Gioconda Belli: Ortega and Murillo’s Farce at the Hague

Look! They are criminals against humanity!

By Gioconda Belli (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – Doubts assailed me as I sat down to write these lines. Could writing about the self-aggrandizing propaganda the Nicaraguan regime is trying to produce for itself, perhaps be doing exactly what they want? I concluded: no, a piece denouncing their action is not giving them what they want. A nation that doesn’t follow any of the norms of law – neither national nor international ones; that has closed itself up in its own geography in order to do exactly what it feels like… how on earth can it go to the International Court and sue Germany over their support for Israel?

No small number of countries have armed and backed Israel since its creation in May 1948. The current cruel and excessive destruction of the Gaza strip and murder of the Palestinian people – isn’t it completely in line with the hostile policy and occupation that Israel has been carrying on for some time in Gaza and the West Bank? The war of extermination they’re carrying out as a reprisal for the unacceptable attacks of Hamas on October 7 has clear precedents. Israel’s will from the beginning has been to force the Palestinians further out of the territory that the United Nations originally agreed to divide into two equal States. The fact that the community of nations didn’t react before, has culminated in the tragedy we’re now witnessing.

But I want to get back to where I was – to Ortega and Murillo’s pretentions of using the International Court at the Hague to sue Germany – one more of many countries who have supplied arms to Israel. It’s clearly a propaganda ploy on the part of the regime. Isolated through their own design, Ortega and Murillo want to portray themselves as rulers on the moral high ground, as opposed to other nations – set themselves up as the shining defenders of the Palestinian people.

Since 2018, when the Nicaraguan people rebelled against their rule, Ortega and Murillo have never strayed from their one sole script: casting themselves as – once again – victims of United States imperialism. In the Machiavellian mind that guides their discourse and their propaganda, they’ve struggled tirelessly to recover the position that Nicaragua and the Ortega government held in the eighties when Ronald Reagan was the US President. That administration did attack Nicaragua, financing the counterrevolutionary forces.

At that time, our tiny country was the focus of international attention, the subject of headlines in the world’s major newspapers. It was the little country seen as David fighting against Goliath, and Nicaragua received the solidarity of people from all over, certainly from Germany, and from a great number of United States citizens. Ortega and Murillo have wanted desperately to return to those scenarios. Daniel Ortega, who appeared so honorable and righteous standing up to imperialism (while at home sexually abusing his stepdaughter) has now, after attacking his own people in 2018, felt very comfortable reediting his antiimperialist rhetoric.

Always a mediocre statesman and a poor orator, he revived the discourse he already knew, only this time he’s used it as a crude excuse for attacking every Nicaraguan that dares to challenge his will to cement himself in power with his entire family. This time, Ortega reinvented the counterrevolution of the 80s, accusing his critics and political adversaries of being puppets of the empire. From April to July of 2018, the “clean-up operation” he mounted revived the history of the most criminal tyrannies the country has known. During those months, and right up until today, Nicaragua has experienced a constant and unstoppable siege of the regime against its citizens.

It’s a siege there’s no defense against, since the ruling couple’s daily war is backed by the arms and doglike fidelity of the Army and the Police. Their repressive power includes spying, a judicial system at their service, a servile legislature, and a media apparatus that with no qualms manipulates reality to fit the construct of a government besieged by the imperial powers. It’s chilling to listen to the systematic rhetoric of Rosario Murillo in her daily addresses. Anyone who knows anything about propaganda techniques will note the incessant repetition of the lie that in April those who took over the streets were there to rob the country of peace, all of them villains, vipers, vampire bats in the pay of the empire.

The final jewel in that rosary is naming April as “Month of the Peace,” disrespecting the memory of the many who were murdered by the paramilitary forces they armed, and all those who have become the victims of their abuses, paying for their dissidence with prison, banishment, loss of their legal status, confiscations, outrageous taxes, prohibitions, forced closure of companies and media outlets, parishes shorn of their priests, or, in the case of the public employees, absolute subjection to their regime of terror.

That these people, being as they are, would ignore the three hundred deaths from that April, and in the sight and patience of all of us who have suffered their crimes, would stand up and point an accusing finger at Germany, billing themselves as the shining light of the Palestinian people is not only a mockery to Nicaraguans, but also one more expression of the perverse media manipulation with which they sustain what is today the worst Latin American dictatorship of the last decades.

Fortunately, by now, they’re the only ones believing in their own fables. That’s the destiny of all tyrants. Those who do so much evil have lost the ability to do good. Their wickedness penetrates the masks of deceit. I only regret the time wasted for the Hague Tribunal, the government money that will be spent, and the work of their ever-loyal attorney Carlos Arguello.    

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.

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