What it’s about: The 25 minute long documentary-style video, produced by self-describe grassroots media start-up redfish, aims to present an alternative view of this year’s deadly anti-government protests, which began in April following unpopular social security reform. During the video, the host interviews pro-Ortega government protestors, and blames “Western mainstream media,” including Global Americans, for inciting violence in the country. The video paints Ortega in a sympathetic light.
Why it’s misleading: Most importantly, redfish has been identified funded by the Russian government that regularly airs content on Russian television network RT. It’s also important to note that YouTube has taken the important step of marking the video with a disclaimer that reads: “redfish is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government.”
As for the content of the video itself, the biggest issue is its aim to distract. While the U.S. does fund education- and democracy-related projects in Nicaragua, they are not the cause of this year’s protests, nor are they responsible for the autocratic Ortega government’s violent response, during which government forces killed more than 300 civilians. There isn’t an issue with interviewing Nicaraguans who still support the Ortega government. There is an issue, however, with distorting the truth and blaming the Ortega government’s repression of its own people on Western democracies. In that sense, this video goes a step too far.