Nicaragua: The April Insurrection from a Student’s Perspective
When we discarded party flags, a civic struggle arose that is stronger than any ideology.
By Yaritzha Mairena (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – When we university students took the streets on April 18, 2018, in support of our people, when the heroic occupations of the UNAN, UPOLI and UNA universities took place and when the self-convoked population reaffirmed itself in a peaceful struggle, I never thought that such a bloody fight was beginning.
We faced an unprecedented repression unleashed by this dictatorship, with paramilitaries and an entire state apparatus, which has been difficult to assimilate by our generation, raised under a false democracy.
Even so, every step I take, I know that it brings me closer to forging a different ending and a better future. I have come to the conclusion that Nicaragua deserves this sacrifice, and I do not speak of human lives, but rather of the commitment to change minds and open hearts. By changing our thinking, we open the doors of social change.
Each life of our brothers and sisters killed has been a thread that unites us. We cannot live without justice and guarantees of non-repetition, although we must know that non-repetition implies that the people assume change, that we stop repeating history. Our dead did not give their lives in vain; I have faith in it.
The tyrant has tried to quash our cry with blood and fire. He has tried to suppress us with death or imposing silence between walls and bars. We, the students who raised our voices in the face of the injustice and the violation of our university autonomy, were assaulted and imprisoned by the police. Today, I know that Nahiroby, Byron and Victoria—who are still in prison–, feel the same as I do, that paying the price for real change is worth it. Our hope is with the people.
When I arrived at the women’s prison, my fear dissipated with a hug, with the affection of the women who fought from their trenches, their villages and their spaces: Maria Adilia, Nelly, Sol, Yolanda, Amaya, Patricia, Delmi, Irlanda, all my sisters. They are hope incarnated, a living dream of a truly democratic country. Justice for our dead brothers/sisters and their freedom should be our banner. I want a free Nicaragua, without political prisoners, without persecution and without violence.
It has cost us a huge sacrifice. I never thought that I would see someone die. I never imagined that I would find myself in a terrible prison. However, it is still worth it, when I know that the people not only want a change of government, but a Nicaragua free from corruption.
When we discarded party flags, a civic struggle arose that is stronger than any ideology. The future must be thinking about them, those who died, who will not return. It is an obligation, for me, to change and change the country. This must be the commitment of the blue and white people.
Ortega’s strategy of chaos
The insurrection of April has been a renewing tremor for Nicaragua. As a result of this, we intend to achieve a reform to the entire political system, not only through the legal means available, but by reforming the way of thinking and doing politics. April has given us an opportunity for radical change in our society, so tired of dictatorships and mediocre governments. Today, thanks to the courage of many men and women, we have the opportunity to look to the future and hope for a better life.
April means to me a reencounter with my commitment to defend freedom in all its forms: freedom of expression, of thought, of the press, the freedom to live without fear or constant pain. April is for me a new beginning of renewed strength, to continue walking on this fierce path that I decided to follow. Because April is Gerald, Alvarito, Chester, Matias, Daryeli, and all those who forged our spear and shield in this battle.
From student to terrorist
I want to mention my respect and admiration for all those imprisoned, exiled, expelled and persecuted students who are victims of this dictatorship. And I want you to read this poem by my friend and student Maynor A.A., exiled from the UNAN-Managua:
Oh, my dear companions! Come with me to the painful atrium of the tyrant’s roar. Let us fill our backpacks with peace and hope.
We will address the dictatorial heart tonight, causing vomiting and insomnia to the presidential couple.
Do you know what the massive heart attack of the tyrant is? That we fill our backpacks with pencils, books and notebooks. The ignorance of the people benefits the tyrant, full knowledge is his accelerated defeat.
Let us raise our voices before this archaic system! Let’s march through the streets of our homeland; raise your voice, lift up your banner and grasp your hand up high.
It is the voice of the child, the cry of the youngster and the vociferation of the elderly that frightens the dreams of the hoarse intruder.
Aware students are delinquents to the oppressor.
*Student of the UNAN Managua. Member of the University Coalition, political prisoner now under house arrest.