Nicaragua: Government offers comic bribe

On 23 July,  popular Nicaraguan stand-up Luis Enrique Calderón has revealed that he was offered money by government officials in return for not ridiculing President Daniel Ortega in upcoming performances organised to celebrate the comedian’s 20 year career. The humorist, renowned for satirising famous personalities and politicians, contacted First Lady Rosario Murillo ahead of the event to gain their support for the act. Yet senior political advisor Fidel Moreno responded by offering to pay Calderón’s mortgage and give his children scholarships if he did not criticise the president or government. Calderón turned down the offer. However, since the rejection, he has received anonymous phone calls warning him that the July 29-30 concerts may yet be cancelled.

Chávez, Ortega buy Nicaraguan opposition station

Channel 8, a critical TV station with the government, has been bought by a consortium created by presidents Daniel Ortega and Hugo Chávez. Details of the transaction had been kept secret, and Ortega’s possible control of the channel raised concern this week about attempts to silence the opposition.
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