Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega denies that he has quashed the protests through repression, doesn’t feel responsible for those who died in the streets in the last four-plus months, and blames the United States and drug traffickers for financing, supporting and arming violent groups.
In an interview with the ACAN-Efe news agency in Managua, the FSLN leader and the country’s president termed the protests a “criminal blow,” that in his opinion are part of a plan to get him out of government.
Different international organizations have documented as many as 400+ deaths in those protests, and human rights organizations have been expelled from the country after denouncing the repression.
Their denunciations have been reaffirmed by figures such as author Sergio Ramirez, the latest Cervantes Literature Award holder and former vice president under Ortega (1985-1990). Ramirez spoke of “police and paramilitary forces armed with war rifles, acting together against a disarmed populace.”
Ortega’s response to this was: “He’s putting to work his abilities as a storyteller. He’s a great storyteller, and he’s inventing a really macabre story about the tragedy that our people are living through. He’s lying.”
The president directly blames the United States, and considers this another facet of the history of US intervention in Central American politics and especially in Nicaragua.
“It’s a matter of not respecting the Nicaraguan people, but of carrying out a policy of permanent intervention to obligate people to favor this intervention and their candidate,” he explained.