Ruben Blades Denounces Ortega’s repression in Nicaragua

noting that it drives people to flee the country 

Panamanian musician Ruben Blades

Ruben Blades said “the United Nations has totally failed” in the case of Nicaragua and condemned Daniel Ortega’s repression against the population


HAVANA TIMES – Panamanian singer and political activist Ruben Blades said Monday in Costa Rica that the causes of the migration crisis affecting Latin America are not being addressed, and expressed concern about the number of children who are being seen in those streams of people.

“The main reason is not being addressed. Nobody leaves their homeland because they want to. They leave because they have to leave for political or economic reasons,” Blades said during a conversation on Channel Quince of the University of Costa Rica, where he gave a concert last Saturday.

Blades, 75, famous for songs like “Decisiones” and “Pedro Navaja,” recalled that he was one of those migrants who had to leave his country during the military dictatorship when he was just a young man newly graduated from college as a lawyer.

“We have to face the conditions that cause people to leave Latin America or the Middle East. As long as we do not address the reasons causing the exodus, we will not solve the problem,” said Blades who served as the Minister of Tourism of Panama between 2004 and 2009.

Blades expressed his concern for the thousands of children who are arriving in the migratory tides that cross the continent in order to reach the United States, and warned that the Darien Gap, a jungle area that divides Colombia and Panama, has become a thoroughfare through which hundreds of thousands of people are crossing.

In the current migratory streams that flow through South America, Central America and Mexico, with the final destination being the United States, are mainly Venezuelans, Haitians, Asians and Africans, as reported by the governments of the region and international organizations.

Central American and most Cuban migrants are traveling mostly through Central America and Mexico. 

The winner of eleven Latin Grammys and eleven Anglo-Saxon Grammys emphasized the need for young people to get involved in politics and public administration in order to fight corruption and bring about changes in their societies.

“Every country has the government it deserves, for its actions or omissions. In some cases, people do things right and the government ends up damaging them,” Blades said.

Blades condemns Ortega’s dictatorship

The actor and writer specifically cited the case of Nicaragua, “where there is repression,” and declared that it is necessary for countries to analyze what kind of support we give to the people who are inside.

“The United Nations has totally failed in Nicaragua,” said Blades, who criticized its president, Daniel Ortega, who has been denounced by international organizations and various countries for imprisoning opponents, closing media outlets, and violating a series of human rights of the population.

“Just as I supported the Sandinistas at the beginning, today I condemn Ortega’s attitude and what he is doing,” Blades said.

He insisted that the region must look for peaceful ways to solve its problems and guarantee support for people who promote change.

Blades pointed to corruption and drug trafficking as problems in the Latin American region, as well as people’s apathy and indifference.

He believes that today, despite easy access to information, “we are becoming more and more confused” and gave as an example that “we are once again discussing whether the world is flat or round.”

“But I’m still optimistic. The youth have to respond and start remedying things. We need to unlearn things like sexism, racism, intolerance and corruption.”

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.