Six Years After the April 2018 Rebellion in Nicaragua

Nicaraguans in Los Angeles

By 100% Noticias

HAVANA TIMES – Special Masses, commemorative marches and a book presentation are among the activities Nicaraguans in exile are preparing to honor the victims of the April massacres, perpetrated in 2018 by the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship.

This year, 2024, marks six years since Nicaragua saw massive anti-government demonstrations, followed by the Ortega regime’s murderous crackdown.

The period around April 18th, when protests first became generalized, will see religious acts dedicated to the victims of that fatal April, demonstrations of solidarity with the mothers of those killed in the protests, campaigns demanding the liberation of the current political prisoners, and even the presentation of a book that pieces together part of the historic memory of this difficult chapter in Nicaraguan history. All these activities will take place in different countries around the world, where the Nicaraguan diaspora and organizations in exile continue actively demanding freedom for their country.

Inside Nicaragua, the dictatorship doesn’t permit any activity, word, or gesture in memory of the April victims – on the contrary the government plans to present a program of festive events with which they’re attempting to justify their criminal acts as defending the peace.

However, the April Mothers’ Association has used their social networks to maintain the call not to forget the victims.

“Since 2018, we have called people together to grieve the assassination of our family members and renew the demand for justice. During these years, we’ve honored the memory of our loved ones, so they do not vanish into forgetfulness, and we continue working to clarify the circumstances surrounding their killings. This April, we invite you to continue adding your voices to the call for justice,” reads their campaign in memory of the victims.

The April Mothers’ Association, in collaboration with the San Isidro Labrador Church in Costa Rica, will offer a special Mass on April 14 dedicated to “Liberty, truth, justice and democracy.” The San Isidro Labrador Church is located in the Costa Rican Canton of Vasquez Coronado, slightly northeast of San Jose.

“This is an official invitation to accompany the Nicaraguan diaspora in commemorating the Sixth Anniversary of the Massacre perpetrated by the Regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo. Long live a free Nicaragua!” wrote exiled Nicaraguan priest Uriel Vallejos in the message of invitation. Father Uriel now conducts his pastoral work in the San Isidro Labrador parish.

Day for Nicaraguan Freedom

In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, Mayor Daniela Levine Cava will hold a special ceremony on April 18th, declaring it the Day for Nicaraguan Freedom. The act will be held that Thursday morning at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center, where a proclamation will be read. The activity is also sponsored by the Foundation for Freedom, presided over by banished political leader Felix Maradiaga.

Yaritza Mairena, a member of the Union of Political Prisoners of Nicaragua, told the 100% Noticias news team that they’re preparing a press conference with the calendar of activities for the commemorative period, but also that they call on all the opposition organizations to give homage in unity to the mortal victims of the 2018 April Rebellion.

“We must continue weakening the dictatorship in order to achieve the liberation of the current 121 political prisoners. We’ve promoted actions to unite the organizations in one joint commemoration, and we’re in the midst of a social media campaign with exactly that message, and with a special logo to mark one united effort,” Mairena stated.

April marches

Hundreds of Nicaraguan migrants, exiles and those banished will participate in marches and masses in the United States, all to demand justice in Nicaragua.

The organization Texas-Nicaraguan Community will offer a Mass for the April victims at 3 pm in St. Dominic Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas.

The organization Tranque de Miami [“Miami Roadblock”] has invited the public “to commemorate the 6th Anniversary of the March of the Crosses in memory of our brothers and sisters who were killed and imprisoned by the Sandinista dictatorship of Ortega and Murillo.” The activity is scheduled for April 21 at 11 am, in front of the Nicaraguan consulate in Miami.

A Mass will be held on April 21 at the Santa Agatha Catholic Church in Miami, followed by a public activity: “March for those who can’t,” to end at the Ruben Dario Park. The march will take place immediately following the Mass, around 1 pm. Several organizations are inviting people to these events, among them the Nicaraguan University Alliance.

That same day, in Los Angeles, there’ll be a “March for Nicaragua,” beginning at ten in the morning and aimed at denouncing 6 years without justice. The announcement circulating on social media reads: “For our rights, for justice and democracy – bring your flags and signs, so together we can shout, ‘Long live a Free Nicaragua!’”

In Indianapolis, the diaspora is calling people to gather on Sunday May 5th in commemoration of the April Rebellion: “For the victims, the banished, the political prisoners and the exiles,” reads the invitation asking the Nicaraguan community to gather that day on Georgetown Road.

New book to be presented   

On April 19, journalist and novelist Arquimedes Gonzalez will present his new novel, Atardecer en Venecia [“Dusk in Venice]. Gonzalez is a past winner of the Rogelio Sinan Central American Novel Prize in Panama, and the Central American Short Novel Prize in Honduras. The book Atardecer en Venecia is the second in a trilogy that began with the 2019 novel Como esperando Abril, which portrays the repression against civilians who protested in Nicaragua in 2018 and 2019.

“Six years have now passed since the crisis began in Nicaragua, since the beginning of the crimes against humanity that have been committed against the Nicaragua people. It’s a book that reconstructs the memory of how the regime is trying every day to destroy, and to alter that narrative,” Gonzalez stated.

“The novel keeps alive the perspective that we need to continue denouncing the violation of human rights in Nicaragua until justice and the road to a democratic change is achieved,” commented the author of the book, which will be presented in an event at the University of Costa Rica. 

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.