Sergio Ramírez: The solution in Nicaragua must be peaceful

and with a united opposition

Nicaraguan author Sergio Ramírez.  Photo: Orlando Barria / EFE

The Nicaraguan writer declared that the Ortega regime is headed “toward a totalitarian model more closed than Somoza’s.”

By EFE / Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – The solution to the political and social crisis that Nicaragua is going through must be peaceful and the opposition, now in exile, must play a decisive role in it, setting aside personal interests, said Nicaraguan writer Sergio Ramirez, exiled in Spain.

“The end [of the dictatorship] should not be bloody, it should not be violent” because Nicaragua “does not want or would tolerate a new civil war or more violent episodes,” Ramirez said in an interview in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where he is this week for the tenth edition of the literary festival Centroamerica Cuenta.

A political alternative

To do this, an opposition political alternative must be built “from exile,” said Ramirez, declared “stateless” by the government of Daniel Ortega.

The opposition “has to be united around a basic program for the establishment of democracy,” said the 2017 Cervantes Prize winner, who acknowledged that this “will not be easy,” but everything depends on the political will of the opposition leaders.

“When pettiness and personal interests are put aside and they come up with a single program to restore democracy, that’s a piece of cake, but you have to have the political will to do it,” said the 80-year-old writer, who recently finished his new novel, provisionally titled “The Wooden Horse” and which will be released in February 2024.

Ramirez, who was vice president of Nicaragua during the first presidential term of Daniel Ortega (1985-1990), emphasized “the way out has to be democratic.”

“How it is going to happen, I don’t know, but it has to be built,” he said.

Nicaragua has been going through a political and social crisis since April 2018. Since then, Ramírez recalled in the interview with EFE, the citizenship of hundreds of opponents has been withdrawn, different media, private universities, and thousands of non-governmental organizations have been closed, “and the courts are at the service of the regime” which, in his opinion, “closes itself more and more”.

Ramirez believes the Ortega regime is headed “towards a totalitarian model more closed than Somoza’s.”

The dawn will come to Nicaragua

Despite this panorama, the author of novels such as “The Dance of the Mask” or “Nobody Cries for Me Anymore” sees the future of his country “with great hope.”

“It’s getting darker, but it’s going to dawn,” said Ramírez, who was issued an arrest warrant in 2021 while he was in Spain and just three months ago became one of the 94 people targeted by the Ortega regime. They took away their Nicaraguan nationality, just like 222 released political prisoners days earlier.

Last week the Ortega regime suspended 25 opposition lawyers for life, including Ramírez, for whom this decision “is a bad joke” because, although he graduated as a lawyer, he has never practiced the profession.

However, in the case of the other 24 lawyers, “human rights defenders”, “it is an absurd revenge,” since they are all in exile.

“It’s adding salt to the wound,” stressed Ramírez, who asked the international community “not to forget the increasingly extreme situation of a country subjected to a totalitarian regime.”

Nicaragua, he stressed, “does not produce any strategic mineral, it does not have oil or rare lands, but it is a country infected by a dictatorship” and “they should pay attention to it.”

The international community should be aware that this situation is there and that “Nicaraguans who are fighting in unequal conditions must not be left abandoned,” he concluded.

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