Where is Daniel Ortega: the long absence of the Nicaraguan president in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic stimulates rumors about his health


The absence of Daniel Ortega this Friday at the funerals of his close friend, the deputy Jacinto Suárez, fueled the rumors that have been circulating for a month about the fate of the Nicaraguan president.

Ortega, 74, has not been seen or heard since March 12 when he participated in a videoconference with other Central American leaders to define regional strategies in view of the advance of COVID-19. Furthermore, since last February 21, it has not participated in any public act. Neither does his wife Rosario Murillo, who, however, every day makes a telephone contact with the media related to the government.

Speculations on social networks about Ortega’s fate range from being severely quarantined in his bunker in El Carmen, or being very ill, possibly in Cuba, and even that he could be dead.

This would not be the first time that Daniel Ortega is presumed dead, a character ostracized since his time in prison, 53 years ago. On one occasion he appeared himself denying the rumors that he was given for dead. “This is your first miracle, you resurrected me, Mr. Cardinal,” he joked, after a long absence on March 3, 2014, when he arrived to receive Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes at the Managua airport.

“Daniel Ortega’s absences are quite classic,” says ex-guerrilla Dora María Téllez. “He disappears, even more when there are critical circumstances to which he does not want to respond. He is absent in crises, especially when he has no good news to give, and he prefers that Rosario Murillo be the one to stick up his face, as he prefers that Murillo be burned than he be burned. ”

The political analyst, Eliseo Núñez, considers that Ortega likes to promote those rumors, stimulate the idea that he may be dead and then appear as immortal.. “Let’s not wind up that Daniel (Ortega) died, that rumor is dropped by themselves so that later it appears and with that they destroy the credibility of those who spread it in addition to increasing their category of ‘invincible god’ that their fans they give it ”, wrote Núñez on Twitter.

This Friday a proof of life for Ortega was expected, when he attended the funerals of his old friend and fellow fighter, the deputy Jacinto Suárez, who died Thursday at the age of 73. However, neither Ortega nor his wife, Rosario Murillo, nor anyone in his family, came to the candle or the ceremony solemn that was held in homage to Suárez in the National Assembly.

Jacinto Suárez and Ortega lived in the same neighborhood as children, they joined the guerrilla movement Sandinista Front of National Liberation (FSLN) on similar dates, and belonged to a small group of friends who were forged in prison between 1967 and 1974. “El Group of Eight ”he was known and was the closest circle of friendship to Daniel Ortega the rest of his life. Of the eight, three survive, and one of them is Ortega’s chief of security.

The sociologist and former activist of the Sandinista Front, Oscar René Vargas, does not believe that Ortega is dead. “There would be greater political movements within Sandinismo and the powers that be, and they would become visible. They couldn’t hide that kind of thing for long. They could hide it for one, two, or three days, but it is not a death that would go unnoticed for a long time. ”

Vargas has known Ortega since the origins of the Sandinista Front. On one occasion, he even saved her life. He has several hypotheses to explain Ortega’s absence. “One, he always appears irregularly and takes his time between one public presence and another, except for fundamental problems. Two, I think it’s also part of his illness, he has to constantly take care of himself and check up and take his break between one public appearance and the next. And thirdly, I would say, because explaining to people what is wrong with the coronavirus is not in her style, and she has let Murillo be the one to say things. ”

“He takes care of himself. He knows that he is a person with a chronic disease, that anything and dies. He is a guy who has lupus and a heart problem. Preventively they sent him to take care of himself, “says Vargas.

Dora Mará Téllez, who was a member of Ortega’s cabinet in the 1980s, considers “it very possible that she is in Cuba, or in Aserradores, Chinandega, a tourist complex where the whole family met and spent her vacations. An isolation of that nature ”.

If Ortega and his family are in severe isolation, says Eliseo Núñez, “he would confirm himself as a very poor human being, because knowing that he himself had to be quarantined, why not recommend this to the elderly of this country? country? Rather, on the contrary, it sends everyone out into the street to catch it. ”