Insulza: I didn’t say that

(posted Nov. 9, 10 p.m.) - For the past two days, the Sandinista media has been quoting José Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), as reportedly congratulating President Daniel Ortega by phone and saying “Democracy and peace advanced in Nicaragua yesterday.”

The alleged quote was repeated by other media outlets and even prompted the EU mission chief to chide the OAS leader by saying, “I don’t know if it was step towards peace and democracy… I don’t think Insulza was here in Nicaragua during the election.”

The Nicaragua Dispatch reported that perhaps the quote had more to do with Sandinista wishful thinking that it did the truth. After all, the OAS statement from Insulza did not include any mention of that quote. So where did it come from?

Perhaps from a misunderstanding, reports Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer.

In a column published Wednesday evening, Oppenheimer writes, “Asked about the OAS statement quoting him as saying that democracy has taken a step forward, Insulza told me right away, ‘That was an error’.”

Oppenheimer reports that Insulza says the quote was a mistake and asked that it be removed from the press release. Insulza says the quote came from “an interpretation of something that was said during my conversation with Ortega.”

He didn’t say who was at fault for the misinterpretation.

The Sandinista media responded Wednesday night by blasting Oppenheimer as “ultra right-winger.”

But it’s not the first time the Sandinista media has demonstrated selective hearing during the election process. On Tuesday, the Sandinista media quoted EU mission boss Luis Yáñez as saying “It is beyond doubt that the Sandinista Front and Mr. Ortega won the elections.” But they conveniently left out the rest of his message that raised serious concerns about a flawed electoral process led by a dubiously opaque and unprofessional electoral council controlled by the Sandinista Front.