Nicaragua president, Daniel Ortega, in the middle of the worst citizen uprising that has shaken his government of the last 11 years, that has seen university students and citizens clash with police and supporters, leaving more than 45 dead and hundreds injured, meant staying put, sending an envoy to represent him in the inauguration of Costa Rica’s new president on May 8.

Nicaragua’s power couple did not travel to Costa Rica to attend the inauguration of the new president, as they did in the two previous inaugurations and the visit of Barack Obama in 2013.

The situation at home also grounded vice-president Rosario Murillo, Ortega’s wife, also the subject protests by Nicaraguans that began on April 18, in a civic revolt of increases in pension rates and decrease in benefits.

Although the government has since rolled back the changes and has agreed to dialogue, under the mediation of the Catholic Church, with the protesters and business sector, new explosions of violence occurred in Masaya, Catarina and Niquinohomo.

For the inauguration of Costa Rica’s new president, Carlos Alvarado, the power couple sent retired General and former chief of the Nicaraguan Army, Moisés Omar Hallesleven Acevedo, in his capacity as an advisory minister and one of the key players in Ortega’s circle of power.

Ortega did attend, albeit fleetingly, the two previous inaugurations of both Laura Chinchilla in 2010 and Luis Guillermo Solís in 2014, despite that bilateral relations between the two countries have faced a tense period in the last eight years. Ortega and Murillo also visited Costa Rica for the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama in May 2013.

Article originally appeared on Today Nicaragua and is republished here with permission.