As a result of the pressure of Daniel Ortega’s administration on independent media by restricting access to newsprint, the newspapers El Nuevo Diario and Metro stopped circulating on Friday, September 27, 2019.
The Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, denounced the closure, saying on the social networks, “Freedom of the press is one of the fundamental pillars of democracy”.
In the same tone, the interim undersecretary of the Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States Department of State, Michael Kozak, former Republican Congressman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former deputy Ramón Jáuregui expressed on social networks, outrage and concern over the closure of the El Nuevo Diario and Metro, indicating that it is a consequence of the censorship, threats and siege policy of the Ortega administration against freedom of the press to silence the independent media in order that their crimes are not visible.
Kozak considered that the closing of El Nuevo Diario de Nicaragua “is just the last sad chapter of the tragic saga faced by independent media under Ortega.” The senior official of the US Department of State He was informed of the abuses and corruption that prevails in the Orteguista regime of the voice of Nicaraguan journalists Lucía Pineda, Sergio León and Anibal Toruño with whom he met yesterday afternoon.
El Nuevo Diario was founded 39 years ago but its board of directors announced on Friday, through a statement on the first page of the print and digital edition, that the newspaper suspended its publications due to economic, technical and logistical difficulties. Metro was part of the same company so it was affected equally.
Since Ortega resumed the government in 2007, he imposed a policy of censorship against the media and independent journalists, which increased in the wake of the protests in April 2018 to which it responded at gunpoint.
For more than a year the General Directorate of Customs has illegally held paper, ink and other supplies to the newspapers, including La Prensa, Hoy and El Nuevo Diario that threatens their print circulation. The same repression led months ago to the closure of the Q´hubo.
In a front page editiorial on Friday, El Nuevo Diario said:
“After almost 40 years of informing Nicaraguan society without interruption, EL NUEVO DIARIO suspends this work as of today due to the adverse economic, technical and logistical circumstances it faces.
We are aware of the importance of EL NUEVO DIARIO as a key means of communication in the journalistic coverage of several relevant stages in the recent history of Nicaragua, from its founding in May 1980 until today.
We are especially grateful to the readers for valuing our information and accompanying us constantly.
To our collaborators, for their continuous efforts to produce a more professional newspaper every day.
To the Editorial Board, for the contribution of knowledge in different disciplines, which contributed to the realization of a newspaper with varied and better focused topics.
To the columnists, for their quality writings that also supported the prestige of this newspaper.
To our customers, for their trust and support at all times.
To the suppliers and companies that have provided us with services, we thank them for their efficiency and, likewise, we guarantee the fulfillment of all the commitments acquired with them.
To our subscribers, we thank you for your loyalty and we will begin a process to reimburse you for the remaining balance of your subscriptions.
Thanks, to the entire Nicaraguan society, for having known how to distinguish in THE NEW DIARY the values and principles of a means of communication committed to the truth and development of the country.”
Although the El Nuevo Diarion continues to live online, it has not published any new articles since Friday.
The pressure is on Nicaragua’s national newspapers to cease to exist.