It’s Time for Nicaragua’s Public Employees to Take a Stand

With every blow… By PxMolina / Confidencial

Ortega and Murillo’s law of the jungle has brought the public employees, both civilian and military, to their knees. They, too, are hostages of the regime.

By Carlos F. Chamorro (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – First came the outrageous ruling against the 222 released political prisoners, who were stripped of their nationality and their citizen’s rights for perpetuity and banished to the United States.

Then, one day later, on February 10, the regime hastily convicted and sentenced the Bishop of Matagalpa, Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, to 26 years and four months in prison for the fabricated crime of “conspiring against the national sovereignty,” all because he refused to accept banishment. The Catholic leader has now been placed in a maximum security cell in Nicaragua’s “La Modelo” prison.

Thus, with one hand, Daniel Ortega undid the gesture he intended to make with the other, canceling out his own attempt to get some oxygen into the dictatorship’s international isolation by unilaterally releasing the bulk of the political prisoners.

Finally, if any doubts were left about the regime’s leap into the vacuum of authoritarian radicalization, on Wednesday, February 15, the family dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo ordered another 94 Nicaraguan citizens to be stripped of their nationality. Among them was Bishop Silvio Jose Baez; writers Sergio Ramirez and Gioconda Belli; stalwart human rights defender Vilma Nuñez de Escorcia; businessman Gerardo Baltodano; rural leader Francisca Ramirez; myself, Carlos F Chamorro, and my wife Desiree Elizondo, and many more. The list was a varied sampling of political activists, civic leaders, academics, religious figures, journalists, intellectuals, and former public officials. The dictators believe they can strip us of our citizens’ rights forever, and, in passing, carry out a massive confiscation of assets and property as an act of vengeance.

All these criminal actions – the canceling of nationality, the imposition of perpetual sentences, and the confiscation of property – are prohibited beyond question by the Nicaraguan Constitution. Dictators Ortega and Murillo are merely confirming that, for many years now, Nicaragua ceased being a society ruled by the laws and the Constitution and became one where the law of hate and vengeance looms over those citizens who aspire to live in a free and democratic society.

They will never be able to take away our nationality, these rulers who shamelessly behave like peons of Vladimir Putin, the invader of Ukraine.

Those paying the price for the dictatorship’s punitive actions aren’t only the 94 citizens and Bishop Alvarez, who today have joined the 222 released political prisoners in being stripped of our rights and nationality, but all the country’s social and economic sectors, including the public employees who demand a change with justice and freedom.

In Nicaragua, everyone knows that the only coup promoters and traitors to the country are Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo. They demolished democracy, mortgaged the national sovereignty to the Chinese magnate Wang Jing, massacred the people in the 2018 civic protests, annulled political competition for the 2021 electoral farce, and now are proving that there’ll never be peace, nor economic progress, nor stability, nor a political way out of the national crisis with a family dictatorship that is hoping to enthrone itself in power as a dynasty.

With these three punitive measures, Ortega and Murillo have carried to the extreme their degradation of the Supreme Court, the Public Prosecutor, the Police, the Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Foreign Relations, and nearly the entire Nicaraguan State. They’ve brought to their knees the public employees, both civilian and military, who’ve had no involvement with the repression and corruption. These functionaries are also hostages of the dictatorship.

By imposing the law of the jungle, Ortega and Murillo are digging their own grave, displaying to their own party followers their regime’s enormous political weakness. These punishments for perpetuity, like the 26-year prison sentence of Monsignor Alvarez, are merely a demented illusion of the governing family’s inner circle. The reality is that the dictatorial regime’s time and viability are running out, and Nicaragua urgently needs a change. A change with democracy and justice, without impunity, in which all the country’s living forces participate in burying the hatred, the thirst for vengeance and the public corruption that the Ortega and Murillo family government have come to symbolize.

With the summarily convicted 94 citizens, as with the 222 released prisoners who represent the hope of a democratic change, and with the spiritual strength of Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, we reject with all our forces their pretension of taking away our nationality and our rights as citizens. We call on all the citizens, especially the public servants, to break the silence, to denounce the corruption and not obey orders born of a corrupt and immoral dictatorship. The twilight of the dictatorship is the hour for the public servants, civilian and military, to begin to form part of a national solution.

Meanwhile, it falls on the journalists to produce more and better news reports, to continue investigating and telling the truth about the dictatorship’s political, economic, and moral fiascos until – as my father proclaimed in 1959, when from jail he also rejected his conviction for “treason to the homeland” from the Somoza dictatorship – “Nicaragua will once again become a Republic.”

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times