Students who demonstrated a few days ago by posting slogans, carrying flags and singing the National Hymn made the presidential grandchildren who study there feel uncomfortable, affirmed other parents.
By Keyling T. Romero (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – A number of posters with political propaganda were hung in the halls of the Colegio Aleman Nicaraguense [German Nicaraguan School] by the grandchildren of the presidential couple, according to information posted on social media. This occurred after a group of seniors held an activity to commemorate the victims of the civic rebellion that began in April 2018.
Raquel, a student who asked not to be identified by her real name, recounts that last Monday some of her classmates wore black in mourning for those who were killed during last year’s demonstrations. Later, they met in the central courtyard of the school, read a speech and sang the National Anthem. Students from other sections joined the impromptu commemoration. The only flag they used was that of Nicaragua.
After this, according to some parents who also asked to remain anonymous, a number of students put up posters with phrases such as “Free Nicaragua”, “Long live Nicaragua”, and others, on some of the school walls and also in the bathrooms. This made the more than 20 grandchildren of the regime’s leaders who study there uncomfortable. They decided to tear these posters off and put up signs with political propaganda.
“Today the 23 Ortega grandchildren, including children in first grade, took over the canteen, put up signs and displayed the FSLN flag. They were being escorted by their bodyguards,” a mother lamented.
Given the situation, the German Nicaraguan School issued a communique stating: “No group or individual demonstrations are permitted within the public areas of the school campus. This includes hanging flags of a political or religious nature, as well as putting up signs and stickers without previous authorization.” At the same time, they called on the students to “care for and conserve an anti-bullying atmosphere and one of healthy coexistence with each other.”
What isn’t explained is whether this prohibition includes the National Flag. On Tuesday, a group of students hung a flag outside their classroom, and one of the Ortega Murillo grandchildren told them: “If you put a flag there, then I’m going to put up one of the Frente,” [Sandinista Front, the ruling party].
“There’s not only an abuse of power here, but also a party campaign is being publicized on the school campus, putting up stickers that say “Daniel 2021”. That’s illegal, just as it’s illegal to take pictures of minor students and post them,” the father of one student stated with annoyance.
The web magazine Niu attempted to speak with the authorities of the German Nicaraguan School to learn the details of what had happened, and also to consult about police activity within the school, since there are strong indications that the bodyguards of the regime’s grandchildren took videos of the students who were demonstrating. However, the school authorities informed us that they were drafting a communique – which they made known hours later – and that for further details we’d have to schedule an interview.
“The position of the school is quite difficult. What do you do? If the school exercises any kind of repression against Daniel’s grandchildren, they’ll close the school, because we already know that’s their modus operandi. Tomorrow the Ministry of Education would just invent something and close it,” says a former student and family member of a current one.
“They’ll try to gain ground within the school”
Several of the parents that Niu interviewed coincided in saying that during this year the Ortega Murillo family has tried to gain access to leadership positions in the parents’ organization. They find this strange, because before they rarely presented themselves nor did they involve themselves in the school activities.
“Before, they didn’t participate in anything, but now they’re more present at the parents’ meetings. They even wanted to join the Parents’ Association, and I’d never seen them in that. They participated in the elections for the Parent Association board to see if they could become representatives, but they were supported by very few and didn’t make it,” asserts a parent.
Last year, students from the school protested the government’s repression and denounced the arrest of a parent whose student had demonstrated.
The greatest concern on the part of the school parents is that in the last two years there’s been an increase in the presence of the National Police at the school. And now there are Hilux pick-ups parked outside the school with officers in them, including uniformed, armed police and officials in civilian clothes.
“As happens everywhere, there are people on one side and the other. The problem in this school is that the authorities, in other words the police, are on one side. So, there’s a factor of intimidation always present,” states a worried mother.
Parents report that the presence of the National Police is greatest in the mornings, which is when the children of the presidential couple (Juan Carlos Ortega and Daniel Edmundo) arrive with their escorts.
— RED DE ARLENES SIU???? (@otra_arlensiu) May 11, 2018
Students at the German-Nicaraguan school in Managua protest on their school grounds. “They weren’t delinquents, they were students”, in reference to the teenagers and young adults killed by the Ortega police and paramilitary forces in 2018.