“If Ortega wants a dialogue, he must allow the people to mobilize,” students demand.
Police prohibit civic mobilization for the fifth time, but the National Unity coalition maintains its call to “return to the streets” this Saturday March 16.
HAVANA TIMES – The Blue and White National Unity coalition maintains its call to demonstrate this Saturday afternoon in demand for the “unconditional and absolute” release of the hundreds of citizens jailed for protesting against the government of Daniel Ortega. On Friday, the National Police denied permission for the march and stepped up its presence in the center of the capital.
“We call on all the organizations that make up the Blue and White Unity coalition and citizens in general to mobilize for the unconditional and absolute release of all political prisoners,” said the coalition in a statement, which they maintain firm, despite the police ban on any demonstrations.
The police prohibited the march, saying it “does not authorize any activity that generates unrest for Nicaraguan families.”
The inspector general of the institution, Jaime Vanegas, read a statement saying the call to protest, “…constitutes the continuation of provocations and terrorist and pro-coup crimes, which planted in Nicaragua, mourning, grief, pain, and caused so much loss of life, of public and private property, and left serious effects on the National Economy.”
Movements organized by the victims of the crisis, such as the Committee for the Release of the Political Prisoners, the Mothers of April Association, the University Coalition, among others, announced in a joint press conference their support for the march.
“If Ortega wants dialogue, he should show signs of seriousness and should allow people to mobilize,” said student leader Justina Orozco.
Under the orders of Ortega, all civic marches and public demonstrations were banned by the Police since last September, when it threatened to imprison those who promote them, and established a de facto police state throughout Nicaragua.
In January, Nicaraguan business owners cancelled a demonstration they had called after the police denied their permission.
The head of the Directorate of Public Security, Olivio Hernandez, said back then that the police decided “not to authorize any activity that exposes people, families or property to danger; that alters the order and social rights, and the right to peace of Nicaraguan families.”
The police chief based the decision on the government line that “the applicants were participants in the failed coup of April of last year” and that the businessmen” acted criminally against the Constitution of Nicaragua, pretending institutional changes through violence and terror.”
He also accused them of having promoted, incited and being responsible for the traffic jams or blockade of roads where he claims Nicaraguans were tortured, raped and murdered.
One of the negotiators of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democarcy, the constitutionalist lawyer Azahalea Solis, said that at the dialogue table they are well informed of that call to march.
The Civic Alliance belongs to the Blue and White Unity coalition and is the counterpart of the Government in the talks that began on February 27, and after being suspended, resumed on Thursday.
“More than challenging the regime, what we are reaffirming is that we are people with rights,” said Solis, who asked the Vatican’s representative in Nicaragua, Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, who acts as witness and accompanist of the negotiations,” to demand respect for the right to mobilize on Saturday.”
The march is scheduled to start at two in the afternoon, from the Central America roundabout and culminate at the Alexis Argüello monument, one of the busiest avenues in the country.