Gioconda Belli: “We Must Avoid Another War in Nicaragua”

By Gabriela Selser (dpa)

From the FB page of Gioconda Belli

HAVANA TIMES – Nicaraguan writer and activist Gioconda Belli affirmed today that it is urgent to pressure President Daniel Ortega to resume the suspended dialogue with the opposition Civic Alliance, advance the elections of 2021, “and do everything possible to avoid another war” like the one that bled the country in past decades.

In an interview with dpa, the author of a vast work in poetry and novels analyzed the situation in Nicaragua four months after the protests against Ortega began, which resulted so far in a very serious crisis that has left more than 330 dead and 2,800 injured, according to human rights organizations.

“I refuse to believe that we will have to repeat history and arm ourselves to overthrow this dictatorship. Nicaragua deserves better. Everything possible must be done to avoid another war, except to renounce the right to freedom,” said Belli, who in the 1970s participated in the Sandinista struggle that overthrew the dictator Anastasio Somoza.

“All kinds of pressure is urgently needed to resume the national dialogue and take steps to ensure that early elections are carried out in conditions of transparency, supervision and with an independent and honest electoral council,” she said.

According to the well-known feminist poet, the international community must “act for the good of the Nicaraguans and convince Ortega that in this century there can no longer be tyrants who try to lock a country in a cage and throw the key out to the sea.”

Gioconda Belli. File photo from

Gioconda Belli, who is also the president of PEN International chapter Nicaragua, condemned the threats and attacks by people linked to the government against journalists and independent media, which “have been increasing month by month in frequency and violence.”

“The most worrying thing is not knowing how far they want to go in this repressive campaign. What we have seen this ruling couple do in the last four months has gone beyond the limits of not only the legal but also the rational,” she said, referring to the 72-year-old former guerrilla fighter and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.

“The actions of Ortega and his government have been cavernous, a primitive reaction, immature, lacking any sense of measure and proportion. It is like seeing someone lashing out left and right,” she added, referring to the armed actions of the police and paramilitaries, attacks on Catholic churches and bishops, and the persecution and capture of opponents in almost the entire country.

Belli also referred to allegations of government harassment on channel 10 TV (private), which according to its journalists would respond to a plan to control the station, which during these last months has been critical of the Ortega administration. “This shows the willingness of the Government to impose its rhetoric and its point of view, it doesn’t matter if to do this they have to violate the laws,” she warned.

The author added that Daniel Ortega has followed a “mistaken strategy” by disqualifying the work of bodies such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and disregarding universally accepted ethical mandates. “This position will bring him many international problems that will aggravate his internal situation and will undermine the little support he has left.”.

Daniel Ortega and his wife/VP Rosario Murillo.

Gioconda also questioned the ruling couple for pretending to “invent a language capable of dividing a people and inciting them to confront each other as enemies” to ensure their loyalty. “It is a crime and I condemn those who use the word to kill and provoke death.”

Belli ruled out the possibility that Ortega could establish in the country an autocratic model in the style of Cuba or Venezuela, because “Nicaragua does not have oil and it is not an island either, it cannot remain isolated.”

She noted that the Government of Nicaragua is no more than two people without a team or second in command. “They are impulsive, self-destructive and their own megalomania will end up being their worst enemy.”

On the other hand, the Nicaraguan people “believe in dreams because they have already seen them fulfilled once and that history of stubbornness and insistence has been passed on from generation to generation,” stressed Belli.