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Dora Maria Tellez: “Ortega is Offering Nicaragua to Putin on a Silver Platter”

Tellez warns that the dictatorship is trying to turn the country "into a platform for the Russians in security and geopolitical matters"

Agencia EFE

5 de marzo 2024


 Legendary guerrilla leader, former Health Minister and noted historian Dora Maria Tellez – now an exiled dissident – accused the Nicaraguan government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo of planning to convert the country into a regional platform for Russian security and geopolitics.

Speaking on Sunday, March 3rd via an audio message to the media, Tellez declared: “Nicaragua at the hands of Ortega-Murillo is striving to become a platform for the Russians, in terms of security and geopolitics.” She made these remarks in the context of the recent official visit to Nicaragua of General Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council.

“What does Putin want? To be poking at the United States from Nicaragua, so he can resolve his problems,” which “have to do with the war in Ukraine, with his own borders,” Dora Maria Tellez stated. The academic and historian formed part of the first Sandinista government from 1979 – 1990, later going on to form a dissenting Sandinista Party, originally called the Sandinista Renewal Movement (MRS), and later United Democratic Renewal, or UNAMOS. She was arrested in 2021 and eventually exiled and stripped of her citizenship in February 2023, after spending 20 months in the infamous El Chipote police prison in Managua.

She accused leader Daniel Ortega and his powerful wife and vice president Rosario Murillo of “pretentiously offering up the country on a silver platter to the Russians, as a platform for their actions in Central America and in Latin America.”

Ortega is jeopardizing Nicaragua’s sovereignty

“The Ortega regime continues jeopardizing national sovereignty, and it continues violating human rights,” sustained Tellez, who, barely 22, in August 1978, formed part of a Sandinista commando operation that took over the National Palace and held the Somoza-allied legislators’ hostage, leading to a prisoner swap. The late Nobel prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez enshrined her actions in his dramatic chronical of this assault. Somoza himself was routed by the Sandinistas on July 19, 1979.

Tellez now resides in the United States, where she was banished a year ago, while serving a sentence imposed by the Ortega courts of eight years in prison for conspiring to undermine the national integrity in detriment to the Nicaraguan government and society.

According to her, Patrushev is “second in line in Russia, head of security and Russian espionage.” She emphasized the fact that the high Russian official came to Nicaragua at the head of a “large delegation,” and observed that it’s not the first time he’s met with representatives of the Ortega government.

She also recalled that in December 2023, two of Ortega and Murillo’s sons traveled to Moscow where they “offered Nicaragua as a regional platform for Russia.” This, in her opinion, amounts to “going around presumptuously offering up what’s not theirs,” as well as positioning themselves “as Putin’s serfs.”

“Why would Nicaragua, a country that should consider itself sovereign, go and position itself as a Russian regional platform?” Tellez questioned.

Nicaragua and Russia, former allies

Ortega and Murillo met with the Secretary of the Russian Security Council on February 28, 2024, to go over the cooperation agreements both countries have signed. General Patrushev headed a broad delegation from the Russian Security Council that spent three days in Nicaragua.

On Tuesday, February 27, Patrushev met with delegates from Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, countries that, according to the Russian government, are willing to collaborate fully and comprehensively with Russia, especially in matters of security.

Ortega is currently Russian president Vladimir Putin’s principal ally in Central America. Russia is a long-time ally of Nicaragua, and in the time of the first Sandinista government (1979 – 1990) provided Soviet arms to the Nicaraguan Armed Forces.

This article was published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times. To get the most relevant news from our English coverage delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to The Dispatch.


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Agencia EFE

Agencia EFE

Agencia de noticias internacional con sede en Madrid, España. Fundada en Burgos durante la guerra civil española en enero de 1939.