Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza spoke today on the Nicaraguan anti-government protests, and said that the media was playing the same role in that story as it did in the Venezuelan protests. Arreaza said that the media erroneously paints protesters–whom he called “terrorists”–as heroes.
Below, Arreaza’s statement along with my translation:
The trending editorial line of western [news] agencies and media on the violence in Nicaragua is identical to the distorted narrative applied in Venezuela in 2017. The terrorists are the heroes of Peace [sic] and democracy. The world is upside done. This is the post-truth of oppressive capitalism
The Maduro regime maintains that negative media accounts of its actions are the result of a global “psychological war” bent on painting the ruling PSUV party in a negative light. In 2017, when the world’s attention was briefly centered on Venezuela, stories of brutal regime repression of peaceful protests made headlines around the planet.
Approximately 136 people died in the 2017 anti-government protests. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is currently conducting a preliminary examination into the possibility that regime officials committed crimes against humanity in their brutal repression of the unrest. In a 400-page report, an expert panel compiled by the Organization of American States (OAS) found “reasonable grounds” to believe that the Maduro regime has in fact committed crimes against humanity.
Arreaza’s comments come as Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega faces his own wave of anti-government protests. As in Venezuela, Ortega’s forces have responded to the protests with unrestrained violence, killing at least 350 people.
As Arreaza tweeted his message, Nicaraguan paramilitaries loyal to Ortega attacked students from the UNAN university who were taking refuge in its Managua campus. At least one student who was hiding inside a church on the eastern edge of campus was killed by the regime paramilitaries.
The students released harrowing videos during the assault. In many of the videos, the terrified students weep as they plead for help, and send last messages to loved ones.
Maduro: “Only the Revolution Can Save the Revolution”
Maduro gave a speech yesterday on the state-owned VTV network in which he spoke vaguely on some of the difficulties affecting the country, and called on supporters to continue to have faith in his government.
Saying that “sometimes things get complicated”, Maduro told listeners that the only way to “shared social happiness” is the “socialist, Christian and chavista” revolution that he heads.
Maduro listed a number of Venezuelan historical figures, and suggested that the ruling PSUV party and its officials were their ideological descendants. He said:
We are Guaicaipuro, Negro Primero, Ezequiel Zamora, Cipriano Castro, Fabricio Ojeda, Jorge Rodriguez. We are history. We are Bolivar, Sucre, Miranda, Urdaneta. We carry the flag with an historic thread of strength, the magnitude of which is the largest ever to have existed in Venezuela (…) this is why nothing can stop us.
During the same speech, Maduro called on any listener who had previously identified with the opposition to work with him, because “together, everything is possible”.
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