The Unity Game and the Opposition in Nicaragua

In April 2018, the first demonstrations against the administration of Daniel Ortega began. Since then the country remained in April. Carlos Herrera / Niu

Unity is precisely the idea of being able to move together towards an objective, regardless of the differences.


By Ricardo Zambrana  (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – Let’s play a game quickly. Imagine that someone finally appears representing the entire blue and white opposition movement and offers their candidacy for the presidency. Someone with charisma, intelligence, excellent states person, economist, who has the support of the international community, who has a deep love for Nicaragua and who has shown that he/she is going to defeat the Ortega regime. Let’s call them Candidate X.

If I were to ask all those who would vote for this person to raise their hands, I am almost certain that anyone who is not an Ortega fanatic will do it. According to the latest Cid Gallup survey where the FSLN appears with an 18% preference, we know that victory would be very clear.

Now let’s imagine that we realize that Candidate X, even with all those qualities, is pro-abortion and pro homosexual marriage. Who would now not be so convinced to vote for him or her? There is surely a percentage of pro-life people, Catholics, evangelicals and other beliefs that would not be willing to vote for someone like that, because there is a very strong moral approach that they do not like.

On the other hand, let’s imagine that we realize that Candidate X is absolutely pro-life and pro-traditional families. In this case, many progressive people and groups would be quite skeptical of voting for someone like that. They would not feel represented and might think that voting for Candidate X would be setback in the progress made with these issues in Nicaragua.

Suddenly we realize that Candidate X at some point was Sandinista or Arnoldista (Liberal Constitutionalist Party). Even if it was a long time ago, how many would come out thinking that: “They are all from the same ilk.”  Would they vote for that person? Some would even try to boycott him/her.

“One of the self-organized women had just bought a headband from the boy that said Nicaragua. That is what most shocked us, it is terrible because he was just working,” laments Irlanda. “It is very painful, it is something that cannot be explained,” said Luis Manuel Loaisiga, father of Luis Manuel Ortiz, street vendor killed in the March of the Flowers. Photo: Jorge Torres. EFE

 All of us have a “decisive factor” that could make us not vote for someone. We ourselves say: “But, it would never even occur to me to vote for someone who has this particular characteristic.” And we believe, according to our moral code, that we are right.

But unity is precisely the idea of being able to move together towards an objective, regardless of the differences. It is obvious that we have hundreds of political, social and economic problems that we need to solve, but as long as we do not solve the biggest problem we currently have, which is to live under a dictatorship that violates all human rights, including the right to life, we can never solve the rest.

That means that if you are pro-abortion, you may have to vote for someone who is pro-life, or vice versa. And if you are a Catholic you might have to vote for a protestant, or an atheist. If you are the most anti-Sandinista that exists, you might have to vote for someone who once belonged to their ranks. The same for any anti-ism that exists. And that should not scare or discourage you.

No one will ever represent 100% of their voters. And those who most benefit that we continue concentrating only in our differences are the Ortega-Murillo regime. Because thinking only about differences is to boycott unity.

And that’s not because we are betraying our ideals, not because we would be making a bad choice. I am talking about placing the needs of an entire country above our own personal expectations. We believe that because it has X characteristic that I dislike, thereby he or she no longer deserves to be president.

Day the UNAN students were released in the Cathedral in Managua. Carlos Herrera / Niu.

The psychological reality is this: to many people, you would say the strong qualities that someone has, but when they barely listen to a characteristic they don’t like, they forget their points in favor.

Do you remember all the qualities I mentioned about Candidate X at the beginning of the article? “Intelligent, excellent statesman, economist, etc.” Well, many readers completely forgot all this when they imagined a characteristic with which they disagree.

Another very different thing is someone with a criminal or corruption record. In that case, they have to be vetoed from the beginning. But, as long as a candidate without this background has the important elements to get the country out of the hole it is in, we must not let our differences make us lose sight of his/her qualities and ability to get us out of the biggest problem we are in.

I wish someone perfect would come to represent the entire population. That is statistically impossible. What we will have is someone with characteristics that some will like more than others, but with the skills, the will and the determination to govern. And so, when we have justice, democracy, respect for human rights and economic recovery, we can focus on other differences and issues to solve. As long as we live under a dictatorship, we cannot advance in anything else.

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