The United States on Tuesday warned Nicaragua to halt violence against opposition groups as at least four more people were killed on Monday, including a Brazilian medical student, in unrest that has gripped the country for more than three months.
US Vice President Mike Pence said it was “undeniable” that Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government was behind the violence, despite his denials. Pence used Twitter to call on Ortega to “end the violence NOW” and bow to opposition demands to hold early elections. “The world is watching!” Pence added.
State-sponsored violence in Nicaragua is undeniable. Ortega’s propaganda fools no one and changes nothing. 350+ dead at the hands of the regime. The US calls on the Ortega government to end the violence NOW and hold early elections—the world is watching! https://t.co/jvNCznmfE5
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) July 24, 2018
On Monday Ortega gave an interview to Fox News saying that he would not step down and would see through his current term to 2021, asserting that “the turmoil has stopped”.
Ortega denied his security forces and coordinating paramilitaries were attacking peaceful demonstrators.
Speaking on TeleSUR TV, Ortega on Tuesday accused US senators in Miami of being behind a “conspiracy” to try to effect regime change in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Ortega, speaking to Patricia Villegas in the 54-minute interview, affirms that the violence in Nicaragua was financed by outsiders, like the United States.
The repression by the Ortega government has left between 277 and 351 dead, according to local and international humanitarian organizations, since the demonstrations against Ortega and his wife and vice-president, Rosario Murillo, began mid-April triggered by failed Social Security reforms to later derive a demand for the resignation of the president after eleven years in power.
Nicaragua is submerged in the bloodiest crisis of its history in times of peace and the strongest since the 1980s, also with Daniel Ortega as leader of the country.