Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Morning Star backs Nicaraguan regime repression against accusations of human rights violations.

with 10 comments

Portada de El Nuevo Diario (Nicaragua)

39th Anniversary of Nicaraguan Revolution: Regime Chief Says Bishops in “Coup Plan”.

Nicaragua strongman blames ‘satanists,’ bishops, U.S. for unrest.

Agence France-Presse July the 20th.

Daniel Ortega says the protesters, financed by the ‘North American empire’ and domestic business chiefs, had been conspiring to mount a coup d’etat against him.

Standing on a stage alongside the Cuban and Venezuelan foreign ministers and his wife Rosario Murillo, who is also his vice president, Ortega spoke as if his security forces had finished with the public dissent after armed offensives launched over the past week.

“The satanists have to be exorcized,” he said.

“It has been a painful battle. Painful because we have confronted an armed conspiracy financed by internal forces we know and external forces,” he said.

The 3 months of unrest in what used to be one of Latin America’s safest countries has seen more than 280 people killed, most of them protesting youths, according to rights groups.

Ortega made no mention of those deaths, instead rattling off a list of two dozen police officers he said were killed by “terrorists.”

Le Monde today is moved to Editorialise on the anniversary speaking of the regime’s moral disarray and excessive use of force (“déroute morale, provoquée par un usage excessif de la force”).

The Spanish language press has talked for some time of the violence of Ortega’s henchmen, the “turbas sandinistas“.

Faced with the mounting violence most of the international left has backed the protests against the corrupt Nicaraguan regime’s bloody repression.


June 21, 2018 US Socialist Worker (no relation at present with UK publication of the same name).

The two-month old uprising in Nicaragua against the government of President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo (Ortega’s wife} has turned into a city-by-city battle for control. Students began the protests with opposition to cuts to Social Security, but now, the chief demand of the spreading movement is the resignation of the Ortega-Murillo government.

At one point, the government seemed to teeter, but government-backed paramilitary forces are waging a campaign of terror to intimidate the population into submission. Meanwhile, the government is negotiating with a fractious grouping of opposition representatives in an effort to resolve the crisis. Ortega has indicated he may be willing to accept early elections in 2019, but not leave power any sooner. But it’s unclear whether this is a sufficient concession to demobilize the anti-government protests.

Oscar René Vargas is a Nicaraguan sociologist and political analyst who was a militant in the Sandinista revolution, and is now a critic of the political and moral degeneration of the FSLN and the Ortega government. This article first appeared in Correspondencia de Prensa and was translated by Lance Selfa.

The Guardian reports today, Tom Phillips: Nicaragua: what’s driving the uprising and what comes next?

The initially student-led protests in April were met with a shower of police bullets and since then Nicaragua has been gripped by a highly unpredictable wave of violence and government repression. Victims have included several babiesan altar boy and numerous teenage protesters as well as police officers and some government supporters.

Journalists critical of Ortega’s government have been targeted or threatened. Key roads and cities, including the former Sandinista stronghold of Masaya, have fallen under rebel control.

Recent weeks have seen violence intensify as government troops and paramilitaries began clearing protest camps and roadblocks that had brought swaths of the country to a standstill.

“It is an ugly moment,” said Geoff Thale, a Central America expert and activist from the Washington Office on Latin America advocacy group.

“Paramilitary groups and snipers and others have aggressively … tried to dislodge people from the National University. They’ve tried to dislodge tranques [roadblocks] in Masaya. They have pushed around priests, they have gone into churches. It is really pretty intense.”

Meanwhile Nicaragua’s government and its supporters have blamed the bloodshed on “coup mongers”, “terrorists” and “criminals”.


Nicaraguan officials have repeatedly cast protesters as criminals and “terrorists” involved in a US-backed conspiracy. The vice-president, Rosario Murillo, has accused the “satanic” opposition of driving the violence and attacked what she calls a “false” anti-Ortega media witch-hunt.

In response to these accusations Tom Phillips notes,

However, there is widespread and growing consensus within the international community that Nicaragua’s government is in fact largely responsible for the bloodshed.

This week 13 Latin American countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay – called for an immediate end to the repression and the dismantling of paramilitary groups and denounced “the acts of violence, intimidation and the threats directed towards Nicaraguan society”.

The United Nations accused Ortega’s government of “a wide range of human rights violations … including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detentions, and denying people the right to freedom of expression”. “The great majority of violations are by government or armed elements who seem to be working in tandem with them,” a UN spokesperson added.

Uruguay’s former leftwing president José Mujica also spurned Ortega, admitting the Sandinista “dream” had gone astray.

These reports stand in stark contrast with the Morning Star which appears hell-bent on denying the facts:

Nicaragua celebrates 39th anniversary of the revolution and defeat of coup attempt.

Morning Star July the 19th.

A government offensive is underway, dismantling roadblocks that have damaged the Nicaraguan economy and been used to launch attacks against Sandinista supporters and the police.

The coup attempt began on April 18 following protests over pension reforms.

Mr Ortega announced a national dialogue backed by most layers of Nicaraguan society including trade unions and the country’s official student body.

Despite this, opposition groups continued to wage violent attacks, demanding the resignation of Mr Ortega. On Sunday an arsenal of weapons, including bomb-making equipment and home-made mortars, was found at the occupied National Autonomous University of Nicaragua.

Fearing potential attacks on today’s celebrations, critics warned that international organisations have sided with the coup-plotters.

They accused Amnesty International and “fellow coup apologists” such as Bianca Jagger and SOS Nicaragua, along with media organisations including the Guardian, BBC, Telegraph, Washington Post, New York Times, Al Jazeera and CNN of covering up human rights violations committed by opposition activists trying to oust Nicaragua’s legitimate government.

This article is far from alone in the self-styled Paper of the Left’s coverage.

HUGE cache of arms has been found at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) as the Sandinista government launched an offensive against armed right-wing terrorists over the weekend.

Morning Star. Monday July 16th.

Vargas and many, many, others, tell a very different story.

It’s time Labour spoke out against this brutal and corrupt regime.


Written by Andrew Coates

July 20, 2018 at 12:19 pm

10 Responses

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  1. The time to speak out against them was in 1979! But better late than never. See what happens when you support state capitalist, left nationalist regimes? There really is no nice way to run capitalism.


    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry reading this article. They try hard to paint the protesters in a very negative light. But I did laugh at the bit about the Nicaraguan economy being stable. Surely that is a bad thing as the economy is well…rubbish! So keeping a rubbish economy stable is hardly something to write home about.

    Steven Johnston

    July 20, 2018 at 2:23 pm

  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Nicaragua

    Next time the Star claims to pro-choice, ask them why they support the party that made abortion completely illegal in Nicaragua.

    It was always good to embarrass the NSC when they used to speak at union meetings. At the end of their drivel about how Nicaragua is paradise on Earth, you can always say “Thank you for visiting us today, as I know it must have been a tough decision as we are pro-choice…”. It was funny to watch them squirm.

    But back on topic, since when did the Star ever care about human rights?

    Though just out of interests, if the protesters demanded these reforms similar to these:

    1.Immediate new elections to the Soviets; the present Soviets no longer express the wishes of the workers and peasants. The new elections should be held by secret ballot, and should be preceded by free electoral propaganda for all workers and peasants before the elections.
    2.Freedom of speech and of the press for workers and peasants, for the Anarchists, and for the Left Socialist parties.
    3.The right of assembly, and freedom for trade union and peasant associations.
    4.The liberation of all political prisoners of the Socialist parties, and of all imprisoned workers and peasants, soldiers and sailors belonging to working class and peasant organisations.
    5.The election of a commission to look into the dossiers of all those detained in prisons and concentration camps.
    6.The abolition of all political sections in the armed forces; no political party should have privileges for the propagation of its ideas, or receive State subsidies to this end. In place of the political section, various cultural groups should be set up, deriving resources from the State.
    7.The immediate abolition of the militia detachments set up between towns and countryside.
    8.The equalisation of rations for all workers, except those engaged in dangerous or unhealthy jobs.
    9.The abolition of Party combat detachments in all military groups; the abolition of Party guards in factories and enterprises. If guards are required, they should be nominated, taking into account the views of the workers.
    10.The granting to the peasants of freedom of action on their own soil, and of the right to own cattle, provided they look after them themselves and do not employ hired labour.
    11.We request that all military units and officer trainee groups associate themselves with this resolution.
    12.We demand that the Press give proper publicity to this resolution.
    13.We demand the institution of mobile workers’ control groups.
    14.We demand that handicraft production be authorised, provided it does not utilise wage labour.

    you would agree it would be the correct thing to do to shoot them and their families!

    Steven Johnston

    July 20, 2018 at 2:52 pm

  3. There are rumours of Venezuelan and Cuban military involvement, alongside the Nicaraguan military long being suspected of being involved in violence, despite professing neutrality.

  4. Well I spoke to a woman from the Nicaraguan Solidarity campaign and she loves both Cuba & Venezuela. Does that mean all these solidarity campaign societies will fall out if there is war between these states?
    I would not have thought Venezuela was in a fit state to wage war against anyone. As for Cuba, what would be in it for them? Nicaragua is dirt poor, one of the worst economies in the World (all the fault of the US of course), so the benefits of conquering that country would be outweighed by the costs.

    Whoever takes over though, lets hope they life the ban on abortion. Eh comrades?

    Steven Johnston

    July 24, 2018 at 10:09 am

  5. What are you saying Steve? That Stalin would make a better Prime Minister than Theresa May? That the Bolsheviks should take over Buckingham Palace? .

    Czar Nicolas the Second and Family

    July 24, 2018 at 11:10 am

  6. Steven, In Nicaragua you can fill up a 60 litre tank for less than one US dollar 😉 Nicaragua is the cheapest place in the world to fill up your vehicle 😉 Enterprising Nicaraguans transport the cheap fuel over the border to Columbia to make a quick buck. And who said the Nicaraguan economy was in tatters?

    Daniel Ortega

    July 24, 2018 at 11:20 am

  7. Daniel, is there anything you Central American lefties love more than $$$$$$$$$!

    Steven Johnston

    July 24, 2018 at 11:55 am

  8. Czar Nicolas, even Robert Griffiths would make a better PM than Theresa May.

    Steven Johnston

    July 24, 2018 at 12:55 pm

  9. Daniel Ortega, I’ve checked this and petrol is a dollar a litre in Nicaragua. That is more expensive that in Columbia, are you sure you it’s not the Colombians selling it to the Nicaraguans for a cheap buck?

    Steven Johnston

    July 24, 2018 at 4:44 pm

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