Sergio Ramirez Doubtful about Returning to Nicaragua

The well-known writer told Argentina’s “El Clarin” newspaper that he fears imprisonment, amid Ortega’s wave of vengeance against his detractors.

By Nicaragua Investiga

Photo: Sergio Angel Medina (EFE)

HAVANA TIMES – Renowned writer Sergio Ramirez Mercado Ramirez confessed to reporters for Argentina’s “El Clarin” newspaper that he’s “contemplating” whether or not it’s a good idea to return to Nicaragua. Ramirez states that he left Nicaragua for an upcoming medical treatment, but the wave of arrests of Nicaragua’s well-known political and business figures has him questioning his return.

“They’ve surpassed all limits. They don’t care about the costs to pay,” Ramirez stated. The newspaper article added: “Daniel Ortega wants to sweep away all the rebels, like a good dictator, especially those who dare to hate him, and Ramirez is one of them.”

The article notes that the interview with the writer was conducted via video call, “from a location he preferred not to reveal.”

From Ramirez’ perspective, the most recent wave of repression has converted Daniel Ortega into a “traditional Latin American dictator”, who’s arrived at the idea that he’s “utterly indispensable”. He also questioned the laws that the government recently approved to justify the arrests of his detractors. The Nicaraguan writer commented: “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a law where applauding is forbidden!” He was referring to Law #1055, that penalizes those who “request or applaud international sanctions or foreign military interventions.”

“The great swindle” of the 80s

Ramirez, who has received multiple honors as a writer, served as Daniel Ortega’s right hand man and Nicaragua’s vice president during the 80s. He now says that Daniel Ortega managed to convert the revolution of that era into “a bad memory”. Those who are too young to remember, as well as those who participated in the armed movements to dismantle the Somoza dictatorship, now feel they risked their lives in “a lost effort”, Ramirez believes. The only result of that revolution “is Daniel Ortega and his family governing, like any other traditional dictator of the past.” Because of that, they see it as “the great swindle”.

Ramirez feels that Daniel Ortega has reached an extreme where “he has nothing left to lose”. As a result, his anxiety to remain in power has reached the point of imprisoning whatever opponent he can, under whatever possible charges.

Sergio Ramirez summoned before the Public Prosecutor

“I believe that Daniel Ortega has found himself in a situation he wanted to avoid at all costs – measuring himself against a candidate that could challenge him, and seeing that he could lose that election,” Ramirez asserted.

The former vice president also believes that Ortega won’t free any of the imprisoned in the short term. “He’s going to negotiate with the ‘hostages’ after the elections. He’s sure that the ‘international condemnation’ won’t make a dent in his internal power, in the way he’s organized the repressive power, with the army, the police, the paramilitary groups.” He reminded the Latin American countries that Nicaragua is integrated within an inter-American system, where it sets a bad precedent to allow the things that have happened in the last three years in Nicaragua to continue.

Ramirez received a summons to appear before the Public Prosecutor’s office on June 1, like many of the people who were later arrested by the police. The authorities are linking him to a case of alleged money laundering they’ve opened against the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation. The organization for cultural promotion which Ramirez legally represents received support from the Foundation to promote important regional events. Among the events was an annual writer’s festival called “Centroamerica Cuenta”.

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