“Daniel Ortega has branded young people as the enemy. In his eyes, we are, because we represent the present and the future.”
By Mar Pilz (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – It’s been a year and four months since the political crisis began in my country, and I can’t stop thinking about all the young people who’ve had to leave Nicaragua, in order to escape from the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.
Some stayed: because they had no other option; because their entire family was still in the country; because they didn’t want to leave; because they had family members in jail for political activity; or because they didn’t want to leave behind what they’d worked so hard to build. But many others left and don’t know if they’ll ever return.
I was one of those who had the option of leaving, and so I left. But I left many things behind me, among them people I love with all my heart. Not a day passes that I don’t think about them or wonder when I’m going to be able to return to Nicaragua. I imagine all those young people who like me are far from home, and how on each important family date it hurts them again that they’ve left. Those who miss their mother’s hugs or the embrace of their grandparents. Those who are doubled up in homes of acquaintances or living as political refugees far from their country and dreaming of the day that Nicaragua will be free, and they’ll be able to go home.
For those who’ve never had to live through a political crisis where the government is the one that’s killing you, it’s hard to imagine that there are young people right now who truly can’t go home.
It’s not a game. Daniel Ortega has branded the youth as the enemy. In his eyes, we are, because we represent the present and the future when he’s been relegated to the past. So he tries to steal from us our Now. I don’t believe that he’s forgotten that he was once young and struggled for a revolution that many young people also defended. I also don’t believe that he’s forgotten that he himself was in jail, nor that during the Sandinista Revolution the youth took over the streets and protested against the dictator of that time. I don’t believe that he’s forgotten anything.
It’s for that very reason that he’s clinging by his fingernails and bullets to a chair that hasn’t belonged to him for years, because he knows the history of dictatorships, because he knows that in some moment he’ll have to pay for every drop of blood spilled on the streets of Nicaragua.
Four months after the first anniversary of the April revolution, I’m missing my country, as I do every night, and all the dreams and plans that I had when I was there. Just as so many dreams of so many young people have been put off, left in dry dock, paused, and now seem so far away, so are mine.
To recount everything that we’ve lived through in just one year is painful: not only because of all we’ve lost, but for all those memories of a Nicaragua that previous to April was also not so healthy, but at least hadn’t lost so many Nicaraguans through the bullets of the police and paramilitary who defend Ortega as if he were a God. Yes, Nicaragua woke up, but the price has been high.
Those of us who left, carry in our hearts all of those who stayed. We don’t only miss our piece of earth, we also miss the brave people who continue to believe in the struggle and won’t give up, despite the danger. And just like you, what keeps us going forward with hope is the belief that everything we’ve lived through has been worth it, because some day Nicaragua will be free and will bloom, and some of us will be able to return home.