What a terrible waste of the opportunity to apologize to the Nicaraguan people!
By Gioconda Belli (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – The responses of the presidential couple to the events of the week of April 18th were so contrary to how one might expect you can’t help but wonder if they have already lost all connection with reality.
Propaganda can have an impact on reality, but if it tries to create a parallel reality that is alien to what people perceive, it loses all credibility. That is exactly what has happened.
Let’s review: This is a government that issued a decree proposing a reform to the Social Security law that was received with rejection by the population. That rejection was expressed in a peaceful demonstration. That peaceful demonstration was attacked by groups of the Sandinista Youth and a motorized brigade, both bodies of the governing party.
The attacks were filmed. There is abundant evidence, recorded by dozens, of the blows, the shots, the complicity of the police, the sticks and pipes that the motorcycle brigade possessed. There are deaths filmed in situ. This was seen by the Nicaraguans in color on TV (until they censored the stations covering the news) and then on social networks.
This was not an invention, nor a plot, nor instigated by imperialism, the CIA or whatever. It was a gigantic blunder of the government and its troops. A huge blunder, an abuse of power that caused the death of more than 38 people, countless wounded; destruction of property, theft of cameras, cell phones, etc.
It was not the first time such a protest took place. Something similar happened in the protests of elderly citizens demanding pensions in 2013. The difference this time were the young students who did not resignedly accept the beating or the abuses and generated an answer that echoed. The population lost fear and rejected attacks, went out to protest and defended as best they could.
Those of us who were not in the streets, supported them with words, sharing the terribly violent videos they sent us where the Sandinista youths attacked the unarmed young men and women, where the riot squads and the police appeared firing their weapons. And we were all horrified and enraged and demanded an end to the repression, to prevent more deaths.
The government committed tremendous mistakes during a week, tremendous abuses against the citizenry and peace. It did not have caution, nor compassion, nor did it respect the rights of citizens. However, in its media, in its slogans and propaganda, and Monday April 30th in the president’s speech, it turns out that we citizens are the ones who threaten peace.
It’s unheard of that the government’s response to the massive popular reaction demanding justice, was a rally, instead of being moved by what has happened. Ortega chose to justify the perpetrators behavior, embolden their supporters and threaten as enemies all those who expressed horror and repudiation of the abuse that we saw with our own eyes and that is filmed by hundreds of telephones, documented by TV, endorsed by eye witnesses.
To top it off, like a blow of that deceitful and unscrupulous propaganda, Commander Víctor Tirado was taken out of Ortega’s sleeve. I was very sorry to see his sick and absent face. Old and sad was that good man that the Sandinista family who has kept in touch knows is senile, suffering the loss of his mental faculties. Perhaps, poor and needy, he has accepted the help of Ortega, his old companion, without knowing that they were going to have him pay by exhibiting him as to endorse the sad and atrocious behavior of this government whose arrogance cries out to heaven.
Terrible show it was. What a terrible waste of the opportunity to apologize to the Nicaraguan people.