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Facebook accused of censoring Sandinista media organisations ahead of Sunday's election

MEDIA organisations and high-profile supporters of Nicaragua’s Sandinista government accused Facebook of censorship today after scores of accounts were blocked just one week before the country goes to the polls.

The social media giant, which also owns Instagram, shut down platforms belonging to a number of progressive journalists, along with the accounts of major Sandinista news outlets including Redvolucion and Barricada.

Twitter also suspended the accounts of a number of pro-Sandinista journalists and supporters of the Nicaraguan government without warning, in what sources said was “politically motivated, co-ordinated censorship” by the United States.

Many quickly established new Facebook pages and Instagram accounts as they “dug in” to beat the purges, with Redvolucion stating defiantly: “No-one gives up here.”

Barricada was the newspaper of the Sandinista National Liberation Front between 1979 and 1988, with the stated aim of promoting the revolutionary government in Nicaragua.

It was reopened as an online portal by young Sandinistas to counter what they described as “fake news” and propaganda during the 2018 armed riots, which aimed to overthrow the democratically elected government.

It declared that “Barricada is the revolutionary truth” as its new Facebook page opened this morning.

“Here we will continue, always firm in defence of the Sandinista revolution,” a statement said.

Presidential and parliamentary elections are set to take place on Sunday with President Daniel Ortega expected to win. Polls give him and the Sandinistas a decisive lead.

But he has warned of US interference aimed at destabilising Nicaragua, hinting that it may refuse to recognise the results.

The Morning Star will be reporting from the ground on Sunday’s vote. 

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