HAVANA TIMES – As Nicaragua begins its third month of profound crisis author Gioconda Belli wrote an open letter to Rosario Murillo, the vice president, first lady, government coordinator and its only spokesperson.
By Gioconda Belli (Confidencial)
Open letter to Rosario Murillo
It’s true that since you began governing your communications policy has been characterized by that saying: “if you repeat a lie enough times, it’ll become the truth.” You’ve sown foul winds in this country for eleven years, converting those who weren’t on your side into vilified adversaries and proclaiming a country in solidarity that existed only in your own imagination. You’ve sown these winds, and now you’re reaping the whirlwind. Lying was a mistake: now all the lies pursue you like little black ants.
But, nonetheless, the spectacle of the truth being falsified doesn’t stop. What horrible days these have been: deaths, police leading paramilitary hoards, young people who’ve disappeared, been beaten up! So much violence, culminating last Saturday in that devastating, Dantesque, fire where an entire family perished with their little children, and the enraged population then burned the ones they considered responsible.
I don’t know what we could expect from you, a mother who showed no pity for her own daughter, flesh of your flesh and blood of your blood. But even amid the grief of over 170 deaths, you haven’t stopped the lies, nor felt any scruples about orchestrating the cynical and fallacious discourse of Foreign Minister Moncada and other government participants in the National Dialogue table, before the Bishops and the suffering people. The practiced script they followed has your touch: attempts to exempt all of you from guilt and present the victims as the aggressors – the mice chasing the cat.
In that same dialogue, with no shame, Foreign Minister Moncada read a communique from the State Fire Department regarding that horrible fire. But we’re a small country, and everything quickly comes to light: the Honorable Fire Department – a voluntary brigade – clarified that it was they, and not the ones who signed the communique, who attempted to put out the flames. But the population who helped were accused by the fake fire fighters of having blocked their work.
Another of your operatives, Edwin Castro, left at the end of the dialogue session on Friday, avoiding the journalists, with the excuse that in Leon the Tax Building was on fire. It turned out that those who were going to burn it – the paramilitaries – didn’t reach the site until after he had made his announcement, and the mutinous population then impeded them. The sham wasn’t synchronized well, and we’re all witnesses. We’ve seen this, just as we’ve seen trucks emptying the state offices of contents that hit-men later set on fire, then putting the blame on the young people who are protesting.
I’d like to recommend, Rosario, that you leave your El Carmen compound and go out and speak with the people you claim to represent.
Approach the roadblocks of the heroic people of Masaya in your Mercedes Benz jeep, in order to find out what they think of you and your husband. Don’t be afraid. The people won’t kill you, your people aren’t murderous. The murderers are armed and obeying orders from your partner, the comandante. We’ve seen them drive through the neighborhoods in their Hilux pick-ups, behind the Police squadrons, armed to the teeth and with a license to kill that you’ve supplied them with. Eighteen pick-ups carrying such paramilitary troops with a police escort passed through the Santa Rosa neighborhood. They’ve been filmed in that neighborhood, and in others that they’ve laid siege to and terrorized. None of this is a secret, just as it’s no secret where the dark forces reside who want to dominate this country using unprecedented violence.
For eleven years, with obsessive regularity, you’ve pronounced your syrupy speeches of love for Nicaragua and love of this people. You’ve gone around ordering and disordering our system of government, running roughshod over our liberty and our democracy. But the truth has a way of coming out. The last Cid-Gallup poll found that 70% of the people want you to resign and leave. Look how quickly the true feelings of the Nicaraguan people reveal themselves when they lose their fear and dare to speak the truth that’s in their hearts.
Rosario – On June 14 did you dare to look at any of the TV channels outside of those that repeat your line? Did you see the national response to the call for a general strike? Did you note the closed businesses, the empty streets in the cities and towns of the country? That day, people used their silence to scream how tired they are of falsehoods, including that strange religious fervor with which you send us to pray while your underlings issue death threats to the valiant Bishops who’ve been defending the population.
And what do you think motivated so many of your fellow citizens to tear down the metal trees that you imposed on us as an excessive and wasteful adornment for Managua? Contented, jubilant crowds knocking down the psychedelic symbols of the country you’ve tried to personalize, as if it belonged to you.
Let me remind you that the beating your aged “kids” from the Sandinista Youth gave the students – which we all saw live and in full color thanks to cellphone cameras – was the spark that unleashed this rebellion. Dressed in their t-shirts of Peace and Love, with your signature and that of Daniel, they beat and kicked defenseless people. If you saw those videos and those of the students killed by a bullet to the head in the days that followed, maybe you’d want to tone down that colorful campaign that no one believes any more: #Nicaragua wants peace; #love for Nicaragua. Yes, Nicaragua wants peace, but not the kind you’re preaching, that has brought us 170 deaths, over 2,000 injured, and dozens of disappeared in only two months.
What lack of decency that your delegates to the dialogue then arrived naming the few losses that you all have suffered. Without a doubt, your dead also deserve to be lamented. However, what did you expect? He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. It’s the terrible consequences of that black cloud of violence that you’ve propelled without mercy across our country.
How can you, Rosario, send the Health Minister, Sonia Castro, to say that no one has been blocked from admission to the hospitals, that no one is denied assistance, when there are proofs and deaths that testify how medical attention was indeed denied to the young students? Why don’t you speak with the mother of 15-year-old Alvaro Conrado, who died because he was denied entrance into the Blue Cross Hospital? She’ll tell you the truth, as will other mothers if you dare listen to them. I saw Minister Castro deny the medical students entrance into the Leon hospital as a reprisal for having participated in the protests. The refusals of the hospitals are archived in videos by the population. These are not fantasies of the victims.
You’ve the only one who continues determined to propagate fantasies that bear no resemblance to reality. On the TV stations and other media belonging to your family, from the first day on, the dirtiest possible propaganda techniques have been put into practice to paint the discontented population as “right-wing delinquent bands.” It’s an old trick: make those who protest out to be enemies in order to be able to kill them, or to ask others to kill them, without pity. Those techniques of dehumanizing a supposed “enemy” were used effectively against the Jews in Nazi Germany. That’s how you’ve operated here, pitting Nicaraguans against other Nicaraguans – inventing coups, plots and other similar motives, that are nothing but an attempt to hold a finger to the sun and block its light.
That sun of liberty is what moves this civic and unarmed revolution. Haven’t you noticed that it’s extended all across the national territory? The people have organized themselves without any leadership other than their community leaders, and their cry is: “They must go!”
I don’t have much hope that the cruelty and viciousness so thinly disguised under that sheepskin will abate. It’s a shame that you’ve decided to use your intelligence and your organizational capacity to bring us to this terrible crossroads. With your own handwriting, that with which you’ve marked all Nicaragua, you’ve written the darkest page in the history of the FSLN, you’ve fouled your legacy, you’ve murdered anew all the heroes and martyrs who fought so that there wouldn’t be another dictatorship in Nicaragua.
In the fields and mountains, in the cities and towns, there are millions of eyes watching you – some incredulous, others with horror, but no longer any with fear. We’ll never forget the things we’re living through. We’ll never forget that on Mother’s Day, during the most gigantic march the capital has ever seen, and in other marches in the departments, 18 innocent people died. Do you think you can convince us that those at the marches shot themselves?
It’s not the first letter that I’ve written you, Rosario. I’ve been a witness more than once to your mania for distorting things and your skill in twisting reality. I admit that I didn’t think that power would destroy so completely your poetry, that the woman I gave shelter to in the past would squander not only her present, but also her future.
Neither you nor Daniel will go down in history on the colorful and magnificent page that you must have imagined. Neither history, nor the people, will ever, ever absolve you.