Ortega’s Turn for the Trump Treatment [VIDEO]
Ortega’s Turn for the Trump Treatment [VIDEO]
Daniel Ortega’s time rampaging through Central America as the poor man’s Che Guevara (in his early Sandinista years), to his reign now as president of Nicaragua, may have finally hit the immutable force that puts an inglorious end to it. He – and his Vice Presidential spouse, Rosario Murillo – were called out Monday afternoon, BY NAME, by the guy who takes names.
And the White House wasn’t mincing any words.
White House says Ortegas ‘responsible’ for Nicaragua violence
The White House said Monday that responsibility for deadly political violence that has destabilized Nicaragua lies with President Daniel Ortega and his wife.
In a statement, the US government said it “strongly condemns the ongoing violence in Nicaragua and human rights abuses committed by the Ortega regime” in response to political protests.
…”President Ortega and Vice President Murillo are ultimately responsible for the pro-government parapolice that have brutalized their own people,” the White House said.
In the past three months of unrest, there have been over 300 deaths and 2000+ wounded in clashes between student protesters and the Ortega directed para-military and government forces. In my post on April 24th, I noted the US had just closed its embassy due to the deteriorating conditions. Fellow Victory Girl Kim Hirsch’s heart rending post two weeks ago toted up the horrific numbers of the Ortega sanctioned slaughter happening right under our noses.
The State Department had already been busy with a particularly horrific assault in Masaya, Nicaragua two weeks ago. The Ortega government dubbed it “Operation Cleaning.” They ostensibly went in to remove road blocks and barricades.
Today the White House stepped in, and did what they’ve done to shake things to the roots. They put El Presidente and his esposa on notice that the eyes of the United States are not distracted by a shiny objects in Europe and Asia, and are seeing quite clearly what’s going on to our south.
Before the White House issued its condemnation of the regime, the administration flexed some diplomatic and logistical muscle. First, they yanked the visas from Nicaraguan officials who’d taken part, or were thought to have contributed to the vicious crackdown. They also promised it was just the beginning.
The United States on Monday said it was revoking visas of Nicaraguan officials connected to a crackdown on protesters, while President Daniel Ortega said in Managua that he wanted to strengthen dialogue with opposition groups.
…Washington blamed Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla leader, and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, for the situation.
Last month, the United States imposed sanctions against three top Nicaraguan officials, citing human rights abuses.
“These are a start, not an end, of potential sanctions,” the White House said.
The U.S. also made it harder for the Ortega backed para-military to get around town. As well as let them know money would be on its way to the folks behind the barricades.
The White House announced Monday that it has confiscated U.S.-donated vehicles from Nicaraguan security forces and suspended future donations and sales in response to President Daniel Ortega’s deadly crackdown on opponents.
…The United States until recently had worked to train and equip Nicaraguan security forces. In a region known for corrupt, poorly trained police, the Nicaraguan force was seen as one of the better ones.
Now in addition to cutting off access to vehicles to the police, the administration said it would funnel another $1.5 million to “freedom and democracy” groups as a “critical lifeline” to the Nicaraguan opposition movement arrayed against Ortega.
Ortega and his family of thieves is suddenly all about talking to the U.N. (Well, in their defense, no one else TO talk to. Their buddy Maduro is otherwise occupado at the moment…). He’s also poo-pooing reports from humanitarian agencies about the insensitivity and rough manners of his hired help.
Nicaraguan human rights group CENIDH said 295 people have died in the violence, while other rights groups talk of up to 485 people killed.
Ortega, whose reaction to the protests has been compared to Anastasio Somoza, the dictator he helped topple in 1979, said 195 people have died.
“Human rights organizations are politicized, have a systematic policy against the government and push people to file complaints. They invent anything,” said Ortega.
SUCH a dismissive champion of the people, no? He’s going to have to reinvent himself pretty quickly.
The unrest is posing the biggest challenge to Ortega’s authority since he returned to office in 2007, not least because the business sector that had underpinned previous economic stability is now spurning him over the violence.
Besides alienating students and the business sector, Ortega is “waging war” with the Catholic Church in Nicaragua. That doesn’t leave many people on his side.
Relatively few “migrants” come to the United States from the tiny country, but that could all change. If the regime teeters into chaos and revolution, the stability Nicaraguans have enjoyed over the past few decades will be a fleeting memory as they slip back into banana republic stereotype. I am very sure hearts are in throats dreading that even now. Ortega’s return to power in 2006 has eroded all the very carefully constructed constitutional safeguards put in place by the Violeta Chamorro government to prevent just such a tragedy:
After the Sandinistas lost power in the 1990 presidential election, the new government of Violeta Chamorro undertook a complex set of reforms that, among other changes, established clear boundaries between law enforcement, the army and political parties in Nicaragua.
Those reforms strengthened the Nicaraguan state such that non-state forces could no longer violently confront — or substitute — government institutions.
Nicaragua had THE lowest murder rate in Central America. No drug trafficking to speak of. A stable economy. No personal death squads operating with impunity. No organized crime groups of any note. No frightened refugees fleeing a violence scarred country. But that’s changing. In chaos, there is profit and potential. Folks are going to start looking for someone safe to go.
The White House has to ratchet up the pressure and fast. Today was full of good moves in the right direction.