Masaya, Nicaragua a Tourist Hub Now in Rubble

By Paad

HAVANA TIMES — Oh, how powerless I felt when I went to get my motorbike fixed and I heard a 10-year-old boy, the mechanic’s son, say to his father: “this happened so suddenly, because everything was calm last week.”

And it really was. Before April 19th, people who had stable jobs and could meet their household needs could still breathe in an atmosphere of peace, tranquility, safety and wellbeing here in Nicaragua.

After April 19th, Nicaragua is “another” country. Even the island of Ometepe, “the oasis of peace”, isn’t peaceful anymore. Families live in anxiety, nowhere is safe and job security is on the decline because many companies have been looted, many people can’t go to their jobs because of roadblocks on the roads and highways and some companies have closed down. Uncertainty is paramount.

This afternoon (May 29th), I walked down the streets of Masaya, the capital of Nicaraguan folklore. Earlier, I saw we were in the morning news due to small businesses on the city’s main street being looted. For a month now, this national and international tourism hotspot par excellence has had a dismal and heartbreaking appearance for those of us who live here, while the foreign visitors have all but disappeared.

For the most part, you can only travel about the city now by foot, because you find stone barricades on every third block which stop vehicles passing by. Plus, you can see the remains of burnt car tires on streets and the rubble of homes which were burnt down, including the municipal city hall.

What happened in the early hours of Tuesday was terrible. Businesses were looted by paramilitary groups, which are more popularly known as the Sandinista Youth. Residents explained that the National Police’s riot squad arrived in the city around midnight and with the Sandinista Youth’s support, they looted businesses without any problems. It seems that the government wants the entire city to fall into ruins.

The population’s impotence is such that they can’t go to any authority because they are all accomplices and the authors of the atrocities that are taking place here in Nicaragua, where current figures tell us that the death toll now stands at 82 people, hundreds have been injured and dozens have disappeared since April 19th.

In Nicaragua, we celebrate Mothers’ Day on May 30th and a large march has been summoned for this day, which will be led by the mothers of all the young people who have been murdered by the forces of the Ortega-Murillo family dictatorship.