Even by Ortega’s own count, his regime’s repression of protesters is butchery

Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer (left) interviewing Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega late last month. Courtesy Andres Oppenheimer

In my interview with Nicaragua’s autocrat Daniel Ortega last weekend, he repeatedly tried to dispute human rights groups’ reports that his paramilitary gunmen have killed about 300 opposition protesters since April. But even if we accept Ortega’s figures, his regime’s massacre should be drawing a much stronger U.S. and international response.

During the interview, which took place July 28 in Managua, Ortega claimed that the death toll in Nicaragua’s anti-government protests over the past three months was of 195 people.

He claimed that the Organization of American States (OAS) Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Watch and other human rights groups have their figures wrong because they allegedly rely on death reports rather than on documented deaths. In addition, Ortega claimed that many of the dead were policemen and pro-government activists…..