes of achieving peace and progress again, her commitment will always be to revolution. “He’s a hero of love and I’m very proud of him. Of course, his death hurts and hurts me very much. We want the country to return to what it was until last year; we are going to move forward,” she said. See photos: (El 19 Digital, 6/16/19)

40th Anniversary of the Massacre of Batahola
Forty years ago, on June 15, 1979, residents of the western barrios of Managua were massacred at the Batahola crossroads as one thousand tried to escape the bombing and house to house raids by the Somoza National Guard and retreat to the San Judas neighborhood. Near the US embassy nearly two hundred people were killed. Among the thousand participants were many youth and families. Alina López, one of the survivors, said, “As parents we have the obligation to sow the seed of respect for our national sovereignty and national dignity. It is our obligation to tell our children all that our people suffered under the Somoza dictatorship and how we fought for freedom and give thanks to the thousands of Sandinista heroes and martyrs who put aside their personal aspirations and put love for our homeland above anything else.” People were also killed leaving from Acahualinca, Santa Ana, Barrio Cuba and others. A commemoration of the massacre was held on Saturday near the National Assembly where the monument to the Heroes and Martyrs of Batahola is located.  (Canal 4, 6/15/19) See photos:;; (Canal 2, 6/15/19)

Nicaragua among Top Three Countries with Highest Vaccination Coverage
Nicaragua ranks among the top three countries in the Americas with the highest vaccination coverage guaranteeing the right to health to the general population, said Dr. Celia Riera, PAHO/WHO representative in Managua on June 13.  Riera praised the immunization program of the Ministry of Health (MINSA), which has a coverage of over 95 percent at the national and community levels reaching the most remote areas to serve the most vulnerable sectors. The official emphasized that, as PAHO/WHO, they work hand in hand with MINSA to develop strategies to expand vaccination coverage and to keep the knowledge of doctors and nurses up to date. MINSA held the First International Congress on Immunizations on June 13. Dr. Martha Reyes, director of Health Services, explained that the meeting was an opportunity to share the efforts of the National Immunization Program through which 16 diseases are prevented with coverage above 95 percent throughout the country. Reyes highlighted the great investment made by the Sandinista government in inputs for the acquisition of syringes, cotton and vaccine doses, as well as constant vigilance for the timely diagnosis of any case of a disease. ( 6/14/19)

National Police Pay Homage to Eight Lieutenants Killed in June 2018
The eight police officers, all Lieutenants, were killed in the line of duty in June 2018 during the failed coup attempt. The names of the eight are: José Abraham Martínez, Dixon Bismark Soza, Douglas Mendiola, Marcos González, Carlos José Zamora, Jean Kerry Luna, Zaira Julisa López. “Their blood was like an offering for the peace that we have today that we consolidate to recover the paths of tranquility that we had before 18 April 2018,” said Aldo Sáenz Ulloa, Deputy Director General of the National Police. On the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Police they remembered the sacrifice of the 22 officers killed in the attempted coup d’état. Of the eight lieutenants killed in June, 2018, all were killed with firearms; one was killed in Masaya, one in Nagarote, two in Mulukukú, one in Managua near Radio Ya, two in Barrio San Jose Oriental in Managua, and one in Managua near Metrocentro. They all leave children under twelve. (Radio la Primerisima 6/13/19)

Solar Energy Generation on the Increase
Nicaragua will double its solar energy output to 10% of energy production thanks to an investment made by European businesses, announced the president of Enatrel, Salvador Mansell on June 13. The official explained that investors will install a solar plant with a capacity of 50 megawatts between Tipitapa and San Benito, just north of the Managua Airport. It will be the largest solar energy producer in the country. Mansell indicated that they will meet with these businesspeople in late June, who already bought about 170 acres of land where the solar plant will operate. (Radio La Primerisima, 6/13/19)

Wrangler Moving Operations from Mexico to Nicaragua
Nicaragua continues to be fertile ground for foreign investment and more and more companies are deciding to move to Nicaragua to continue their operations.  This time, clothing manufacturer Wrangler will close its operations in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, to move its operation to Nicaragua. According to the website Diario de Chihuahua, a source revealed that about 7,000 jobs will be transferred because Nicaragua has better fiscal conditions and government support. (Canal 8, Informe Pastran, 6/13/19)

Government Begins Consultation Process towards a Deep Port in Bluefields
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MTI), began consultation for the construction of a deep-water port at Bluefields, in the Southern Caribbean Autonomous Region. MTI’s Environmental Management Board is carrying out a consultation process within the framework of the Pre-Feasibility Study for the execution of the Deep-water Port project. The officials held a meeting yesterday with the Rama and Kriol Territorial Governments. A consultation was also held with the Regional Government and with delegates from different state institutions. This project would generate numerous jobs. Currently ships must use ports in Honduras and Costa Rica. The studies are being carried out by a Dutch company that won the international bid. (Informe Pastran, 6/13/19)