“The evidence that blames the Ortega-Murillo regime for the massacre, torture, injustice and repression is overwhelming and everyone is aware of it”
By Ricardo Zambrana (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – I stopped voting for the FSLN in 2004. I was 20 years old. Whoever reads this can criticize me as much as they want for not having realized earlier the type of organization it was. But given that this country is much more complex than simply black and white, than good and bad, we should reflect a bit on why we Nicaraguans are the way we are when it comes to deciding who will govern us.
Arnoldo Alemán won the elections in 1996 with 51% of the votes. That translates into 897,000 people who did not realize that Arnoldo would install a corrupt and decaying administration and would put in place the pact that ended up enshrining a new dictatorship in our country. I could criticize those who voted for him, as our votes make us directly responsible. But it is clear that most who voted for him did not imagine that all this would happen.
Does it mean that voting for him was a mistake? It is hard to know. If in 1979 we had not overthrown Somoza, would we be better off? That is even harder to calculate. The retrospective only works in reverse. How nice it would be to go back in time and correct everything we did wrong. But that cannot be done.
In Nicaragua we are experts in learning through bad experiences, even if that means repeating the same mistake several times. Some opened their eyes later than me, others earlier. What matters is that they opened them. It would never occur to me to criticize or make fun of those who believed in the FSLN and no longer do. Or in somocismo. Or in Arnoldo or in anyone. Every human being on Earth has been deceived and manipulated more than once.
We have all been blind to many things in life – in politics, in religion, on the job, even in love. We all make serious errors of judgment affecting others and/or ourselves. But it is not just anyone who admits his or her mistake. The one who, after seeing reality, decides to accept and embrace it, no matter how much it hurts or causes shame.
I am convinced that many of those who have not opened their eyes are quite clear about the grotesque and violent way this government has functioned, especially recently. But they are so attached to that revolutionary romanticism, to that idea that they are on the side of good and would never be on the side of bad, that they refuse to admit that they are defending a genocidal regime. And so they desperately cling to the ridiculous narrative of an attempted coup, involvement by the gringos, the CIA, terrorism, etc.
They prefer to think that those capable of lying, cheating, of inventing false news to blame innocent people, are the others. That those who are capable of kidnapping and torturing are the others. That those who sell their ideology and allow themselves to be manipulated are the others. And worst of all, that those who are sick with power are the ones hoping “to get it”, rather than those killing people to maintain their power.
These people, many of them friends or family of yours, are afraid. But it is not the same fear that we have of going out with a flag and ending up in prison. Or that the police come looking for you at your house and shoot you in front of your mother. No. Their fear is of realizing that all their idolatry is based on a cruel lie.
That all these ridiculous and pseudo-Christian speeches made by the Vice-dictator are pure garbage aimed at manipulating those who will not question, who have no choice but to continue believing. They are afraid to recognize that they are just like the millions of followers of every ruthless dictator in history. And that they have been accomplices (some more than others) to something terrible against their own people.
Without a doubt, they are responsible for the candidate they voted for — the one they continue to defend. Without a doubt, they will sooner or later, as happened to me, realize that they were deceived and that Nicaragua deserves much better. It may be that they have already seen it and realized it. Because of course, the evidence that blames the Ortega-Murillo regime for the massacre, torture, injustice and repression is overwhelming and everyone is aware of it.” They saw it but decided to ignore it and keep believing their own comfortable version of events.
That’s why I say, opening your eyes is easy – but the most difficult and important thing is to keep them open.