HAVANA TIMES – Author Gioconda Belli called the accusation against the writer, novelist and former vice-president of Nicaragua Sergio Ramírez Mercado, “shameful.” Ramírez was accused by the Prosecutor’s Office of “carrying out acts that encourage and incite hatred and violence.” Belli assures that the world “doesn’t believe what the Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo regime is disseminating against dissident voices.”
“There are no words for what is happening. Sergio is a person who has given so much to Nicaragua. He has upheld Nicaraguan culture and has given abundant support to young Nicaraguans. The Prosecutor’s Office’s accusation is bizarre because, assuming that everything in the accusations against the Violeta Chamorro Foundation are true, there’s no reason to blame the people who had a relationship with the Foundation for having been helped by it,” said Belli.
The poet pointed out that the accusations made by the Public Ministry, controlled by Ortega, lost all sense of respect. “What is happening in Nicaragua is cruel and vengeful. I really don’t know when this irrationality is going to stop. Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo have lost all reason and only dedicate themselves to punishing people who have done nothing to Nicaragua in their lives that they are being accused of.
At the same time, Belli considers the accusation against Ramírez an offense against Nicaraguans, who are proud of their writers. “It is malicious, lacks seriousness, and is appallingly revengeful. Sergio Ramírez has nothing to do with the United States. It wasn’t the United States that gave him the Cervantes Award. He is a man who has worked tirelessly to put Nicaragua on the literary map with his Centroamérica Cuenta festival. I don’t even know how to say it. I am hurt, offended and very worried about my country. We don’t deserve what is happening in Nicaragua with this regime.”
The deputy director of El País, and historian of Nexos Magazine, Javier Lafuente wrote: “Ortega and Murillo’s persecution has reached its peak, ordering the arrest of Nicaragua’s most renowned figure, who was Ortega’s number 2, writer and former vice-president, Sergio Ramírez.”
He also pointed out “Sergio Ramírez is the embodiment of everything that must be defended in Nicaragua against the new tyrants of this country: liberty, intelligence, democracy, human dignity, literature, and the courage to fight for all of it.”
Ramírez was awarded the 2017 Cervantes Award, was vice-president during the first Sandinista government (1985-1990) and is now critical of Daniel Ortega. According to a statement by the Prosecutor’s Office, he is also accused of having received money from the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, through the Luisa Mercado Foundation that he is the director of.
The Public Ministry requested an arrest warrant and search warrant against the 79-year-old Ramírez Mercado, who left the country for medical reasons in June and had already announced that he would not be returning to Nicaragua to avoid reprisals from the regime after having been summoned by the Public Ministry.
The Prosecutor’s Office indicated that it also accused Ramírez of “carrying out acts that encourage and incite hatred and violence,” for having received money via the Luisa Mercado Foundation from the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, “whose main members of their Board of Directors are accused of misappropriation, and laundering money, goods and assets.”