Daniel Ortega’s Son Threatens Nicaraguan Businessmen
By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo January 07, 2020
The Nicaraguan government strengthens its pattern of repression.
On November 13, Juan Carlos Ortega Murillo, son of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo, announced the creation of the May 4th Sandinista Movement (Movimiento Sandinista 4 de mayo). Ortega Murrillo made the announcement in front of the Private Enterprise Superior Council (COSEP, in Spanish), and said that Nicaraguan businessmen were enemies of the people for opposing the regime’s ideals. On May 4, 1927, Augusto Sandino, who inspired the Sandinista movement, refused to sign the Espino Negro Pact, which sought to put an end to a civil war between the conservative government and nationalist opposition groups.
“In early November, the president accused businesses of distorting economic figures in order to spread fear,” Eliseo Núñez, an expert in public policy and legislative law, told Diálogo from Managua. “Consequently, Ortega might exert pressure on them with taxes and company expropriations, as he did with the media.”
In response, COSEP reported that the government and its partisan structures are conducting a media campaign and public actions against organizations and private sector leaders, with threats that promote a “culture of intolerance, hatred, and death.” Political instability has affected the conditions with which to do business and triggers company shutdowns and unemployment, it added.
“Economic revival and a democratic state won’t be possible until the civil rights and political liberties of all Nicaraguans are restored,” Francys Valdivia Machado, president of the Mothers of April Association, told Diálogo. Valdivia Machado escaped to Mexico after receiving threats from the Sandinista regime, and continues her work in exile. Her brother, Franco Valdivia, was murdered during the protests of April 2018.
“The movement led by Ortega’s son represents violence, persecution, and repression, and it reflects the Sandinista front’s fear of losing power,” Valdivia Machado added. “The presidential couple is willing to do anything to win the presidential election [in 2021].”
In addition to leading the new Sandinista movement, Ortega Murillo is the director of TV Channel 8, and owns Difuso Comunicaciones, one of the companies responsible for creating pro-government propaganda, said the Spanish daily La Vanguardia.
“The Ortega Murillos are playing with the human rights of Nicaraguans. We don’t want war, but a peaceful and solid solution to the crisis that the country is going through,” Valdivia Machado concluded.