Zoilamérica: “Ortega and Murillo Cannot Imagine Leaving Power”

Por Gesell Tobías  VOA News / 100% Noticias

HAVANA TIMES – In an interview with the Voice of America, Rosario Murillo’s daughter Zoilamerica Ortega Murillo, called Daniel Ortega’s government weak, and noted that as both an opportunity and a danger for Nicaraguans. She argues that Ortega has lost his legitimacy, and says that the country is undergoing a second process of liberation.

In 1988, Zoilamerica Murillo publicly accused her stepfather, Daniel Ortega, of sexual abuse throughout her childhood.

The investigation was stalled [because of Ortega’s parliamentary immunity], and finally closed, with Zoilamerica ultimately being forced, years later, to leave the country for Costa Rica, exiled by the harassment she faced after making her accusations public.

This is the interview that the VOA carried out with Zoilamérica:

In the past, you had warned about a sociopolitical crisis in Nicaragua.  How did you know?

Zoilamerica: Well, we all knew that discontent was building in Nicaragua, and that protests would come, sooner or later, that could lead to a social explosion.  However, I really think that the hopeful part is how this need for social protest combined with  a capacity for organization, for improvisation for a strategic vision.  (…) Of course, it is precisely the yearning for peace on the part of the Nicaraguan people that led to a civic protest, rather than an armed uprising. 

We would never have thought that the very creators of an anti-dictatorial revolution would have ended up assassinating their own people and putting another dictatorship in place.

Before this crisis, was Daniel Ortega hiding behind a mask?

Zoilamerica: I would say that the historical evidence indicates not that he is hiding behind a mask, but rather that he has had the possibility of constructing more than one mask.  And this fits exactly with the profile of a sexual abuser.  This is the kind of person who commits crimes like those committed against me, and who leaves home cloaked in the guise of a complete human being.

In fact, the profile of sexual abusers, like the profile of those who abuse power, has to do with this: the only way that someone can continue to force other human beings to submit to them is through the use of manipulation. And this is precisely what has made it possible for Daniel Ortega to maintain this degree of power.

Daniel Ortega has been able to establish these platforms, with their respective masks, because he has been able to count on those who have fallen under the spell of his manipulation, some unconsciously and others opportunistically.

Is your mother, Rosario Murillo, ruling Nicaragua?

Zoilamerica: She is someone who is has been disfigured by power.  The power she wields turned into poison, which has contaminated her and made her dependent on controlling everything.  Daniel Ortega implemented a system and her contribution has been a particular kind of cruelty (…) They are both part of a process in which power contributed in deforming them and transformed them into what they are today and, alongside that, for a long time the Nicaraguan people gave them a blank check to govern the country.

Is Nicaragua freeing itself of its “liberator”?

Zoilamerica: I wouldn’t say that the revolution, as a political event, did not mean anything.  It was a wonderful attempt to change the history of Nicaragua, to change the political culture, an attempt in which the first indication of failure was around issues of integrity and coherence, as evidenced by the sexual abuse that I lived through in my home; the abuse of property, and the authoritarianism that repressed the peasants.

The revolution was deformed back then to the degree that the Sandinistas concentrated quotas of power and also justified military authority through an external-internal war. We are liberating ourselves for the second time, but this time it is harder because it comes with a history we have lived through before, and, above all, because we are freeing ourselves from lies. Our people have been victims of a series of myths, it has been very difficult to call Daniel Ortega a dictator.  It has only been after recent events that people are seeing him for that, and recognizing a criminal hand ordering his followers onto the streets to attack and kidnap young people, as is happening today.

 Can this crisis end, even if Daniel Ortega remains in power? 

 Zoilamerica:  There is no turning back now, it is clear that Daniel Ortega is going to leave the country and leave the government, or rather, he will leave the government. But I do believe that the last opportunity the people of Nicaragua are giving him is to decide how he wants get out. However, to date he does not seem to really consider any possibility of leaving Nicaragua. (…)  Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo simply cannot conceive of themselves outside of power, they believe that their divine designs, in their conception of that political esotericism that they have created, cannot exist outside of Nicaragua. So instead they aim to buy time in the hope that people will tire, with the utter arrogance that they have the capacity to completely dismantle the country.  Why don’t they try to stop the waves of people leaving the country? Because they want everyone to leave who doesn’t want to be eternally under their ‘reign’. In that sense, the concern for his family will be linked to security conditions within Nicaragua. I think that when you reach a level of political fundamentalism, your family unfortunately falls into the background. 

Why do you feel so sure President Ortega’s government will fall? 

Zoilamerica: Twenty years of my process have meant finding myself again, after each fall – not because I am particularly brave, but because I come from the same history of those Nicaraguans who come who Monimbó, who fall in Matagalpa, but get up. I also am sure because, coming from that family and knowing their abuse, the way they abuse power – for me the signs of weakening are clear. And it is also clear that the bloodiest period of the process may be yet to come. 

What should the international community do?  

Zoilamérica: I think the international community should be alert to recognize that inter-American regional structures do not function merely to count victims. While that is clearly important, they also have to work on creating new ways of functioning in these circumstances.  It’s clear that the end is near, and we are at a good moment to avoid a situation where this end implies an extermination of the country in an unthinkable scope.  We are not asking for military intervention. There are mechanisms in the international community, but above all we must understand that Daniel Ortega is still recognized as a legitimate president. That dose of legitimacy is the possibility that his government continues to function after so many accusations that question the way in which he reached power, and the fact that many continue to talk about establishing an exit process. They talk about transition processes as if we were facing a person that is capable of carrying out a process of democratic transition.

Even though you are living in exile, are you afraid for your life?

Zoilamerica: I am afraid because I know the ability of these people to maneuver. There is a humanitarian crisis in the region and Costa Rica could become a focus in which  Daniel Ortega intends to continue affecting the Nicaraguans.

What do you think when you hear the name of Daniel Ortega?

Zoilamerica: A person who at this moment is so full of fear that he is capable of doing anything to destroy someone else. A person with fear is the most dangerous person because in order to defend himself he is capable of anything. Daniel Ortega is not a giant, he is not a wise man. He is a small person who has dwarfed himself and the only way he can make himself great is to be a tyrant and a dictator. And today that smallness, showing off that power, is what makes him more dangerous for the history of Nicaragua.

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