In a press release signed by Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, both lamented the death of Oquist, who served as advising minister of national policies.
The American Paul Oquist, one of the main advisers to President Daniel Ortega and in charge of the failed construction of the interoceanic canal in Nicaragua, died this Tuesday of undisclosed causes, the presidency reported in Managua.
In a press release signed by Ortega and by his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo, both regretted the death of Oquist, who served as national policy adviser and was sanctioned in October 2020 by the United States government, which accused him of violating human rights.
The official was very close and loyal to the Ortega Murillo family since the former Sandinista commander was president for the first time, during the revolution of the 1980s. Between 1990 and 2006 he worked for United Nations organizations.
When Ortega returned to power in 2007, he incorporated him into his cabinet and in 2013 appointed him secretary of the Nicaraguan Grand Canal Commission, in charge of building the interoceanic highway that would be financed by a Chinese businessman for 50,000 million dollars, a project that never came. to be realized. “Paul Oquist Kelly served the people, the families, all Nicaraguans with indefatigable love, fidelity, commitment, and courage,” said the letter from Ortega and Murillo, highlighting “their special intelligence, their fraternal vision, their proposal for justice and rights for our people and for the peoples of the world ”.
also highlighted that he had an “insurmountable command of international relations, of organizations, which he knew so well and with whom he related to us in a profound and extraordinary way.”
The press release did not reveal the cause of Oquist’s death, but independent media attributed it to covid-19, which also affected his wife. This version has not been officially confirmed.
The Nicaraguan government has minimized the coronavirus pandemic, although since March 2 it has been carrying out a vaccination day that until now has immunized some chronic patients and those over 60 years old.
Paul Quist was one of the senior Sandinista officials who traveled the world in 2018 to denounce an alleged “coup d’état” against Ortega, as the government calls the social revolt that broke out in April of that year and was violently suppressed by the police. and paramilitaries with a balance of hundreds of dead, wounded, prisoners and thousands of exiles.
For this reason, the United States Department of the Treasury included him in a list of almost 30 close to Ortega who received sanctions, among which stand out the Chief of the Army, Julio Avilés, the President of Parliament, Gustavo Porras, Murillo herself and three of the children of the presidential couple.
In justifying the sanctions, Washington assured that Oquist acted in international forums with “the dissemination of disinformation to cover up the crimes of the regime and the misdeeds of horrible human rights abuses.”
“In numerous interviews with international English-speaking media and in meetings with foreign representatives, Oquist has spread the false narratives and propaganda of the Ortega regime,” the Treasury Department indicated on October 9, 2020.