Daniel Ortega used the platform of the XX Summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples’ Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) to once again accuse the priests of the Catholic Church of ordering murders during the protests of April 2018 and insist that political prisoners are “terrorists” financed by the United States to overthrow their government.
Ortega arrived surprisingly in Cuba on the morning of this Tuesday to participate in this regional event, in which in addition to the president of the island, Miguel Díaz Canel, the presidents Nicolás Maduro, of Venezuela, Luis Arce, of Bolivia and the prime ministers of Granada, Keith Mitchell, and of San Vicente y the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves.
Although the moderator, at the beginning of the intervention, told Ortega that he had 10 minutes to offer his words, the Nicaraguan ruler spoke for a little more than an hour, in which he again made a tour from his own historical perspective on the interventions Europeans and Americans in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Attack on the church
It was again when Ortega referred to the citizen protests of 2018, that the president again referred to the supposed role that he attributes to the priests of the Catholic Church.
“Hundreds of young people killed and burned by terrorists who already imagined they were overthrowing the government. And priests and bishops celebrating these horrendous crimes. Priests recorded there when they advised the terrorists that the corpses of their comrades who had been burned were to be thrown into a toilet. Said by the priest, said by the bishops, in the name of God, ”Ortega said sarcastically.
The priests participated as mediators during the failed dialogue of 2018, in order to seek to put an end to the bloody repression by the Police and the regime’s paramilitaries to the citizen protests of April of that year.
The regime maintains a strong third party with the Catholic Church, whose attacks against it from Ortega have intensified since the Archdiocese of Managua issued a statement on August 10 in which he warned that “there are no conditions for democratic elections” in Nicaragua.
The Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Managua later issued a message on October 15 in which it regretted the loss of a “valuable opportunity to set the course of the country”, referring to the November 7 vote, a process which was carried out without political competition and without any transparency, which Ortega was awarded with a supposed victory of 75.87% of the votes.
“The political rights inherent to citizenship can and should be granted according to the demands of the common good. They cannot be suspended by the authority without a legitimate and proportionate reason, ”the Commission stated on that occasion.
Against the prisoners
Ortega took advantage of his speech to insist that the kidnapped political prisoners, mainly those who were captured in the context of the voting process, were the executors of “an alleged US financing” of NGOs to achieve their overthrow.
“We have prisoners of terrorists who financed terrorism and wanted to finance new terrorist activities, laundering money, money sent by the United States with the story that they were financing non-governmental organizations. All that is discovered. There is a file that will be presented in due course by the Prosecutor’s Office, the Judicial Power. Millions of dollars, many more millions than the United States should put in to help the people, “he added.
Seven presidential candidates were kidnapped in the latest wave of repression, which began in May. The trials of these new prisoners of conscience are frozen by the judicial system of the regime, alleging an alleged “work overload”.
Ortega once again rejected the international community’s demand for the release of political prisoners.
“Now it turns out that because they are detained, they are imprisoned, they are being processed, they have to be released, and the Europeans say it, the Yankees say it, they do have the right to do justice, we do not have the right to do justice. There is a judicial system in Nicaragua, there are laws, Europeans give themselves the right to imprison whoever they want ”, he refuted.
The story about the Franklin Delano Roosevelt quote returns
In the middle of his story, Ortega emphasized on points such as the “colonialism” of Europe and the “interventionism” of the United States in the history of Nicaragua, in addition to accusing Costa Rica of “harboring bases of the Counterrevolution” to support the country. North America in what he calls the “imposed war” in the 1980s. “They installed their bases for aggression in democratic Costa Rica, which has always been an instrument of the Yankees,” he added.
Even for the third consecutive time in his speeches, Ortega again quoted the alleged phrase of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt about Anastasio Somoza García, who would have said: “He’s a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch”, to insist on what he calls the “imperialist obsession” of the United States with Nicaragua.