Latino USA Interviews Exiled Nicaraguan Poet Gioconda Belli

File photo of Gioconda Belli

HAVANA TIMES – “I have nowhere to live,” exiled Nicaraguan poet Gioconda Belli writes in a recent poem. “I chose the word. (…) I left carrying my words under my arm. / They are my crime, my sin.”

Belli, poet, novelist, former Sandinista activist, and winner of countless awards over the years, including  the 2023 Reina Sofia Poetry prize, is one of over 300 Nicaraguans stripped of their nationality by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, in an act of vengeance as absurd as it was malicious. In response, she publicly cut up her Nicaraguan passport on camera, declaring: “I’m not going to stop being who I am, because of this document.”

In May, Gioconda told American Journal, “I am going to return dead or alive, I am going to end up in that country (Nicaragua) and that country is going to nestle my memories and my bones, always. That’s how it will be.”

Latino USA recently featured a moving and wide-ranging conversation between Gioconda and Maria Hinojosa. They touch on Belli’s past and present, her perceptions of Daniel Ortega, her literature, how the Sandinista Revolution shaped her life, her vision of the future, and on the dilemmas of being a woman. Belli, who currently resides in Madrid, Spain, sums up her hopes: “I have to believe that what I have dreamt and what I have done is going to give fruit eventually.  I cannot rush history. History moves in its own way.”

Click here to hear the full 37-minute conversation.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times