By Caribbean News Global
TORONTO, Canada – On Saturday, the US celebrated the second anniversary of the “crisis in Nicaragua” amid president Daniel Ortega, 74, claimed that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was “a sign from God” against militarism and hegemony.
President Ortega declared that: “These transnational forces that just want to take control of the planet, that is a sin. And the Lord is sending us this signal,” he continued, “The biggest power on Earth isn’t able to provide for its citizens in cities in the United States. There is a lack of beds and medical equipment, because healthcare isn’t available to the people, to the poor” he said.
The State Department release reads: “We marked two years to the day since the Nicaraguan people rose up peacefully to call for freedom and democracy, demanding change from the corrupt and repressive rule of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo. Unfortunately, the people’s calls for freedom and democracy were met with bullets. At least 325 innocent people have been killed, many by Ortega/Murillo regime snipers.”
Last July, Ortega abandoned the national dialogue with the political opposition and to date has not complied with the terms to which his representatives agreed back in March 2019, including restoring civil liberties, freeing political prisoners, and instituting meaningful electoral reform. Still, more than 70 political prisoners remain incarcerated. The Nicaraguan National Police and masked parapolice continue to spread fear through intimidation and violence against activists and critics. Attacks on the press continue unabated. Individual reporters are abused, and there are ongoing efforts to quell free speech and independent media.
“The COVID-19 pandemic illustrates Ortega and Murillo’s misrule once again,” the State Department statement said, “This public health crisis raises the stakes even higher for the entire nation. President Ortega continues to fail to provide leadership to the Nicaraguan people, and their regime demonstrates its ongoing, blatant disregard for the well-being of their people by eschewing the public measures necessary to contain COVID-19.”
In a statement last Wednesday, Amnesty International said, “The government of president Ortega is flagrantly ignoring the recommendations of international human rights organizations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, putting at risk the health and lives of thousands of people in Nicaragua.”
The State Department release concurs that “While the rest of the world cancels large gatherings and events, suspends non-essential economic activity, and adopts social distancing measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, Ortega and Murillo’s regime refuses to even acknowledge the danger of this deadly pandemic. The Nicaraguan people deserve responsible COVID-19 containment measures be instituted without delay.”
The State Department further “call on president Ortega and vice president Murillo to initiate immediately a democratic transition – including the restoration of human rights guarantees and free and fair elections – to provide for a healthy, prosperous, and free Nicaragua.”
In a rejoinder, president Ortega reiterated; “The largest military power in the history of humanity, the largest economic power in the history of humanity, it is not able to meet the needs of its own citizens in the large cities in the United States, wasting trillions of dollars on atomic bombs, military bases, military alliances.
“What are atomic bombs for?” Ortega continued. “The best atomic weapon that humanity can have is health, is medicine, are hospitals … and for that – you need resources. And we know who has the resources, and we know what they are using those resources for. That is why it’s time for a change,” Ortega declared.