Ortega puts blame on ‘satanists,’ bishops
Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega blamed “satanical criminals,” Catholic bishops and the US for a wave of unrest he has violently sought to extinguish, as he marked on July 19 the 39th anniversary of the leftwing revolution that first brought him to power.
The protesters, financed by the “North American empire” and domestic business chiefs, had been conspiring to mount a “coup d’etat” in the Central American nation, Ortega claimed to a crowd of thousands of supporters in Managua.
Catholic bishops who had attempted to mediate dialogue between him and the opposition were also “behaving like coup plotters,” he said, asserting that some churches had caches of weapons and served as rebel bases.
Standing on a stage alongside the Cuban and Venezuelan foreign ministers and his wife Rosario Murillo, who is also his vice president, Ortega spoke as if his security forces had finished with the public dissent after armed offensives launched over the past week.
“The satanists have to be exorcized,” he said.“It has been a painful battle.
Painful because we have confronted an armed conspiracy financed by internal forces we know and external forces,” he said.
The three months of unrest in what used to be one of Latin America’s safest countries has seen more than 280 people killed, most of them protesting youths, according to rights groups.
Ortega made no mention of those deaths, instead rattling off a list of two dozen police officers he said were killed by “terrorists.”