The Guardian continues its relentless campaign of demonization against Nicaragua’s elected government with a falsehood-filled cover-up for the Catholic church leaders under fire for leading a violent coup.
By Nan McCurdy, Nora McCurdy and Kevin Zeese
A note from Kevin Zeese of Popular Resistance: The Guardian has been on a campaign of lies about Nicaragua. They have taken sides and are not honest reporters but advocates for the coup. Even though the falsity of their reporting has been repeatedly pointed out, they continue on their disgraceful campaign of reporting false stories on Nicaragua.
The article below focused on the church being a sanctuary for protesters and makes outlandish claims about incarceration of protesters. In fact, church leaders were part of the violent failed coup. A clandestine recording, described in the article below, of a Catholic bishop shows him claiming credit for the failed coup. The leaked audio recording of a meeting Silvio Báez, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua, is of a meeting held for the purpose of destabilizing the government of Nicaragua. The recordings show that Church leaders helped create the violent roadblocks, are plotting more violence and want Daniel Ortega executed. Báez, who has been unmasked as a principal conspirator in the violent coup attempt against the President Daniel Ortega’s government.
The Catholic Church has been denounced by Nicaraguans for their open complicity in the wave of violence that caused hundreds of deaths in Nicaragua. Members of the church have been denounced for their collaboration with the tortures and murders committed by the armed opposition “the Church was the center of torture,” says Madelein García, teleSUR correspondent in Nicaragua. In a video it is reported that Catholic Priest, Guillermo Barrios, helped torture Sandinista supporter, Sander Bonilla, in Leon.
The Guardian paints a false story about the role of the church in the violent coup.
For more examples of inaccurate reporting from the Guardian on Nicaragua see:
Even the pictures used are full of lies. The opposition put a number of crosses around the Managua Cathedral a few weeks ago supposedly representing people killed by the government. The names on the crosses in the picture are not opposition victims and moreover were not killed by the government.
For example, Darwin Alexander Salcedo Vílchez was a Sandinista supporter who was killed in Esteli, when a caravan full of Sandinistas heading to a pro-government march in Managua was attacked by an opposition group. Gregorio Orozco was killed in the countryside in a murder unrelated to the political unrest; a report done by Nicaraguan researcher, Enrique Hendrix, shows how Sandinista deaths and others unrelated to the protests like Orozco’s are used to inflate the so-called Human Rights Organizations lists of government victims. fIn the last few weeks scores of Sandinista family members have gone to the Managua cathedral to remove crosses of loved ones that the opposition was using to try to shore up the numbers of dead that have been at the heart of their anti-government campaign.
Any remaining crosses have since been removed by the church itself because the priests at the Cathedral have had to tone down their political activity and ask the opposition parishioners to do the same.
Managua’s Auxiliary Bishop, Silvio Baez, a known leader of the opposition, was caught on tape at a meeting proudly boasting about the church’s role in the creation of the opposition Civic Alliance. He also talked about the possibility of bringing back the roadblocks – the places where Sandinistas were kidnapped, raped, tortured, and killed – and not just a few – over a hundred people were seriously tortured, some of them killed. Bishop Baez was also taped saying how much he would like to see President Ortega put in front of a firing squad. The Guardian tries to make the church hierarchy out to be heroes when there are multiple videos showing priests participating and directing torture of Sandinistas.
The audios of Bishop Baez, the veracity of which was confirmed by Cardenal Brenes, were made public the last week of October; since then thousands of people have demanded Baez be removed. The members of the Christian Base Community, Saint John Paul the Apostle in the September 14 neighborhood of Managua wrote a petition to the Vatican requesting that Bishop Baez be sent to a post outside Nicaragua and to date there are 491,576 signatures, including people’s identity card numbers. The 44 boxes of petitions were received by the Papal Nuncio who said he will get them to Rome. In Nicaragua today about 45 % of people are Catholic, so if you consider those 15 and older there might be 2 million Catholics. A fourth have signed the petition to remove the bishop.
According to The Guardian, protesting has been outlawed. This is a complete fabrication by the Nicaraguan opposition. In fact, not a single person has been arrested in Nicaragua for the mere act of protesting. In Nicaragua, the laws are similar to those in most US and European cities: you have to get a permit. That’s it. The Nicaraguan authorities had not been enforcing this law previously, presumably to avoid controversy. And the fact is, the opposition hasn’t had a protest since this change because none of the opposition leaders are willing to put their name on the permit request. Now, if there is violence – which is usually the case – they will be held accountable.
The Guardian’s Stirling also doubled his prisoner count to 550 when in reality the number of people who have been in prison related to violence since April 18 is half that. Most were arrested beginning in mid-July; these are people accused or already sentenced for murder, torture, rape, arson and robbery — not exactly political prisoners. Meanwhile, hundreds of people who were involved in coup violence but on a more minor scale have been released.
Nicaragua has been the victim of an attempted coup orchestrated by oligarchs, the Catholic church, US financed NGOs and the US. Throughout the violence, The Guardian functioned as a PR megaphone for the opposition. And now that the coup’s architects are being exposed, the liberal interventionist paper has gone into cover-up mode.