"Multipolar world" and "creative economy": the children of Ortega and Murillo teach inaugural classes at Nicaraguan universities | International

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Laureano Ortega has arrived at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN-Managua) to teach the Inaugural Lecture of the 2023 Academic Year dressed impeccably: he wears a wrinkle-free gray suit, a wine-brown tie over a white shirt, his closed beard neatly outlined and few academic credentials to back it up. Being the son of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo and presidential adviser for the Promotion of Investments is enough for him to climb to the podium of the most important public institution for higher education in this Central American country. The title of his lesson is "Challenges and Opportunities of Higher Education in the Multipolar World to achieve Good Living."

Far from being a professorial dissertation, Laureano points out the lesson – after greeting the university authorities subject to the dictation of his parents – to complain about the international sanctions that have been imposed on him and his family circle.

"In recent years we have seen how the so-called sanctions of the United States and its servile European and Canadians have been applied with a greater degree of madness, senselessness and lack of rationality, which are nothing more than illegal aggressions against the peoples of the world", says Laureano, who studied Political Science and Sociology at private universities in Managua, and then Audiovisual Production in Costa Rica. "They throw these sanctions left and right but with less and less effect, because reality changes, the correlations of power and balances are very different from what they were 40 years ago."

The geopolitical correlation that Laureano glossed over on April 26 is a nod to the "People's Republic of China, the Russian Federation, India, Iran and the Arab Countries", powers to which the government of their parents has turned in recent years to try to alleviate the deep international isolation they suffer, due to the human rights violations committed since 2018. A panorama of sustained brutality that a group of United Nations experts classified as crimes against humanity whose intellectual authorship lies with Ortega and Murillo .

Laureano Ortega Murillo receives a diploma from the rector of UNAN Ramona Rodríguez Pérez.César Pérez (Presidency of Nicaragua)

Laureano affirms that China, Russia, Iran and India "are now the ones who investigate and develop the technologies of the future and open the doors for mutually beneficial cooperation based on respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of each State." And, straight away, the son of the presidential couple predicted the end of "the world dictatorship of the dollar", despite the fact that the United States continues to be Nicaragua's main trading partner.

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“The Arab Countries and China are major global financial centers with the capacity and willingness to develop financial cooperation mechanisms through loans, investments, and mixed projects and programs. We cannot fail to mention that transactions and exchanges are already taking place without using the US dollar, that is, the world dictatorship of the dollar is over. Nicaragua cannot and should not be excluded from this new and much-needed modality of work and financial cooperation”, stated Laureano. According to the newspaper La Prensa, the speaker at the inaugural lecture at UNAN-Managua failed the Economic Theory class when he was a student at the Central American University (UCA), the Jesuit alma mater that the Sandinista government suffocated financially in retaliation for supporting the young people who in 2018 went out en masse to protest.

The relations with the powers to which the presidential adviser for the Promotion of Investments alludes have been barren for the Nicaraguan economy, as have the investments that Laureano has promoted, such as the Chinese entelequia of the Interoceanic Canal, or the direct flight Managua-Rome with the Italian airline Blue Panorama, an operation that only lasted three months.

“We have been forging the alliances of the future, in the New World that is being formed and that nothing and nobody can stop it. We are at the birth of the Multipolar World, where the historical hegemonism of the United States and its subservient Europeans and Canadians ceases to exist, and their pressures and political and economic blackmail lose strength and belligerence, thank God," Laureano said to the applause of the capacity.

Camila and the creative economy

Before her brother, at the end of March, Camila Ortega Murillo gave an inaugural lecture for the University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast (Uraccan). She is the personal assistant of her mother, Vice President Murillo. She runs one of the presidential family's television channels and is passionate about fashion, to such an extent that she has her own luxurious catwalk called Nicaragua Diseña. The event, like her brother Laureano's opera festival, is one of the main activities of her parents' government. Both initiatives receive millions of córdobas from the Presidency to finance themselves, as well as sponsorship from state institutions, companies belonging to the ruling family and Sandinista businessmen.

In 2019, her parents created a position for Camilia: coordinator of the National Commission for Creative Economy in Nicaragua, made up of various state institutions and the "Nicaragua Diseña platform." The Government has insisted that the "creative economy" generates "jobs, income, local economic development and earnings from exports and intellectual property." However, its impact has not been visible, not even in the reports of the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN) which, although they show recovery in macroeconomic issues, not so in the economy of the Nicaraguan who, fed up with the lack of jobs, migrate thousands to the United States and other countries in recent years. Almost 7% of a population of six and a half million inhabitants have left to escape the sociopolitical and economic crisis.

Camila Ortega Murillo teaches a video call lesson.
Camila Ortega Murillo teaches a video call lesson.César Pérez (Presidency of Nicaragua)

Camila is a graduate in political science and her inaugural lesson was given virtually. She did not travel to the Nicaraguan Caribbean, where in recent months there have been two massacres of indigenous people at the hands of land invaders, who move under the protection of Sandinista authorities. Camila did not talk about it in her presentation, but she did thank her parents. "We are grateful for sharing with you what we have been developing with the guidance and mission entrusted by our president, Commander Daniel, and our vice-president, colleague Rosario, to stimulate, encourage, and project more and more that model of creative economy where the main engine is the leading role of the majorities, those MSMEs, that entrepreneurial youth, leading youth at all levels of our country”.

Laureano and Camila are the children who occupy the most visible positions in the apparatus of their parents' regime. Despite the fact that their hobbies are opera and modeling, Sandinista sources consulted by EL PAÍS agree that both carry out roles assigned by the presidential couple. Teaching inaugural lectures is a new assignment, regardless of whether they lack academic credentials. For a public university professor on condition of anonymity, these inaugural lectures are a reflection of the decline of higher education in Nicaragua, marked by the closure and confiscations of universities.

“A few days ago the Government closed another three universities, there are already five so far this year. Then the Government assumes the universities and what it imposes is not science, criticism and knowledge, but servility and praise to them. It is the imposition of mediocrity and sending their children to give master classes is proof of this: the merit is in servility. It is the final stab at university autonomy for which the students of this country have fought so hard, even since Somoza times,” said a professor in the humanities area of ​​a public university.

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