Nicaraguan Public Employees’ Inside Struggle against Tyranny

Public employees are mandated to take part in pro government marches and other activities. Photo:

Public employees rejected the radicalization of the dictatorship in 2022 and denounced the surveillance and espionage.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Used to the monolithic position of Daniel Ortega’s regime in international forums, on March 23, 2022, it was unusual for Nicaraguan state officials to hear the denunciation against their bosses by Ambassador Arturo McFields in a session of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS).

“To defend the indefensible, is impossible,” said McFields, while appealing in his intervention —followed by thousands— to public employees who are forced to feign their approval of the ruling party’s decisions, fill plazas, and repeat slogans, while the situation of human rights in Nicaragua worsens every year.

With those words, the former ambassador represented thousands of state workers who have defined themselves as hostages of the regime that subjects them to political surveillance, forces them to participate in pro-government activities and even to send photographs as evidence when it comes to voting. The later took place again in the municipal elections of November 2022, characterized by the discredit of an institutionalized fraud in favor of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) since 2008.

In the days of McFields’ denunciation, some of his colleagues in the government quietly celebrated his address, exchanging glances with others. They tried to avoid exposing themselves in their jobs, given that a badly uttered word could turn them into future targets of the political commissars in the state bureaucracy. We gave coverage during 2022, at different key moments of national developments, to their vision and they vehemently expressed their rejection to the measures adopted by Ortega, in spite of the fear prevailing in state structures.

The FSLN’s control produced tension for months in the institutions. Last September 7, while the Nicaraguan government exhibited gaunt political prisoners in the courts after 450 days in confinement, some in solitary, the testimony of “Maria” was moving. She assured that “I felt my heart splitting” and cried when she saw the physical deterioration from captivity, a sadness also fueled because as a public employee she is forced to “live with those devils to avoid problems.”

Many in the Government also joined the worldwide condemnation of the persecution of the Catholic Church, which this year closed with the accusation against bishop Rolando Alvarez, for “conspiracy to undermine national integrity” and “spreading fake news.”

In October, in front of the cameras of Esta Semana, a series of interviews were recorded with some workers: “Alicia,” who occupies a high state management position, and “Sergio” who declared himself in disagreement with the partisan decisions taken within the Judicial Branch, one of the pillars of the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship to remain in the presidential chair.

Precisely, “Alicia” said that support for Ortega is minimal among her co-workers and confirmed that the persecution against the Catholic Church is unpopular. The instability generated by the attacks of the dictatorship against the international community, through expulsions of ambassadors to confirm its self-isolation after the international demand for justice and return to democracy, which the regime has rejected, also causes dissatisfaction.

“Sergio”, revealed on the other hand that there has been a generalized resignation of officials, dissatisfied with what is happening. Based on that reality, the FSLN’s internal controls have been stepped up, to the extent that Judge Marvin Aguilar, vice-president of the Supreme Court and FSLN political secretary in the institution, interrogates judges even when they ask authorization to take vacations.

The drama regarding political prisoners was intensely experienced within the Judicial Branch, where a select group of judges, prosecutors and policemen have complied with the political order to imprison opponents, businessmen, civil society leaders and university students.

“It is horrible. There are co-workers who have political prisoners [in their families], there are mothers who are Sandinistas and have children in jail, and once a week they must ask permission to go to the prisons to take food to them,” added “Sergio” in his testimony.

Within the Supreme Court, there were also defections of judges who left their posts in the midst of crisis. The Ortega Administration carried out dismissals and a judicial process was initiated, without the charges against the Supreme Court spokesperson Roberto Larios having been disclosed so far. Three advisors to the president of the institution, Magistrate Alba Luz Ramos, were taken to court, for the same crimes attributed to Bishop Alvarez.

They are Moises Abraham Astorga Saénz and the siblings Maria Jose and Hans Camacho Chevez, according to information revealed by Yader Morazan, a legal expert.

The complaints in the public sector published for months by the independent media outlets show a picture of human rights violations committed against civil servants under the administration of Daniel Ortega, who has been in power for 15 consecutive years. But this is a recurring reality since the Somoza dictatorship as recalled by sociologist Oscar Rene Vargas, now a political prisoner of the dictatorship. With the strongman of the moment, workers seem obliged to resist abuses in silence.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times

One thought on “Nicaraguan Public Employees’ Inside Struggle against Tyranny

  • I keep waiting for the dictator and his ugly wife to die of natural causes. They is old and ugly. It sure is taking a long time. I am so ready for change. Why doesnt they just pass away? And leave us alone!

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