29 April 2022 ~ 1 Comentario

Nicaragua: Something Fishy is Going on With China

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

The married couple that runs Nicaragua with an iron hand has a reputation for not being intelligent, but they are very cunning. Foreign Minister Denis Moncada cannot be blamed for the country’s departure from the OAS. “Mr. Moncada is a puppet of Ortega and his wife,” a prominent Nicaraguan exile, who didn’t want to give his name, told me.

Behind any major action that happens in Nicaragua is the hand of Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo, “la Charo,” who is Nicaragua’s Vice President. So this new drift is not exceptional – both are up to their eyeballs in accusing Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS, without any imagination or evidence, of being a bootlicker of Yankee imperialism.

Both have managed to expel the institution from its headquarters, under the pretext that it is “a diabolical instrument,” and to create a kind of “Museum of Infamy” in the 296 square meter office, in an exclusive area in Managua, with the purpose of denigrating the OAS. They haven’t paid attention to former Jesuit Edgar Parrales, a former diplomat in charge of the OAS during the first Sandinista governments, who explained to them that this campaign would be totally negative. Ortega simply put him in jail.

According to 14ymedio newspaper, run by Yoani Sánchez in Cuba, the property belongs to the sisters Luz Marina and María Auxiliadora Navarrete Guevara. The first is married to Pedro Rioseco, a journalist from Prensa Latina (they are usually agents of the Ministry of the Interior), whom she met in Managua between 1986 and 1989. The couple lives in Cuba, but María Auxiliadora lives in Managua with her American husband.

It so happens that one of Ortega’s first confiscatory activities in this second stage (in the first one he confiscated everything he could), would be against these sisters. But if it doesn’t happen, it is because of the money of the Chinese, who would overcharge the conversion of the property into a museum, “generously” paying its “legitimate owners.” After all, the “business” with the Chinese is handled directly by the Ortega-Murillo through their son Laureano, a tenor and collector of expensive Rolex watches, mentioned by the Los Angeles Times as the “heir and successor” of his father. (In the era in which they could exploit Venezuelans, all the money went to the Ortega-Murillo’s coffers. Now it’s the turn of “the Chinese”.)

The first “serious” investment that the Chinese would make has to do with popular housing. It is four hundred million yuan or the equivalent of 60 million US dollars. There are prefabricated houses in the Nicaraguan market for one thousand six hundred dollars, with a single room, and even with two bedrooms and a bathroom for five thousand, as the effective mayor Jaime Nebot did in Guayaquil.

Previously, the Ortega-Murillo came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth to continue disguising themselves as “liberal Christians.” It was more convenient to justify these attacks on democracy by labeling anyone who opposed them as “sons of bitches” or individuals “bought by the Gringos’ gold.” It was even better to assume once and for all the trappings of dictators and put in jail the former Sandinistas who opposed them, such as the legendary former guerrilla fighter Dora María Téllez, former Minister of Health during the first Sandinista government, and Ana Margarita Vigil Guardián, both dissidents, together with other revolutionaries of the Sandinista National Liberation Front.

 Thus, the 7 or 8 candidates who could easily defeat Ortega and his wife were deprived of their right to run for the presidency by imprisoning them and accusing them without evidence, or with rigged evidence, of using ill-gotten money in the campaign, or invoking the pretext of a sovereignty endangered “by the imminent Yankee assault.” These were the cases of the Chamorro brothers, Cristiana and Pedro Joaquín, children of Doña Violeta; and the economist Sebastián Chamorro; of historian Arturo Cruz, and also Noel Vidaurre, Félix Maradiaga, journalist Miguel Mora and the peasant leader Medardo Mairena.

It was a tragedy that Ortega and Murillo withdrew their support from Taiwan and sold it to mainland China. Taiwan is the liberal and democratic China that has been able to evolve from authoritarianism to democracy. As soon as Nicaragua betrayed its old allies, on December 10, 2021, when the photo of Laureano Ortega Murillo together with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu appeared, a chain of “locuritas” (little crazy things) as they call unfortunate behavior in Nicaragua, began, and the duo of Nicaraguan rulers inevitably gave themselves over to the worst conduct, such as the persecution of their political opponents.

In view of the fact that Latin America lacks a foreign policy – except for the imperial, although failed, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua –, the OAS is the best or the least bad place for the United States and Canada to face this difficulty, as they do in the European Union and in NATO. Someone has to put an end to the horrors of Díaz Canel ruling in Cuba, or Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, or the nefarious duo in Nicaragua. Someone has to tell China or Russia that they cannot continue to encourage anti-democratic disorder without suffering institutional and personal sanctions. And that site is the OAS.

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