Although the poses, protests and insults of Daniel Ortega are usually framed deliberately, on May 18 it was all too noticeable that the Head Honcho was particularly tangled and confused. He snarled up the dates tremendously. He didn’t even know what day it was. He also made a total snafu of the statistics.
In addition, two things stood out: despite a well-adorned table with place settings including snacks for more than ten people, the only invited guests that appeared in his presence were the Minister of Health and the president of the National Assembly. Both remained at a prudent distance. Also, this year Ortega didn’t make his annual visit to Niquinhomo, the birthplace of Sandino, where he customarily heads the commemorative act for Sandino’s birthday. We recall how he used to plant soldiers and police all along the highway to guard him in his popularity.
Given these details, it’s an opportune time to repeat what’s humorously expressed in the social networks: the best example to follow in the pandemic is Daniel Ortega – neither he nor his family leave their home. He hasn’t sent his grandchildren to school since before the private schools suspended in-person classes. He doesn’t get into crowds, nor participate in political acts or friends’ burials. And he guards the proper social distance. If he appeared without a mask this time, it’s because he opted to leave the guests in the doorway.
As usual, there was a total contradiction between what he says and what he does. He presses his followers to attend sporting events, carnivals, parties, tourist and festive activities, despite the imminent danger of massive contagion. He keeps the schools and the public institutions open. He exposes his followers and the general population to risk, but he and his extended family remain gathered in their bunker.
Now, to get to the bottom
Even with the mixed-up numbers, Ortega recognized that behind the deaths ascribed to pneumonia hide deaths due to the novel Coronavirus. He affirmed that between January 1 and May 15, 309 Nicaraguans have died from pneumonia.
You see how easy it is to catch these liars? It turns out that the Health Department’s epidemiological registries through the end of April, which are posted on the internet if they haven’t taken them down, put the total loss of life from pneumonia at 86.
In other words, in these last two weeks, there’ve been 223 fatal cases of pneumonia. I repeat so that we’re clear – according to the regime’s count of the first four months of the year, there were 86 deaths from pneumonia, while in the last two weeks there’ve been 223.
The Ministry of Health’s epidemiological bulletin
How should we interpret this? According to the specialists, in the current circumstances every fatality caused by “atypical pneumonia” should be considered a COVID-19 death. We can then note that, according to the data from Ortega and from the Health Ministry (Minsa), we should assume that over 200 Nicaraguans have died from COVID-19 in the last two weeks. This painful conclusion should pressure us into generalizing the preventive measures to protect our health and lives.
There’s yet another statistic. In a communique, the Health Minister officially reported that in the last week, those infected went from 25 cases to 254. In other words, Nicaragua is the only country in the world where, in one week, infections multiplied ONE THOUSAND PERCENT. We’ll see what absurdity they come out with next week.
Let’s go on to another point. We know that Ortega uses distraction as one of his preferred tactics. When it suits him, he invents, distorts or exaggerates facts, with the aim of distracting or diverting attention from a relevant matter to another, less relevant one.
This time, he once again offered a demonstration of his mastery of this. We know that internationally in the last few days, media, as well as governments, parliamentarians, former presidents and international organizations have focused their attention on the very serious danger that Ortega represents to the Nicaraguan people and the Central American region, as a result of his criminal irresponsibility in the face of the pandemic. CNN, the Washington Post, Spain’s El Pais newspaper, the BBC, the Guardian, and the New York Times to mention some, published reports or commentaries recently.
Similarly, in the face of the multiplication of infections and deaths, that are public knowledge, Ortega needed and needs to divert attention. More so, since he remains without lifting a finger before the economic exhaustion that the pandemic is producing in different social sectors, principally among the most vulnerable.
What was his maneuver? Manipulating the confusion generated by the public health measures being applied by Costa Rica, which is blocking the smooth flow of cargo trucks across the border. Ortega is now accusing this country of provoking a Central American conflict.
The movie’s bad guy, then, who is threatening his own people with genocide and putting at risk the rest of the Central American countries, now points an accusing finger at the authorities who have prioritized the health and the lives of their citizens above the economic problems that are generated. It must be said, this conflict not only harms large business owners in Central America. The blockage causes economic damage to Costa Rican importers, transportation firms and businesspeople.
In this way, amid the troubled waters, the tyrant appears with an attempt to sell the movie: “Ortega, the good guy, takes on the wicked Costa Ricans.”
At least there are very few left who believe his tall tales.