Tortilla con Sal, July 15th 2018
Note from TcS, July 17th : we have re-written parts of this article to reflect more accurate information about events over the weekend of July 13th/15th.
Events in Nicaragua over this weekend of July 13th-15th show how refined the techniques of psychological warfare have become with the political opposition here using social media to exaggerate and distort events, create events that never happened and erase their own criminal terrorist attacks. The crisis in Nicaragua began with a fake "student massacre" that never happened. Now Nicaragua's opposition have faked events relating to the liberation of the national university from armed opposition gangs, falsely alleging an assault on a church, reported by the Washington Post as a vicious and gratuitous government attack. The relatively incident free evacuation of opposition gangs from the National Autonomous University was pictured as a pitched battle that never happened, although in related incidents two opposition activists were killed. These events over the weekend have served as cover to ensure the opposition's terrorist crimes get zero coverage.
On Thursday afternoon July 12th, armed opposition activists from the group in Chontales operating roadblocks controlled by Francisca Ramirez of the anti-Canal movement and local rural workers leader Medardo Mairena infiltrated an opposition peace march in the town of Morrito on the eastern shore of Lake Nicaragua on the highway to the Rio San Juan. They attacked a police post and the local municipal office murdering four police officers and a primary school teacher, wounding four municipal workers and kidnapping nine police officers. Subsequently later that evening the police officers were set free, six of them with injuries.
The following day the government held the annual Repliegue across the country to commemorate a key event in the 1979 victory over the Somoza dictatorship. In Managua the opposition gangs occupying the National Autonomous University since the protests began on April 18th, attacked a group of Sandinistas on their way to participate in the commemorative even. This year rather than the traditional march, the Repliegue took the form of massive caravans of vehicles both in Managua and also in all Nicaragua's major urban centers. Among the group attacked by the UNAN gangs , one Sandinista supporter was killed and nine injured. But, as usual, the Nicaraguan opposition are falsely claiming the death was one of their supporters. After the attack, the opposition gangs then set fire to a classroom module and a preschool facility on the UNAN campus.
To give propaganda cover to their crimes, the opposition then falsely claimed an attack on the Divina Misericordia church coordinated by the extreme right wing Bishop Silvio Baez, and faked scenes of students taking cover from gunfire at the UNAN. Baez first claimed that priests had been killed, before retracting that all too obvious lie. There are photographs of opposition journalists/photographers filming opposition activists pretending to be attacked. But despite the obvious fakery, those false stories have been published in international media. In reality, the opposition gangs in the UNAN were indeed cleared out by the police but mostly by negotiated agreement, most of them left on buses leaving behind a totally trashed university, piles of weapons and drugs. Two opposition activists were killed in armed confrontations with police. The evacuation on buses was widely reported on local opposition TV channels but no international media have given coverage to that humdrum reality.
Outside Managua the government has negotiated agreements to clear roadblocks only to find that in several cases the opposition refuse to honor the agreements. The opposition extremists need to keep up the violence so as to sabotage efforts at National Dialogue and project the false image of a repressive government without popular support. The exact reverse is true as it has been ever since April 18th. Armed opposition extremists have carried out extremely aggressive attacks involving murder and arson on the police, government institutions, private businesses, ordinary passers and then blamed the government. By now national opinion in Nicaragua is well aware of the opposition's false claims. The great majority of people want an end to the violence and serious political negotiations which the opposition have deliberately avoided. Only hard core opposition supporters believe the transparently fake claims of government repression, because most ordinary Nicaraguans are well aware of the terrorist crimes and repression they have suffered at the hands of opposition extremists
Within Nicaragua the opposition hardly bother to conceal the invention and artifice. Their false political theater is almost entirely to impress overseas opinion. Paul Abrau, director of the Inter American Commission for Human Rights has already decided what really happened without even bothering to investigate. He has denounced the non-existent attack on the church in Managua but has said precisely nothing about the murder of five people by the opposition in Morrito. Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro has condemned the non-existent attack in the UNAN. Extreme right wing US Senator Marco Rubio has falsely claimed that US government personnel have been attacked and threatened Daniel Ortega. All of this sinister cynical theater has set the scene for Luis Almagro to change his previously moderate position on Nicaragua and give the US government an institutional pretext on which to intensify sanctions against Nicaragua's government and its people.