“I don’t want a government that gives orders to kill us just for protesting, to loot the businesses that with a lot of effort we built, to torture us.”
By Maryorit Guevara & Mariana Rivas (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – In 1979, my father who lived in Costa Rica decided to return to Nicaragua to fight in the revolution. He left his family, his girlfriend (my mother) and grabbing the hands of his two younger brothers with his backpack on his shoulder crossed the border ready for anything.
“Free Country or Death” was one of the slogans of the revolution, so he knew very well that the probability of dying at the hands of Somoza’s National Guard was high. Even so, he steeled himself with courage and returned to the land that saw him grow to overthrow a bloodthirsty dictatorship.
When the FSLN triumphed, my father and my mother decided to come and live in Nicaragua with conviction and faith in the revolution. My mother left her family and her native country to embrace the utopia of a socialist government and from that dream my sister and I were born. Daughters of the revolutions as all those in my generation. I have very few memories of the 80’s. I remember that my sister and I accompanied our mother to pick up the AFA rations (10 pounds of rice and sugar and 5 pounds of beans). Even today I can point to the exact place where we used to form a line. When my father used to tell me stories of the revolution it was like listening to a fairy tale of Snow White, distant, far away, unreal. All that changed on April 18, 2018.
In my 34 years of life I never needed the phrase “Free Country or Death” to protest against a dictatorship. I never imagined that I had to mourn the death of my people fallen in combat; and much less that I had to ask a stranger to let me hide in his house while fleeing from the riot police. I have felt everything: anger, helplessness, and a great sadness to see my city destroyed, students wounded or dead, my country oppressed, and above all much fear, fear for me and my son.
What’s going on? Are we at war? I asked my uncle on Friday, April 22. He paternally replied as he hugged me: “Oh, sweetie, this is just the beginning.” Suddenly the Snow White fairy tale had become reality, and I was on one of its pages.
It hurts very much to wake up from the lethargy in which the whole country was plunged. Once the spell of the “Chayo Palos” (Rosario Murillo’s metal trees) was broken, we could no longer remain silent. Frying pans sounded in the streets of Managua, tires burned in the El Eden neighborhood, students were resisting in the universities, and my relatives from outside would write: are you OK?
Everyone asked, and I thought to myself “I am fine”, but my soul is broken. THE GOVERNMENT HATES US, was the only thing that came to my head, THE GOVERNMENT HATES US. I do not want a government that gives orders to kill us just for protesting, to loot the businesses that with a lot of effort we built, to torture us.
In my son’s school, they were talking recently about children’s rights. One day he came home and asked me about the war in Syria. How the hell am I going to explain that the horrors those people are living are now in his home country? How can I explain to him that his country is one step away from civil war? I have decided to keep him in sweet ignorance, although I am aware that the fury of the people that awoke in April won’t be extinguished until it achieves its objective: to overthrow the government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo and build a democracy that will be accountable to the people.
We cannot let lethargy and apathy catch up with us again. Never again can we allow ourselves to be oppressed and killed just to defend the interests of one family that only wants to get rich at the expense of our work, money and by corruption.
I dedicate my “minuscule” struggle to my son and the future generations. I have the moral duty to inherit them a “Free Country” period, without having to add the word “dead” in the next forty years. I cannot allow for us to become the new “failed generation” as the popular sports commentator Edgard Tijerino wrote (regarding his).
I am aware that this process of democratization that ALL Nicaragua is demanding is not going to happen overnight, so I am willing to be patient. My obligation as a mother and thoughtful Nicaraguan citizen is to manifest myself whenever I can and in any way I can. It does not matter if it is only to make sounds with frying pans outside my house. It does not matter if I can only collect medical supplies and water for the wounded, if I just share information and verify it, or if I can only march with my forehead and my banner held high demanding democracy and freedom.
Here the only important thing is: NO STEPS BACKWARDS!