Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega will address the nation on Wednesday in a message that will be broadcast on a mandatory television channel, just as he turns 34 days without appearing in public amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Post (Telcor) sent a notification to television channels operating in Nicaragua that they must transmit the “Appearance of the President of the Republic Commander Daniel Ortega Saavedra today, Wednesday, April 15, 2020” .
“The transmission must be made from the original full signal of (state) Channel 6 or Channel 4 (with a Sandinista profile), without putting or removing anything,” Telcor ordered in the call released by channel 10 of local television, in profile. Independent.
The appearance is scheduled to start around 2:00 p.m. (20:00 GMT) and it will begin with the presence of Ortega, according to the document.
FIRST TIME YOU WILL GIVE YOUR FACE
It will be the first time that Ortega has faced the pandemic due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.
Ortega, a 74-year-old ex-guerrilla, has not been seen since March 12, when he participated, from his residence, in a teleconference with his Central American counterparts about the pandemic.
The president has not participated in public events since last February 21, when General Julio César Avilés took possession for another 5 years as commander in chief of the Army.
Ortega also did not lead a march organized by the Executive that he presides over on March 13, called “Love in times of COVID-19”, in which thousands of Sandinista supporters and workers marched through Managua.
The ruler, unlike on other occasions, has not publicly shown solidarity with his ally and Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolás Maduro, who was accused by the United States of the crimes of drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorism.
He was also absent from the posthumous tributes to the secretary of International Relations of the governmental party Sandinista Front of National Liberation (FSLN), Jacinto Suárez, who was his friend from childhood and with whom he shared a cell.
DISSIDENT: HIS ABSENCE “IS NOT OF ROPE PEOPLE”
His absence has been the subject of strong criticism from his detractors and dissidents.
“That (absence) is not sane people,” reproached former chief of military intelligence and dissident Hugo Torres.
Torres, who in 1973 participated in a Sandinista command that kidnapped ministers of the Anastasio Somoza Debayle dictatorship and ended with the release of nine political prisoners, including the now President Ortega, said that the true leaders of a nation take the lead in a crisis, “they do not hide or give counterproductive and remote-controlled guidelines to their loved ones, only to deepen the damage.”
“That is not sane people nor is it the performance expected of those self-proclaimed leaders. Those are the greatest possible plagues,” he said.
In Nicaragua, social networks are fraught with criticism of Ortega for being the only president in Central America who has not faced the health crisis.
Nicaragua so far reports nine confirmed cases of COVID-19, with only one deceased.
However, the Government has not specified the number of tests it has carried out so far.
The Executive has also been criticized by various sectors for promoting massive events and crowds against the current recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Nicaragua, unlike the rest of the countries of Central America, has not decreed any type of emergency due to the pandemic, has not ordered the suspension of classes nor has it restricted the entry or mobility in its territory to any traveler.