Nicaraguan Peasant Movement Demands “True Unity” to Opposition Coalition

Medardo Mairena (light blue plaid shirt) along with also peasant leader, Francisca Ramirez, in a file photo by Carlos Herrera / Confidencial

From Costa Rica, Francisca Ramirez accuses Medardo Mairena of excluding her for ideological reasons

By Ivette Munguia  (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The Nicaraguan Peasant Movement called on opponents of the Ortega regime to forego their “personal interests” and work for the unity that will consolidate a National Coalition, announced yesterday.

During an assembly held in Managua, territorial leaders demanded that both the Civic Alliance as well as the Blue and White National Unity (UNAB) must be more “inclusive” for the coalition to be achieved before February 25 [a symbolic date because it was on that day in 1990, that the UNO coalition defeated Daniel Ortega at the polls.].

Medardo Mairena, coordinator of the Peasant Movement, noted that “it’s no secret that there are candidates” for public office within the opposition movement and political parties that could join the coalition. For this reason, he insisted on the need for “ego reduction” and “to show that what we really do, we do for Nicaragua,” he said.

“Political parties are there obviously to win power. The political parties are not only the national leadership or structure but the members and, among this membership, there were many in the roadblocks, in the resistance, in the streets” [during the April 2018 rebellion and the months that followed], emphasized the peasant leader who is also a released political prisoner and formerly a member of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC).

According to Mairena, the opposition unity is “fundamental” in Nicaragua, but that unity should not revolve “around a political party, rather each one (of the movements) should enjoy autonomy.” “That is why we have made a call to sacrifice personal interests,” he insisted.

Francisca Ramirez denounces exclusion

Mairena also ruled out that there is division among the rural population, but the peasant leader Francisca Ramirez, claimed from her exile in Costa Rica, that Mairena has excluded her from the movement they founded in 2013. “There are ideological divisions and that is unfortunate for the people, for the prisoners and those who suffer harassment.” Ramirez commented.

“Medardo has tried to exclude a sector of the peasant movement that has never sympathized with Arnoldo Aleman of the PLC. He has to reconsider so that he will not revive a dead man, because Arnoldo Aleman means hurting the people of Nicaragua again. I have nothing against Medardo, I hold him in high regard, but I feel that he tries to exclude those who do not sympathize with Arnoldo,” insisted Ramírez in an interview in the “Nicaragua Actual” platform.

Searching for new members

On the other hand, Mairena surprised by calling the dissidents of other opposition movements to join the peasantry. “All those who generate opinion in some way, who believe in democracy, the Peasant Movement receives you with open arms.  You don’t necessarily have to be peasants to be part of the struggle, in order to be in solidarity with the very real struggle that we have been facing.”

Mairena denied that his call to dissidents conceals the intention of creating another opposition force. He affirmed that for months they had held talks with social movements that are not part of the Civic Alliance and UNAB. We just “intend to bring together all the sectors that—somehow—are dispersed. We are not trying to make a new group or a new movement.” Afterwards he insisted that “what the bases of the (peasant) movement want is unity.”

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