By Circles Robinson, editor
HAVANA TIMES – We normally post news or opinions only from known sources. However, the following description – which has been circulating anonymously on social media – seemed too moving a depiction of Nicaraguan life to pass by.
The events it chronicles mirror the experiences of hundreds of Nicaraguans during the last four years as the Ortega-Murillo family dictatorship seeks to squash all possible dissent.
While most citizens do not express themselves publicly to protect their safety and that of their loved ones, people are not asleep, nor are they indifferent. Their eyes and ears witness the abuses taking place day and night in the name of the “Christian, Socialist and Solidarity” family government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo. They feel these things deeply.
We bring you the vivid description from a neighbor of a violent abduction on Tuesday of a young couple from their home, and the traumatic experience for their 5-year-old son. According to the 100% news site, the events described correspond to the April 12 arrest of music producers Salvador Espinoza Jr. and Xochitl Tapia after a concert where presenters alluded to the April 2018 rebellion. As of Thursday, April 14, the couple’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Our foreign readers should be aware that the events are taking place during Holy Week, a time considered sacred for Catholics throughout Latin America.
It’s Holy Tuesday in the City
In front of my friend’s house, a group of armed men have arrived. He’s inside with the woman he loves and their little boy, who was cooling off in an inflatable pool, with their dog nearby. The child!
His partner managed to convince the police to let her take the five-year-old boy, who’s in bathing trunks and wet, to a neighbor’s house. And she comes back home, escorted by the police, where those men have already beaten my friend and destroyed everything inside. Some people have come out of their homes nearby. One portly woman stands in the street shouting at the armed men, who have increased in number with some arriving two-by-two on a motorcycle, rifles in hand. “Go home!”
They took them away from my friend’s house – him and his love – along with all the electronic devices they encountered there. They loaded them onto a police pickup, in the middle of the afternoon. And the ransacked house was then invaded once again.
“And the dog?” a neighbor asks an officer in front of the house. The neighbor had previously seen that old skinny dog from the invaded house wandering through the streets of the neighborhood. “He’s inside – move along!” the police agent barks at the neighbor.
In the evening shadows, the house of my friend has been abandoned. The old dog has been left inside, and relatives of the child have come to get him from the neighbor’s house.
My friend’s house was a simple and comfortable home before it was ransacked. It was one of those houses where the doors are kept open, and those inside call out affectionate greetings to the neighbors going by. Now it’s closed and silent. My friend isn’t a violent man, but he can be heedless and outspoken; he hates injustice, and he and his love are models of dignity. The Police don’t like those who don’t behave, and their bosses see those who maintain their dignity as dangerous rebels.
In several of the surrounding houses, people are crying. They’re full of that impotent rage that tears the soul. “They took them away like criminals!” sobs the neighbor who took care of the little boy while the house was being assaulted.
“It’s true they just abduct people from their homes; I didn’t want to believe it, but now I see it’s true. Those two don’t do harm to anyone!” exclaims the heavy-set woman amidst her sobs – the same one who shouted at the police earlier.
In the block where my friend’s house stands, there are people who slept badly that night; there are people who cried that night. And there are people crying this morning. A young neighbor girl arrives to leave the old dog a little food and water, sliding it between the bars of the iron gate.
And still no one has learned anything about what’s happened to my friend and his love.
It’s Holy Wednesday in the city … April in Nicaragua.