Commentary: Popular Pro-Ortega/Murillo Arguments are “Patently False”

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Posted in Nicaragua

Sure, there’s merit to respecting a state’s sovereignty, its right to govern within its own borders as it sees fit, but the case in Nicaragua is different. Surprisingly enough, for many observers the ongoing crisis in Nicaragua is perpetrated by a false opposition, orchestrated by an elite class attempting to undermine a the legitimacy of a revolution and a democratically elected government.

But for any serious observer, “Sandinistas” included, the ample evidence should be damning.

Writing in Pulse Media, Dr. Mary Ellsberg, a Professor of Global Public Health and International Studies at George Washington University, unpacks and critiques claims that the opposition in Nicaragua is illegitimate.

Many articles on the current crisis that have been published on leftist websites such as or Grayzone Project reproduce the talking points of the Ortega/Murillo government: they insist that the opposition is almost already defeated; they are all “coup mongers” (golpistas) made up of US-funded oligarchs and have no popular backing; the majority of the violence is carried out by opposition protesters; and the dozens of young men were killed by snipers who were either mysterious “third party provocateurs,” or “neighborhood self-defense groups” – with no ties to the police or the army. They have referred to the current crisis as an “upside down class war.”

In fact, what is happening in Nicaragua is a massacre.

The first claim, that the opposition has been defeated and consists of exclusively right-wing oligarchs is patently false. This photo shows gigantic peaceful demonstrations in Managua, which make the FSLN demonstration two days prior (which state employees were required to attend) look like Trump’s inauguration crowd compared to Obama’s. The next day Managua was emptied out in support of the national strike called by the oppositionThis hardly looks like the work of a tiny group of bloodsucking parasites, as Rosario Murillo has called them. Indeed, it would take much more than $700,000, which, Grayzonestates is the amount the NED has channeled into Nicaraguan non-governmental organizations to mobilize hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets, and get them to stop their economic activities and stay home the next day. There is no other plausible motive other than their belief that Ortega and Murillo are behind the repression and must go.

The next idea floated by the government, that masked men and snipers appearing all over the country, and by all accounts, responsible for a huge proportion of the murders, are a mysterious third party, is ridiculous. It might have been plausible, if Nicaraguans didn’t all have cell phones, weren’t filming everything and posting it onto social media (the government insists the photos are fake)…

To read the whole commentary, visit Pulse Media

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