According to a Nicaraguan bishop exiled in 2019 for his own safety at Pope Francis’s request, his country today faces two crises: A social and political meltdown and the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which the government of President Daniel Ortega has labeled a “common flu” and which has now caused the national health system to collapse.
“The government of Nicaragua, instead of addressing the pandemic with measures that could block its spread, basically promoted massive events so that more people would get sick,” said Bishop Silvio Jose Baez, auxiliary of Managua.
“[Ortega] minimized the illness, didn’t stop classes, didn’t promote social distance and the exponential curve of contagion is growing at an alarming rate,” he said.
“We’re suffering a double crisis in this small country, which is very poor, has suffered much, but whose people have deep beliefs and that is very hopeful,” Baez said.
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