Nicaragua’s ‘dreadful duumvirate’


Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo’s corrupt and paranoid dictatorship has destroyed the Sandinista movement’s proudest achievements, notes analyst Alma Guillermoprieto.

Former Sandinista insider Sergio Ramírez’s account of the events of May 2018 in his book, Tongolele no sabía bailar [Tongolele Had No Rhythm],
is accurate, but it is when Ramírez’s narrative invention runs wildest that his portrayal of Nicaragua under the thumb of the improbable Ortega-Murillo duumvirate is most truthful, she writes for The New York Review of Books:

Because he was vice-president or the equivalent for the first ten years of the Sandinista regime, Ramírez has intimate knowledge of Ortega and his associates in the underworld of power, as well as of everyday Nica life, she adds, citing strong evidence that Ortega is a pedophile and a rapist…….Fabián Medina reminds us that Ortega succeeded thanks to some skillful constitutional meddling that allowed candidates to win with as little as 35 percent of the vote. With further wrangling, Ortega returned to power in 2007 with 38.07 percent of the vote and has been president ever since. His corrupt and dictatorial brand of Sandinismo has destroyed the movement’s proudest achievements.

Human Rights Watch Americas Director Dr. José Miguel Vivanco has appealed to Ambassador Josué Fiallo, Chair of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, to curb Nicaragua’s human rights abuses.

“In light of continued grave abuses and violations of human rights, we respectfully urge you to redouble the pressure on the Ortega government through the Inter-American Democratic Charter process, specifically by applying its Article 21,” he stated. “Strong and sustained international pressure is needed to curb egregious rights violations, secure the release of those arbitrarily detained, allow Nicaraguans to return from exile, end censorship, and restore judicial independence and political rights in Nicaragua.”

The plight and courage of Nicaragua’s civil society was highlighted in the National Endowment for Democracy’s 2021 award to the Colectivo de Derechos Humanos Nicaragua Nunca Más (above), a group dedicated to preserving historical memory in Nicaragua and seeking justice for victims of the state-led violence unleashed by the Ortega regime in 2018. The NED also recognized Honduran media group Contracorriente, Guatemala’s Myrna Mack Foundation (MMF) and Salvador’s Asociación Transparencia, Contraloría Social y Datos Abiertos (Transparency, Social Oversight, and Open Data Association, or TRACODA).

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