Mejia Godoy Brothers Call Ortega Regime “Neo-Stalinist”

Luis Enrique and Carlos Mejía Godoy. Photo de archive: El Nuevo Diario

Por 100% Noticias / EFE

HAVANA TIMES – Nicaraguan singer-songwriters Carlos and Luis Enrique Mejía Godoy called the government of Daniel Ortega, a “totalitarian, neo-Stalinist, neo-Hitlerian regime.” The exiled critics supported him during the first revolutionary stage (1979-1990).

In a joint statement issued on Monday, the Mejia Godoy brothers, who are living outside of Nicaragua for security reasons, criticized a decree issued by the Sandinista Government, which requires other Countries or international organizations to request their consent in advance if they will bestow an award or recognition to a citizen of this Central American country.

“Faced with this unwonted decree that offends the right of freedom of thought, we ask: How far will this totalitarian, neo-Stalinist, neo-Hitlerian regime go? They have already surpassed George Orwell’s predictions, forcing us to request permission to receive an international award, the artists asked.

They reject this “ominous and ludicrous law”

“We reject this ominous and ludicrous law that makes the following clear: in the face of national and international rejection, the dictatorship wants to distract attention from the infamous persecution, imprisonment, assassinations and exile against those who disagree with its criminal policy,” they continued.

With this controversial decree, “the Government, foreign state, international organization or institution that wishes to award a prize, honor or recognition to a Nicaraguan citizen, must previously request the consent of the Government of Nicaragua through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in order for it to grant the corresponding approval in terms of reciprocity.”

So far, the Executive Power has not explained the reasons for the decree that came into force last week and that in one of its paragraphs recalls that the President of Nicaragua “may grant honorary orders and decorations to national citizens or other nationalities.”

The decree was issued three months before the general elections, in which Ortega, soon to be 76 years old and in power since 2007, will seek his fifth five-year term, fourth in a row and second together with his wife Rosario Murillo as vice president. [Their victory is assured since they have jailed or eliminated all opposition competition from participating.]

They claim copyright of their songs

In their statement, the Nicaraguan musicians also reiterated their complaint to the Government for “the violation” of their copyrights.

“We denounce those who publicly mock the ‘indispensable’ ones in their speeches and yet continue to abuse our songs in their rallies and especially in this new context in the campaign to perpetuate themselves in power,” they said.

“They can block any award, any international prize, but beware, they will never be able to tear from the hearts of our people, the most important medals, the respect and affection of the people for their singers. They will not silence us. They will not be able to silence us now or ever,” affirmed the singer-songwriters.

The Mejia Godoy brothers are the authors of more than 200 songs each, many of them epic and paying homage to the armed insurrection that overthrew the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza Debayle on July 19, 1979.

Carlos Mejia Godoy’s songs like “Son tus perfumenes mujer,” “Quincho Barrilete” and “Cristo de Palacaguina,” not only showed Nicaraguan song to the world but are also part of the local identity.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.