Ortega Seizes the Homes of “Stateless” Opponents

Nicaraguan author Gioconda Belli. Photo: EFE/Juan Carlos Hidalgo

Police took over the houses of the poet Gioconda Belli, her son Camilo de Castro, two former foreign ministers, a former FSLN guerrilla and two activists.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – The Nicaraguan authorities expropriated the homes of the poet and author Gioconda Belli, her son Camilo de Castro, and that of the former foreign ministers Francisco Aguirre Sacasa and Norman Caldera, those affected denounced this Tuesday, September 12th.

They also expropriated the homes of Moises Hassan, a former member of the Government Junta after the fall of Somoza in 1979, that of human rights defender Gonzalo Carrion and that of activist Haydee Castillo, all deprived of their nationality by the government.

“Yesterday the Ortega Murillo dictatorship completed the confiscation of my home in Managua, sending police to occupy it. It is a house that will forever contain the memory of my creative energy, the imprint of my books and the landscape I loved most. What it was remains in me,” denounced the Nicaraguan author Gioconda Belli, 74, and winner of the Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry.

“Tyrants,” she continued in another message, “believe they can break people by stripping them of what belongs to them. I lose my house occupied yesterday by the police, but they, immersed in paranoia and lies, have lost their values, their history, turned into perverse tyrants worthy of repudiation.”

Belli said that her poetry embraced her “this afternoon when the theft of my house by the dictatorship was consummated.”

“I think of (the poet Gustavo Adolfo) Becquer to paraphrase him: The dark swallows of my garden will return to hang their nests; but those who dirty our history, they will not return. So be it. That’s how it will be,” she added.

Also Belli’s son and two former foreign ministers

The filmmaker and environmentalist Camilo de Castro Belli, son of the writer, also denounced the occupation of his house.

“The Ortega Murillo dictatorship, through the PGR (Attorney General’s Office) and the Police, completed the robbery of my house in Nicaragua. We received the news with indignation and sadness but determined to continue denouncing the dictatorship and fighting for a different country. “They will never break us or silence us!” he wrote.

His wife, Leonor Zuniga, also a filmmaker, encouraged “the squad of thieves” to water the plants in the patio and “for these unimaginative beasts not to eat the iguanas.”

In the case of Aguirre Sacasa, who was the foreign minister during the Arnoldo Aleman administration (1997-2002), a home and a farm located on the outskirts of Managua were expropriated; and Caldera, foreign minister during the Government of Enrique Bolaños (2002-2007), had his home taken.

“Nicaragua is a country without laws”

Moises Hassan, who was a member of the Government Junta after the overthrow of the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in 1979, confirmed to the newspaper La Prensa that since Sunday police officers arrived to seize his home in Managua, valued at $300,000.

Hassan declared himself offended, battered and with the feeling that “Nicaragua is a country without laws, where the rights of the population are not respected.”

The human rights defender and founder of the Nicaragua Never Again Human Rights Collective, Gonzalo Carrion, was the first to denounce the expropriation of his house, which, he said, was valued at $70,000 and he had finished paying a bank linked to the Nicaraguan Army.

“Those who order and execute these actions are criminals against humanity and thieves. As a human rights defender, they will not achieve their goal of silencing us. Confiscation is an evil action,” he noted.

On February 15, the Nicaraguan authorities stripped 94 Nicaraguans of their nationality, bringing the total to 317, including Bishop Rolando Alvarez, sentenced to more than 26 years in prison after refusing to be exiled from the Ortega Government to US territory.

The Court of Appeals of Managua then ordered “the immobilization and confiscation in favor of the State of Nicaragua of all the real estate and companies that the banished have registered in their favor, whether in their personal capacity or as a legal entity or companies in which they “they participate as partners, to answer for the crimes they committed.”

*With information from EFE.

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