HAVANA TIMES – The Nicaraguan Army warned that dialogue is the only way to resolve the governance crisis faced by President Daniel Ortega and to avoid irreversible damage to the economy and national security, reported dpa news.
In a statement issued at midnight on Saturday, the military put forward their position on the violence in the country, as occurred on Saturday in Masaya, a city near the capital Managua, which left one dead, more than 30 injured and several buildings destroyed.
The Army stated that “dialogue is the only route that will avoid irreversible damage to our people, our economy, national development and our security.”
“As we have always said, we are the same uniformed people working for their own benefit, and consistent with this, we call to stop the violence and the actions that destabilize us,” he said.
The statement highlighted the Army’s support for “the Government’s efforts in the search for dialogue” and the work of the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference, led by Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, as mediators and witnesses of future talks.
The military made a call to “reflect” on the current situation of the country, which “is dragging us to the division of the Nicaraguan family from campaigns that foment hatred.”
“The peaceful solution to the situation we are currently experiencing will allow us to continue working with security, stability, tranquility and the peace that has cost us so much,” he insisted.
The Army reiterated that it continues to provide protection to entities and strategic objectives, and expressed its solidarity with all those affected by the violence since mid-April. He also supported an investigation that would sanction those responsible according to the law.
“Our call is: No to violence, No to instability, Yes to tranquility, Yes to peace,” the statement concluded.
The statement was issued after the military spokesman, Colonel Manuel Guevara, told dpa that the army will not repress the protests and that it supports dialogue. After divulging the military position, Ortega sent a message to the nation in which he committed to “put an end to death and destruction.”
The Episcopal Conference gave President Ortega a deadline that expires at noon on Monday to confirm his adherence to a dialogue, which was already accepted by civil society, the private sector and four student organizations that staged the protests that began in April.
The leader of the April 19th University Movement, Víctor Cuadras, accused Ortega of “sabotaging the dialogue process” for announcing that he will attend the negotiation but, at the same time, ordering “to violently repress the anti-government civilian protesters.”
The crisis in Nicaragua began on April 17 with a student protest against a reform of the Social Security law, which increased the contributions of workers and companies, but despite its subsequent repeal, the situation led to large demonstrations due to the violent action of the Police and Sandinista paramilitary forces.
The government has confirmed only 13 deaths due in the protests, including two deaths in the last hours. The university students report more than 66 deaths during the conflict, independent human rights organizations account for 42 to 59 dead and more than 400 injured.