Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega has hit out at what he has claimed is a “murderous, coup-mongering satanic sect” behind a three-month uprising against his rule that has left more than 300 dead.
There is growing international consensus that Ortega’s own forces and pro-government militias are responsible for the overwhelming majority of the violence that has gripped Nicaragua since protests erupted in April.
However, during a pro-government rally in Managua on Thursday, Ortega sought to shift blame for the bloodshed on to the “diabolical force” he claimed was part of a US-backed conspiracy to topple him.
“We have to re-establish order in our country,” the former guerrilla told thousands of flag-waving supporters who had assembled in the lakeside Plaza de la Fe to celebrate the 39th anniversary of the 1979 Sandinista victory over the Somoza dictatorship. “The road isn’t war, but peace and dialogue.”