The expert in epidemiology of the Multidisciplinary Scientific Committee (CCM) Leonel Arguello and the former Sandinista guerrilla and former health minister Dora Maria Tellez They explained the mistaken decision of the Daniel Ortega regime to close and confiscate the assets of the Nicaraguan Red Cross Association, which will now be administered by the Ministry of Health (Minsa).
The former director of epidemiology of the Minsa told Article 66 that Nicaragua is the only country in the world where the Red Cross is eliminated as a non-profit association.
He also explained that this action is part of the process that began in 2007, “where they began to put obstacles to non-governmental organizations, which later became more severe with the Foreign Agents Law and finally eliminating more than 3,400 NGOs, with the purpose of eliminating, which is the final purpose, civil society, within this is the Catholic and Evangelical Church ».
Red Cross volunteering in danger
He stressed that the Red Cross was the only remaining non-profit association with extensive volunteerism; and that «this broad volunteering has the characteristic that nobody sends it, it is done because they want to contribute something to the person, family and community that is being helped, but that volunteering now becomes a threat, from the perspective of the government, and it eliminates the Red Cross, keeping its resources,” explained Argüello.
He stressed that this new onslaught by the Nicaraguan dictatorship “It is part of the process of eliminating society ccivil, but the fundamental thing is that they go against volunteering, because volunteering decides for itself, it is autonomous (…) it does not necessarily follow the guidelines that it is given, but rather fulfills its role as a humanitarian worker to support those who whatever you need it.”
“If you begin to force these volunteers to belong to a certain ideology or subordinate themselves to the State, this volunteering would disappear, which is a serious mistake. The other thing that must be taken into account is that the Ministry of Health is a large entity (…) and placing an additional burden on it does not make any sense, “he stressed.
Other observations made by the specialist is that there was no rigorous evaluation of the performance of the Nicaraguan Red Cross, but that the Ortega dictatorship was based on the fact that the institution treated the injured in the 2018 protests, “when apparently there were an order that they should not be attended to.”
«That is the same as the doctors that we have to attend to people, whoever they are, and many of us are in exile as a result of having fulfilled our duty; now they are passing the bill to the Red Cross (…) basically with this they are saying that health care in Nicaragua is going to be directed to whomever the government decides and not to the entire Nicaraguan population,” said Dr. Leonel Argüello.
Dora María Téllez: “The Ortega-Murillos want to end everything”
For its part, the former political Dora Maria Tellez He recalled that the Red Cross is one of the oldest civil associations in Nicaragua and extremely efficient, since he affirms that the administration managed “with very high efficiency the entire ambulance service throughout the country, and every last Nicaraguan knows that ».
For the historic ex-combatant, the blow to the Nicaraguan Red Cross “is a blow, which is the continuity of the Ortega-Murillo policy of ending everything, because they are one of those who want to leave razed earth, that absolutely nothing remains.” It’s not under their total control.”
Téllez assured that what will happen is that “Minsa, which already has many problems, which already has deficiencies in care (…) will now additionally be burdened by the ambulance system that the Red Cross had and with the burden of the Banco de Blood”.
«What we are going to see in the short term is a deficient service from the Red Cross, but hopefully that service will not break down, but instead it will be a service that pays attention to the demands of all Nicaraguans, because one of the accusations that He does to the Nicaraguan Red Cross is that he treated the wounded in 2018, and what did they want him to do if that is the function of the Red Cross? the exiled politician maintained.
He emphasized that the accusation made against the institution is that it did not side with the government, “that is, what the Ortega and Murillo regime is saying is that the Cross should have let all the people who required attention die.” in the context of the 2018 protests, and that is frankly criminal.”
The opponent stressed that she hopes that the attention that the state Red Cross will now provide will not be biased. “Hopefully that will not happen with the Blood Bank, because that would be much more serious, that they deny the supply of blood to private health units and to people who require a blood supply and who are not supportive of the government.
The Red Cross in Nicaragua has been working since 1934; It is a non-profit organization and has worked with the motto of independence, autonomy, not joining any political party, any movement or government in power to be able to carry out humanitarian aid, regardless of which side the conflict is on. in favor or oppossing.