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Nicaragua VP Slams Opposition Over Miss Universe

Nicaragua’s Vice President Rosario Murillo accused the opposition on Wednesday of seeking to manipulate and take advantage of the victory of Nicaraguan Sheynnis Palacios in the Miss Universe pageant for political purposes. “We see the gross exploitation, and the crude and evil terrorist communication, which aims to turn a beautiful and deserved moment of pride and celebration into destructive coup-ism,” said the vice president and wife of President Daniel Ortega to pro-government media.

Palacios, 23, won the Miss Universe pageant in San Salvador on Saturday, and her triumph was praised by the Ortega government and opponents in exile, and sparked street celebrations in Managua and other cities in the country.

The young woman went viral on the social networks of exiles and was featured on the cover of Nicaraguan press critical of Ortega, which is published abroad, highlighting her political side, in addition to her beauty.

Palacios’ victory brought Nicaraguans to the streets, which had not been seen since demonstrations were banned in 2018. They waved the country’s flags euphorically, amid dancing and cheering.

Additionally, photos circulating on social networks show Palacios with a Nicaraguan flag at an opposition demonstration in 2018.

The protests that year, with clashes between opponents and government supporters, left more than 300 dead, and the Ortega government considered it an attempted coup d’état promoted by Washington.

“No to the grotesque manipulation of the interested and selfish, the greedy, the always ambitious, no to the distortion of beauty,” said Murillo.

“May the vain, crazy-bad ones stop taking advantage of so much Nicaraguan beauty, joy, and talent. May they stop mishandling the deserved triumphs of a beautiful girl, to hide their insignificance and inability,” added Murillo.

On Tuesday, the opposition press reported that the authorities prevented two young artists from completing a mural with the face of the young Miss Universe on the wall of a house in the northern city of Estelí.

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