NSCAG refutes biased and ill-informed Guardian reporting

NSCAG News | on: Thursday, 9 April 2020

Nicaragua maintains surveillance at border posts, monitoring all persons entering the country from outside

Nicaragua maintains surveillance at border posts, monitoring all persons entering the country from outside

In its article published on 8 April, the Guardian continues along the path of demonizing the Nicaraguan government and yet again proving its credentials as a lapdog and mouthpiece of Nicaragua’s right-wing opposition and its US masters.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/08/nicaragua-daniel-ortega-missing-anger-fear-month

Written by Wilfredo Miranda, a journalist with the right wing opposition paper Confidencial and by Tom Phillips, who regularly tweeted his support for Nicaragua ‘s opposition during the violent, failed attempted coup in 2018, the article not only quotes ‘human rights activist’ Alvaro Leiva Sanchez – who was accused in July 2019 of stealing nearly half a million US dollars, falsifying signatures and altering financial reports – but also Felix Maradiaga, a man charged in Nicaragua with training people who then committed criminal acts during the attempted coup and an ‘activist’ who has created at least five Nicaraguan NGOs funded by the US.

The Guardian completely ignores the huge support among the vast majority of the Nicaraguan population for Daniel Ortega and the FSLN, as made clear by an independent survey conducted by M & R polling company in January of this year. Instead, it uses the COVID-19 epidemic as yet another opportunity to vilify Nicaragua’s government, basing its report solely on testimony from the right-wing press (both in Nicaragua and the US) and members of Nicaragua’s opposition groups.

The Guardian also completely ignores the success which Nicaragua has had up until now in preventing the virus from spreading. This is largely due to a public health system which offers free, universal health services based on community-focussed preventative care. The measures put in place include an extensive programme of over 2.3 million home visits to raise awareness of the symptoms and impact of the pandemic, preparing and training over 35,000 medical staff and 250,000 volunteer health promoters, ensuring that 19 hospitals around the country have the necessary equipment to treat patients, meticulous screening arrivals at land borders and airports by checking their temperatures, rigorous follow up of people returning from countries where the virus is widespread, intensive prevention and education campaigns and a national helpline for those needing advice and emergency support. See also

http://www.nscag.org/news/article/300/nicaragua-responds-to-the-covid-19-pandemic

To date, Nicaragua has the lowest infection rate in Latin America, with six confirmed cases, all of which have been among travellers from abroad, identified by the stringent checks made at the international airport. The patients' contacts are carefully traced and kept under observation for three weeks with constant testing. What the Guardian calls a ‘controversial’ approach to the pandemic is seen in Nicaragua as a realistic one in a poor country where people live in close proximity to each other and have to go to work to eat. More stringent containment measures are ready to be implemented should they be required, but until then, survival for Nicaraguan families depends on being able to go to work, with only a tiny proportion having jobs that can be done online.

Nicaragua's remarkable success in containing the outbreak is in extremely marked contrast to the failure of its neighbours in El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica either to protect their populations from the epidemic or to ensure the economic well-being of the most vulnerable. Instead of attacking Nicaragua for its success in addressing the COVID-19 outbreak, other countries - and indeed newspapers like the Guardian - should be examining it for what they might learn.



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