Nicaraguan organizations prioritize freedom of political prisoners

On the fourth anniversary of the April Rebellion, they said they will continue to fight for justice for the victims and freedom for Nicaragua.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – On the fourth anniversary of the April rebellion, members of more than 60 Nicaraguan civil society organizations reaffirmed their demand for freedom for the more than 180 political prisoners held by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo. The groups are made up of relatives of political prisoners and victims of Ortega’s repression, opponents, former political prisoners, exiles, feminists, lawyers, and human rights defenders.

“United to commemorate the civic rebellion of 2018, we pay tribute to the more than 300 people murdered and to all the victims of the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship. As well as the more than 180 people who are unjustly imprisoned and who should be released immediately and unconditionally. We will not stop denouncing and demanding their freedom until justice shines,” indicates part of the statement, signed by the group of organizations (listed below).

The demand was raised at a press conference in which they announced a campaign to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the April Rebellion, which includes activities such as sit-ins, masses, vigils, book presentations and documentaries, which will take place throughout this week in countries such as Costa Rica, the United States, Spain, Mexico, Guatemala and Canada.

Victims seek unity in action to defeat the dictatorship

During the press conference, former political prisoners and relatives of current prisoners and of people murdered in the context of the 2018 social protests, read a statement in which they reaffirmed their “resistance and demand of justice and freedom”.

In addition, they called on Nicaraguans to “unify in joint struggle on all fronts to bring an end to the dictatorship.”

“Still living with the smell of our losses, we call on the opposition to intensify the search for full justice and the establishment of democracy in Nicaragua,” they stressed.

Below is the statement signed by the 62 organizations from Nicaraguan civil society:

JOINT STATEMENT ON THE FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE APRIL STRUGGLE

April 18, 2022

Many “Blue and White” organizations, with organizational structures inside Nicaragua, as well as those in exile and the diaspora in various countries of the world, have come together to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the civic rebellion of 2018. We pay tribute to the more than three hundred people killed already, all victims of the Ortega Murillo dictatorship. We also honor the more than 180 men and women, who today continue to be unjustly imprisoned. They must be released immediately and without conditions. We commit ourselves to not stop denouncing their captivity and demanding their freedom until justice shines.

Thousands of exiles have left Nicaragua since 2018 and many more continue to take risks to survive in the face of political repression, insecurity and the economic crisis that is getting worse every day. This exodus constitutes a perverse policy promoted consciously by the regime, to annihilate the social fabric of resistance and ensure thousands of dollars in family remittances, which economically strengthen the repressive regime. We also denounce the fact that hundreds of communicators have had to go into political exile, the closure and confiscations of important communication media, the cancellation of legal status of NGOs and universities, and the elimination of the right of association and freedom of expression of the people of Nicaragua.

Even in this dark context, on November 7, 2021, the Nicaraguan people forcefully expressed its rejection of the Ortega Murillo dictatorship and its electoral farce. Despite the threats, persecution, and intimidation of public employees, soldiers and frontline police, the people said “Enough!” with more than 80% abstentionism.

That popular reaction made it clear to us once again that the Nicaraguan people, when acting with a single objective, are capable of defeating the regime. It also tells us that the people demand unity as the only way to advance towards dismantling the dictatorship.

Four years after the April Rebellion, and responding to this demand of the people, in the spirit of unity the organizations who have signed below have initiated processes of dialogue, conversations, and joint actions which, stripped of sectarianism and ideological differences, should facilitate us being able to work in a united and cohesive way until we gain the freedom of the political prisoners and of Nicaragua as a whole. We acknowledge that we have made mistakes and that we are self-critically aware of the urgency of letting go of intolerant and selfish attitudes. We are determined to build a strategy that results in the end of this regime that is leading the country towards a political and socioeconomic precipice, from which each day it is getting harder and harder to step back.

Now is the time to take concrete actions to once and for all get rid of this criminal dictatorship. All sectors will continue to raise and multiply our voices: Women, men and the LGTBIQ+ population, youth and students, environmentalists, human rights defenders, peasants, independent journalism, teachers, health personnel, workers in the informal sector, retired and unemployed women, maquiladora workers, indigenous populations and Afro-descendant communities.

In these four years of intense work it is clear to us that the international community can and must continue to contribute to the return of democracy in Nicaragua, but that it is we, as Nicaraguans, who must set the tone to get rid of this regime. The fall of the dictatorship will only be possible through the concerted efforts and well-organized work of the international community coordinating with the unified opposition in Nicaragua.

The subscribing organizations commit ourselves today, in this new stage of resistance and of struggle, to keep focused on frank dialogue, the strengthening of trust, the bringing together and rearticulation of our forces in unity, as the best route to challenge fear and State terrorism, and advance towards the defeat of the dictatorship as a way to achieve peace with Justice.

Therefore, we want to express to the people of Nicaragua that:

1. The fight for the unconditional freedom of political prisoners constitutes the first and most urgent priority, on which we will all focus our efforts.

2. We take on the beginning of a new stage of struggle and of the historical responsibility of rising to the generosity, hopes and sacrifices of this heroic people, of the mothers and family members of the victims, of the pain and sacrifice of our sisters and brothers who are prisoners or in exile.

3. We will work to continue this frank dialogue among ourselves and with other organizations, developing ways of organizing and working together that respond adequately to this new reality.

4. We will fight together, with the conviction that we must get rid of the dictatorship to be able to build a Nicaragua with justice, peace, freedom, development and democracy.

5. We will develop new and comprehensive strategies that facilitate the weakening of the foundations of the dictatorship in all spheres, both national and international.

6. We call on civil and military public employees to abandon the regime, to save the people of Nicaragua more tears and suffering, and to recover their own dignity in the eyes of their children, families, friends and society as a whole.

7. We will continue to lobby international and regional financial organizations so that they do not continue financing the dictatorship. We will also lobby the OAS and the UN so that they commit to strengthening the necessary measures to get the regime to definitively release all political prisoners.

Nicaragua does not forget — Justice for the victims! Life, justice and freedom for political prisoners! End the dictatorship!

These are the participating organizations of Nicaraguan civil society:

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.