Casting off the Flaws of Nicaragua’s Old Political Culture

Members of the Civic Alliance making their proclamation. At the microphone feminist leader Asahalea Solis.


Members of the Civic Alliance declare: no dialogue behind the people’s back.

They emphasize that the international community hasn’t forgotten Nicaragua, and that the violations of the Ortega regime will be discussed in the UN Security Council.


Ivan Olivares (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The political parties that want to remain relevant in the Nicaragua to come – when the Ortega-Murillo family has abandoned power – should understand that the old way of doing politics is dead. Beginning on April 18 in Nicaragua, “there was a very strong explosion, putting an end to that way of conducting politics.” This is the analysis of feminist leader Azahalea Solis, who was interviewed together with student leader Douglas Castro on the nightly television news program Esta Noche. Both Castro and Solis are members of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy.

“They don’t have to annul all the parties’ legal status, but there’ll need to be a process of reconstructing the credibility of the electoral process. Changes will need to be made in the voting rolls, in the Electoral Law and in the structures of the Electoral Power,” Solis noted.

According to that criteria, the political parties that want to maintain the old dynamic will have to see how it goes for them. However, “here the gavel came down hard on the table, and with this we understand that the politics of exclusion doesn’t work for me, and I don’t want to be part of that kind of politics.”

“If there are people who believe they’re going to re-privatize the political negotiations to seek a way out of the country’s crisis, those people are thinking in the old way, before April 18th, and forgetting what has happened in these four months,” she pointed out.

Thinking about the leadership role that the Liberal Constitutionalist Party apparently wants to recover – with a push from their ally Ortega, Douglas Castro rejects the possibility that this party could become part of the Dialogue.

He bases his rejection of this notion on the 15 years of illegitimacy that the party has behind it. “We’re in this situation because of the pact between parties, and we know that Arnoldo Aleman, the self-proclaimed leader of that formerly influential political group, doesn’t have the people’s trust or recognition.”

“In the case of the pretenses that have been expressed by political parties like the PLC or APRE to be part of a dialogue tailored to Daniel Ortega’s interests, we know that the people aren’t going to support them,” Castro stated.

“Cardinal Brenes said that in order to enter into this Dialogue you must ask permission from the Government, or from the Civic Allilance. I believe that we don’t want the doors open for a political party like the PLC, so therefore they should go knock on the doors of the government,” said Douglas Castro.

UN to examine the Nicaraguan case

Although the citizens continue to have great expectations, the members of the Alliance know that the road to ending the Ortega-Murillo regime must remain peaceful, not violent. For that reason, they insist on a return to the dialogue table, warning that it’s impossible to imagine holding a dialogue while turning their backs on society’s demands.

“We can’t go back to the idea of ‘privatizing’ politics, when there’s a demand to do it publicly. We say that the dialogue we need is the one that they’re demanding on the street,” in which early general elections are agreed upon – elections that will be free, inclusive, transparent, under international observations and in which all of the citizenry feels that they can participate,” Solis said.

Although the atmosphere on the streets of Nicaragua would appear unfavorable for the illusions of the “blue and white”, Castro and Solis continue to be optimistic, especially because “there’s a national stage, and another that’s international and they’re constantly interacting,” noted Castro.

For her part, Solis quoted the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that “those who never should have been detained [for exercising their right to free speech] should be set free.”

“Many elements in that report will be very useful for the discussion in the UN Security Council (scheduled for September 5th), but the report can also inform the Human Rights Council that will meet in mid-or late September, so that they too can talk about Nicaragua.”

If the UN Security Council is going to meet to analyze what’s happening in Nicaragua, it’s because they have enough information regarding the truth of what’s going on in the country. That means you can’t pretend that in Nicaragua nothing’s going on, when here, every day they’re breaking all of the minimal norms of Human Rights, Solis stated.

The lawyer trusts that the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, will guarantee the continuity of the work that this group has been doing to continue guarding human rights around the world. Nicaragua will gain an advantage with the new Commissioner, for reasons of geographical and cultural closeness.

“The outgoing Commissioner has left big shoes to fill. He leaves within the United Nations “pipeline” a profound, high-level report. I wouldn’t expect any less of Bachelet, because she suffered the repression of the Pinochet dictatorship and knows what it is to be a political prisoner and live as an outcast,” Solis concluded.

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