Nicaraguan Feminists March Despite Police Repression
HAVANA TIMES — Several hundred Nicaraguan feminists and human rights advocates marched on International Women’s Day on Sunday in downtown Managua, despite a siege by Special Forces of the National Police, reported dpa news.
“They are afraid of us because we are not afraid,” shouted the women in a chorus a who tried to break the siege of the riot police, supported by activists of the ruling FSLN headed by Daniel Ortega.
Leaders of the Network of Women Against Violence reported that units of the National Police tried to prevent the passage of several buses that were bringing people to the march in the capital from the northern Nicaraguan departments of Matagalpa and Esteli, and Chinandega from the northwest.
The march of Nicaraguan feminists and human rights advocates was confronted by activists of the Frente Sandinista and government employees who were transported to the vicinity where the feminist demonstration took place, on the pretext of their own celebration of International Women’s Day.
During the march the women read a statement in which they noted that “the path has been strewn with obstacles to silence our voices, preserve patriarchal power and block the changes we propose to eliminate inequalities.”
“Feminists have endured disrespect, a lack of recognition and exclusion by the authoritarian state, politicians and economic elites acting on behalf of a republic of and for men, in the name of fundamentalist religions and macho traditions,” the statement said.
10 thoughts on “Nicaraguan Feminists March Despite Police Repression”
These are impressive statistics and certainly indicate better things than exist here in gringo land but alongside of these one must also consider other statistics such as those documenting the extent of violence against women and domestic abuse.
The trend of most former “leftist” figures in Latin America is to draw conclusions: Latin Americans are “personalistas” and will never become the spartan European “proletarians” envisioned by academic theorists (who never worked themselves !). Europeans had been regimented for over a thousands years by their aristocracy. But Latin America was started by single young adventurers from Iberia and indigenous women (who had not lived in “democracies” either !) – and the government was far away across an ocean that required a long and dangerous journey. But above all on the pragmatic level – the majority of Latin Americans want macro-control of the economy by an elected government, but with social programs for the disadvantaged, pensions and health systems.
My point is that Ortega took the Sandinista movement to the center from it far leftist origins because the U.S. Contra intervention ensured that a war weary population would vote to stop the attacks ( virtually promised by the GOUSA) if they elected pro-U.S. Chamorro as president .
They did . Following that, the Sandinista were forced to go right to win any future elections or face U.S. intervention again.
This is analogous to Michael Manley in Jamaica whose government was run out by CIA machinations and the cutting of IMF funding and U.S. loans when he cozied up to Fidel Castro’s Cuba.
He was replaced by Edward (CIAga) Seaga and when he got the chance to run again, Manley had to soft peddle his socialism in order to win and his policies never approached anything like they were in his “socialist” years .
IMO, the solution is more direct democracy as can be enabled with universal ownership of smartphones.
Once people understand the difference between democracy and the totalitarian forms under which most socialist opposition actually lives, I believe they will opt for democracy in all spheres of their lives.
Thanks for your response and the time and effort it took.
Your last sentence was pure truth. .
It’s 2015! Notice – Latin America is already in a new age: Leftist governments lose elections, then become the opposition, then the Right loses the next election and the Left is elected again. In El Salvador and Chile and in NICARAGUA, the Left lost elections and then became the opposition in the Right-led government. After that the Left was elected again. Now in Colombia, the Right -led government is talking to the Left. In Brazil the Left has to move to the center. In Nicaragua the Sandinistas moved to the center. Evo Morales in Boliviahas moved to the center: “Neither ‘liberalism’ nor ‘european socialism” can lead to our aim!”. Europe is moving to the “nationalist” center. Russia is nationalist, China is nationalist. Only the “Leaders” in “Virginia” are forever moving U.S. to the right !
Why have almost half of the elected governments in Latin America have or had FEMALE presidents ? Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, (Panama) ? Brazil has female Air Force fighter pilots and many female military officers. The Minister of Defense of Venezuela is a female admiral, specialist in marine logistics. The current or former Minister of Defense of Ecuador is or was a female attorney. (Spain’s fist female Minister of Defense was visibly pregnant, when she took command and marched by the Honor Guard.)
40% Nicaragua’s 12,000 police officers are WOMEN and the National Police Commander is a WOMAN, Arminta Granera (born 1952), who rated a 72% popular approval in the recent national poll (CNI Gallup). Although she fought as a Sandinista in the war to oust the U.S. puppet dictatorship of the Somozas (1934-1978) – she also served as police officer during the governments of the opposition 1990-2007, and subsequently was also appointed again when the Sandinistas won the national election in 2007. 74% of Nicaragua’s women practice pregnancy prevention and the birth rate in Nicaragua is similar to that as in the USA and most nations in Europe: Two children per woman. Nicaraguan women, just as women in all of Latin America, today constitute a large percentage of the students in institutions of higher education.
I think the real issue here is that even these relatively progressive governments are patriarchal and cannot handle dealing with women’s issues in a truly serious way that would result in real gender equity.
While I agree with most of your post, I have trouble thinking that Nicaragua could have turned out much different from what it has.
During the 80s the GOUSA waged an illegal ( remember Iran-Contra) immoral and devastating proxy war against the Sandinista revolution which crushed the country economically and gave the people the choice of either electing a pro-US government or having endless war waged upon them.
Sound familiar ?
The people tired of the murderous war , surrendered their revolutionary hopes and went with the capitalist choice of Violetta Chamarro. She was followed by a very toned down Daniel Ortega who resembled little of his prior revolutionary bent.
Were Nicaragua allowed to exercise its sovereignty and establish a true socialist society/economy, perhaps things would not be as they are today in repressive Nicaragua.
I would also disagree that any system that puts the individual ahead of the welfare of the general population financially or power-wise is desirable .
That best describes free-enterprise capitalism which has impoverished half the world’s population and which kills millions of children under five years of age yearly.
fbbutilizing the Contras based in Honduras
Could you please provide examples of any changes to Cuba’s political system? I’m not aware of any. Raul Castro specifically ruled out any changes. In February, Castro’s state security police made over 400 political arrests of dissidents calling for human rights and democracy. That does not sound like they are “moving beyond it’s past totalitarian bents.”
Why is it that these nascent lefty authoritarian states keep falling to deliver on shared prosperity and human rights ? Building up the society from the bottom up with a more equal distribution should not involve mass suppression of individual rights, but that is exactly the form it takes.
I am glad to see that Cuba is moving beyond it’s past totalitarian bents. The reforms are leading to a fairer model with individual contribution rewarded.
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