Reality vs. mainstream news in Nicaragua

Submitted bytortilla onLun, 23/07/2018 - 17:08

Al Burke, Nordic News Network, July 23rd 2018
There was a massive demonstration of popular support for the government of Nicaragua on July 19th, as hundreds of thousands — perhaps millions — of citizens celebrated the 39th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution.

That should not have been possible according to the nearly uniform narrative of Western mainstream media, which for the past several months have been spinning and embroidering a tale of an entire people in uproar against an oppressive government. (See draft letter to The Guardian, below.)

”It was the largest anniversary celebration ever,” reports Jorge Capelán, a native of Uruguay who has spent most of his working life as a journalist in Nicaragua and Sweden. For the past nine years he has been an editor of both print and broadcast media in Nicaragua and was on hand to observe the massive turnout on the 19th.

”There were as many people as usual in the capital city of Managua,” he notes, ”somewhere between 300-400,000. The opposition claims that there were only 50,000. But judge for yourself from the attached video.*

”There were also huge demonstrations in the major regional cities. I was in Masaya and it was full of celebrators. [U.S. author] Max Blumenthal was here and interviewed lots of people; he was very impressed. There are at least three major documentary films in the works, all of which will question the Western propaganda.”

That propaganda and the reality which it obscures was outlined, appropriately enough, on July 4th in ”Nicaragua: Legitimacy And Human Rights” by Stephen Sefton for Telesur at…

See also ”Nicaragua Defeats The Not-So-Soft Coup” at…

Sources like Jorge Capelán and Stephen Sefton are subject to scepticism due to their evident sympathy for the Sandinista Revolution and the government of Daniel Ortega. But their evidence and arguments are clearly stated and open for inspection, not least by comparison with subsequent events. To cite but one example: No one who has relied on their reporting would have been surprised by the huge outpouring of support for the government on the revolution’s anniversary.

On the other hand, consumers of the mainstream news on Nicaragua may be forgiven for reacting to the same reality with bewilderment and/or disbelief. That risk is being minimized, however, by conducting media business as usual. Jorge Capelán notes, for example, that in the days following the July 19th celebrations, “The big news about Nicaragua in Western media was a demonstration by opposition forces” which consisted of around 1000 participants according to credible sources.

“But at the same time, demonstrations were held throughout the country by Sandinistas who demanded that the coup-makers be brought to justice. There were portraits of all the Sandinistas and police murdered by right-wing forces.”

Needless to say, this was not big news: “When an overwhelming majority demonstrates, mainstream media ignore it or suggest that the demonstrators are all ‘paramilitaries’ or mere employees of the public sector,” concludes Jorge Capelán. 
This pattern of misconduct by mainstream media is neither recent nor unique. The huge discrepancy between what they report and what demonstrably occurs in Nicaragua is merely one example of the systematic falsification that so often masquerades as journalism.
* The video with aerial views of the July 19th celebration in Managua is in Mpeg-4 format (21 megabytes).
   It is available at
   In the event of problems with downloading and/or viewing, contact