Open Letter to the Sandinistas who Support Daniel Ortega

FSLN supporters in a “march for peace” on July 7th in Managua. Photo- EFE / Confidencial


Poor are the prisoners; poor are the unemployed; poor are those who’ve left the country; poor are those who will suffer most the collapse of the economy.


By Gioconda Belli  (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – There was a time, the time I come from, when being a Sandinista meant putting your life on the line. It was a time when the FSLN was a clandestine organization, and belonging to it was a secret that only you knew: a time where Somoza proclaimed, “Sandinista seen, Sandinista dead”. Many of our companeros died in those years when the FSLN was being shaped.

I was recruited by Camilo Ortega. My Sandinista vows were sworn and recorded by Leana – Rene Nunez’ partner – inside a car parked at the Parque de las Piedrecitas [“Pebbles Park”]. Many companeros I knew were killed by Somoza’s National Guard: Ricardo Morales, Oscar Turcios, José Benito Escobar, Arnoldo Quant, Oscar Pérez Cassar, Blas Real, Gaspar García Laviana, Eduardo Contreras, and Camilo himself, among so many others. I was part of the information teams that contributed to the action carried out on December 27, 1974 when the Sandinista movement “broke the silence” to strike a devastating blow against the Somoza dictatorship.

Somoza’s security apparatus followed me day and night for two months. The military tribunal that passed judgement on many of my comrades after 1974, sentenced me to jail for “illicit association to commit crime and treason against the Nation”. But I was able to get out early and left to exile myself in Mexico and Costa Rica, where we put together the solidarity networks and the rearguard that backed the internal struggle with arms and money, and fought the battle to win over international opinion.

During the ten years of the Revolution, I worked within the party structures, earning twenty dollars a month. I wasn’t a member of the Sandinista Assembly; I was a Sandinista working at a middle level. Those who often accuse me of having “suckled at the breast of power” are mistaken. I even returned the house that they gave me in the 80s to live in.

I’ve earned my living honestly, and with my efforts I raised four children. I married an Italian-US journalist in 1987, and in 1990 I went to the United States with him.  However, I continued making constant trips to Nicaragua. I worked on the MRS campaign [Sandinista Renovation Movement, an opposition party] in 1996, and I left the MRS when it participated with the FSLN in the elections of 2000. By that time, I could no longer recognize the FSLN, now led only by Daniel Ortega, as the same FSLN where I had participated as a militant since 1970.

I returned to live in Nicaragua in 2013. I don’t own land, and I never profited from the “pinata.” Everything I have I’ve paid for with my own money, honestly obtained as a product of my own and my husband’s work. Because of this history, I believe that I deserve to be listened to.

Daniel was a man who didn’t listen to criticism, nor did he accept that anyone beside himself could be right. To him, any criticism “threatened the Sandinista unity.” In 1990, instead of trying to modernize the FSLN that had lost the election with 42% of the votes and convert that force into an opposition party that could win over those who had voted against the Sandinistas for fear of the war, he decided to “govern from below”. What he calls “delinquency” today is similar to what he himself organized against Dona Violeta Chamorro [President of Nicaragua from 1990 – 1997] in the streets.

His discourse and his actions began isolating him from his fellow Sandinistas and from a people tired of the war. That’s why there was no way he could win power again with a majority vote. He lost against Dona Violeta, against Arnoldo Aleman, against Enrique Bolanos, always with under 40% of the votes.  Nicaraguans were afraid of him. To win, he had to “clean himself up”.

He dressed in white, he got married in the church, he allied himself with Cardinal Obando, promising him that he’d outlaw therapeutic abortions. He forged an alliance with Arnoldo Aleman and pardoned him from the jail term he’d deserved for corruption, in exchange for lowering the percentage required to win the elections in the first round from 45% to 35%.

Rosario directed his campaign. She switched out the Sandinista red and black for psychedelic colors, she used Beatles songs. She spoke about love and light – she wasn’t yet as religious as she is now, but she already had the esoteric ideas that today she mixes in with quotes from the Bible.

With a huge number of concessions, the Sandinista movement was transformed into a party very distant from the FSLN of Carlos Fonseca. Eventually, favored by the sudden death of Herty Lewites and the division in the Liberal party, Ortega was able to win the 2006 elections with 38% of the votes.

From that time on, he’s done everything he could to change the Constitution in order to centralize power. Through a series of maneuvers, he’s managed to dominate the upper echelons of the Army, put his brother-in-law in charge of the Police (something forbidden by the Constitution, as is having his wife as vice president.)

Daniel rules over the courts, the Government Accountability Office, the ministries, the Supreme Electoral Council, and the National Assembly. Democracy is a system where – in order to avoid concentrating all the power in the hands of a single individual – independent institutions are created that can check the power of the president and of the other state powers. Daniel Ortega decapitated all those institutions.

The rebellion of April 18 was sparked when a group of youth and retired people who were protesting changes to Social Security were savagely repressed. The government ordered thugs on motorcycles, along with those old and weathered people who continue calling themselves the “Sandinista Youth” to beat up the protestors.

When the students took refuge in the universities, the government sent snipers to kill them and to assassinate those who were supporting them, like Alvarito Conrado who was merely bringing them water. The country rose up, enraged by the cruelty and viciousness displayed by the hired killers. It rose up against what it felt to be a return of Somocismo, the methods of the Somoza dictatorship. Daniel and Rosario never imagined that the people who had accepted their abuses of power for eleven years, and who they believed to be docile and quiet, would respond with the social explosion that brought a return of the battle trenches in the streets, as the masses demanded an end to their authoritarianism and absolute power and to see justice for their crimes.

Many Sandinistas who had a commitment to the old slogan of “Free country or death,” and to the people, instead of to a couple who have appropriated Sandinismo [the ideas and history of the Sandinista movement] as a system of personal power, reconsidered. They realized that supporting the repression meant betraying their principles and the legacy of so many who died in order to overturn a dictatorship.

We’ve seen Ligia Gomez, former FSLN political secretary in the Central Bank, explain what she felt during those days, and how her Sandinista history kept her from accepting what her superiors ordered her to do. What they asked of her wasn’t part of the Sandinista movement she believed in. She didn’t see any coup d’etat in the streets, but a popular uprising.

However, the propaganda campaign against those demanding a democratic, just and principled power – demands well within their rights – began to classify these farmers, workers and students as vandals, rightists and pro-imperialists who were conspiring to stage a coup. The falsity of those accusations has split society.

A government whose only goal is to have its orders obeyed and to defend its own supporters, can’t govern. Every Nicaraguan citizen has the right to demand a country where their freedom to think differently and to protest if they don’t agree is respected. But here, the exercise of those rights has already cost more than five hundred fellow Nicaraguans their lives. And that violence, which has also affected police and allies of the regime, has been and continues to be fostered by the deafness and blindness of those who refuse to see the reality of thousands of discontented people, and who want to govern under the slogan of “whoever’s not with me is against me”.

That’s the argument behind all this. The struggle they’re inciting isn’t for a good government for all, but for the hegemony of a single way of thinking and behaving. That mentality is leading us to the precipice, to the country’s collapse, and thus to the collapse of our children’s and grandchildren’s future.

The refusal to see reality, to engage in dialogue and to find a formula for constructing a Nicaragua that belongs to all of us, has led this regime to pull the phantom of imperialism out of the closet – a phantom that for eleven years was silently supporting them with loans and measured language. It has led them to blame the right – which certainly also has the right to exist – for what has happened.

The right, they say. Take a close look at those who are prisoners. They’re the sons and daughters of the people: farmers, students, workers, vendors who sell hammocks, artisans from Monimbo. The fact that the business community supports them doesn’t make them rightists. Those who think they are, have to admit that the first one to move to the right was the Ortega government that ruled hand in hand with the wealthiest business people in the country.

This government that boasts about being on the side of the poor, is inflicting enormous harm on the poor. The dead are poor. The filmed attacks of the police and the paramilitary forces and the cadavers of the young people buried by their family members offer silent proof of their class. The prisoners are poor; the unemployed are poor; those who have left the country are poor; those who have suffered most the collapse of the economy are poor. It was the poor who painted other poor people blue and white in reproachable acts, but they don’t represent the civil behavior of the majority, who have gone out on the streets by the thousands despite the risk to their lives and liberty.

We have to understand that this alleyway with no other exit but disaster, repression and poverty favors only the Ortega-Murillo pair, their family and the small group that have enriched themselves under them. For that reason, it’s not up to them, the minority, but to us to break the stalemate of this situation that they have barely managed to contain with the arms of the police and paramilitary.

Sandinistas, supporters of Daniel, State employees, soldiers in the Army, the Nicaraguans on one side and another, we all have to realize that we’re the only ones who can resolve this situation and escape the cycle of violence that’s been the curse of this country.

The only route to reconciliation isn’t another campaign of propaganda and words. We need a serious and mature dialogue, where the governing family agrees to listen and respond to the complaints of the majority of Nicaraguans and to lay their cards on the table. This requires some courageous people in the FSLN and in the state apparatus who refuse to continue being accomplices to the upcoming misfortunes. You have to demand solutions instead of chanting, “He’s staying”.

Furthermore, at this juncture, the dialogue must go beyond demanding the surrender of one side or the other. Only if we use that people’s power that we have, and with all seriousness and with our dead in mind demand the maturity that this grave situation requires, will it be possible to see light at the end of the tunnel.

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8 thoughts on “Open Letter to the Sandinistas who Support Daniel Ortega

  • Hi Standard X,

    Yes, I am very sincere. And I don’t profess to know everything about this country – I said as much. Most countries have a rich history. Kids growing up in them couldn’t possibly know it all. So I’m fine not knowing and interested to learn all I can.

    I definitely was not here when Somoza was in power. I’ve only been here about 10 years. But that’s long enough to get a feel for the reality of life here. And one thing I can say, is that I’ve never felt oppressed. And I’ve never seen oppression with my own eyes here.

    Had people in the US done what was done here, they would be sitting in jail as well. Breaking the law, destroying infrastructure, torturing and killing police, burning people to death and in general committing acts of terrorism would be met with worse consequences in the US than it was here.

    Marches require permits. But they frequently are not applied for. Then when they are stopped, people yell “oppression”.

    Daniel isn’t perfect. I don’t know of a president or a country that is. And in my studies of the country, I’d rather live here under his presidency then I would under previous liberale rule. Back then, as I understand it, the corruption was even worse, rolling daily blackouts with no power, and on and on.

    So until the uprising, people were happy. My liberale friends say the same. While they were disgusted with the politics here, they were happy. The country was prosperous. Infrastructure was increasing. No power blackouts. We lived and enjoyed life.

    Then the terrorists took to the streets destroying things, keeping everyone locked in their homes while they manned the “tranques”. It was disgusting. That is a display of terrorism, not democracy. It is not peaceful.

    They have destroyed their credibility. There was simply no reason to try and overthrow the government. Why not wait till the next election? It’s only a few years away. There was no “emergency” that justified what either side did here. The protestors shouldn’t have been attacked by the police. And the attempted coup should never have taken place. There was bad judgement all the way around.

    While I don’t have a crystal ball, I can safely predict that Daniel will not be overthrown in a coup. I think we need to get back to peace and prosperity. Daniel is getting old. I think he won’t continue for long. He is in ill health. Hopefully all will come together and help get the country back on stable ground.

  • Part III
    With regard to your comments about the Catholic Church: “Why on earth are they involved in trying to overthrow a government. What a disgrace! A religion should be about saving souls, helping the poor and feeding the hungry. Since when is it about overthrowing governments?” Hmm.. Let me see; social justice, speaking out against injustice, tyranny, corruption and oppression – just to name a few reasons. Why the hell wouldn’t they speak out?! As a devout Catholic I find your comments to be very offensive, So by your criteria Cardinals Falhaber and Galen, as well as Franz Jagerstatter should not have spoken out or taken a stand against Nazi Germany. Perhaps the Christians under the reign of Roman Emperor Diocleatian should have should have burnt incense in homage to Caesar and just kept quiet? By your logic Fr. Rutilio Grande and Archbishop St. Oscar Romero were plotting to overthrow the govt of El Salvador. The military backed government did indeed accuse both of them of trying to overthrow government – the very same language the Ortega regime uses against the Catholic Clergy and protesters. Archbishop Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes and the Papal Nuncio to Nicaragua were physically assaulted by the police when they stormed into the cathedral a few months back, I suppose that doesn’t bother you.
    You say, ” the Catholic church has disqualified itself as an arbiter of the process. I doubt they will be allowed to be involved further.” To which I say who the hell are and the Ortega’s to tell the Church not to speak out and take a stand against government injustice?!?!
    Now that said I may very well have misinterpreted or misunderstood what you said, in that case you’re free to set the record straight on this. As for the Ortega-Murillo regime’s claim that the protesters and the Catholic Church accused of attempting a coup-detat , well the fact is the army has not (at least not yet) staged any mutinies or taken any moves against the government and there is not anything yet comparable to what the Contras were in that country during the 80’s. Your parroting the talking points of the Ortega-Murillo regime virtually verbatim is disturbing for someone who is otherwise a fairly intelligent person. I’m sure you have eyes please open them up and see the truth for what it is!

  • Estoy muy en acuerdo con las personas que han comentado sobre lo que sucede en Nicaragua , en realidad miren bien hoy dia como esta el mundo lleno de rabia , como si han perdido el respeto de el uno hacia el otro , da pena ver como las personas se han vuelto mas rebeldes que nunca , donde ya no hay moral solo odio y represalias , cada pais en mi opinion debe ver por su gente , no dejar que solo unos se lleven la manzana cuando la manzana debiera ser repartida entre todos por eso muchos gobiernos fracasan y se ganan el odio de su propia gente , yo como comente anteriormente mi opinion es que Daniel Ortega se recuerde quienes lo llevaron a el triunfo contra el opresor Somosa de baile , ahora el esta tan igual como Somoza. En el abuso y la opresion de su pueblo Daniel debe acordarse donde empezó la revolucion contra la Dictadura de Somoza y quienes se alzaron junto con el para liberar a Nicaragua a un pueblo se tiene contento. Donde el pueblo no esté contento con el gobierno ahi empieza el fin de ese Gobierno

  • Part II It is not Sandinista that represents the Ortega-Murillo regime but Ortegismo. Sandinista and Ortegismo are not the same – not even close. This regime represents the most blatant example of corruption, cronyism and nepotism in any Latin government today. The most recent presidential election two years ago was clearly rigged. The protests that started on April 18th were peaceful, it is the police who fired live bullets into the unarmed protesters – That’s an undeniable fact! The fact is the Nicaraguan government was being subsidized by Venezuela for years and so the government was able to appease the populace with ‘bread and circuses.’ But then the pipeline from Venezuela started to dry up last year as a result the bakery was closed and the circuses cancelled until further notice. That’s all for now.

  • Mage,

    I know you are sincere, your intentions are good and you are trying to be fair and even-handed, but, no offense, I think you are suffering from naivete and blinded to what’s really going on in your adopted country. The Havana Times is not a government owned blog and website, so they are free to post differing viewpoints. Let me say right off that I don’t personally know Giaconda Belli and I have never met her so I don’t presume to speak for her It’s my guess that because your post are so long that it may take Dona Giaconda some to adequately respond to you points; so be patient. I am not Nicaraguan but a good friend of mine is an immigrant from that country and he has many relatives and friends still there. Another good friend of mine is a journalist from Canada who has been to Nicaragua on several occasions – most significantly covering the recent unrest in that country. So between the two of them I have some good sources and contacts in that country. You seem to imply or infer that you were not there when the Somoza’s were power, when the Sandinista Revolution triumphed in 79 and civil war that followed in the 80’s. Fair or not there are those who would say that you lack “street creds” on this subject but I personally think it’s commendable that you have such zeal and loyalty to your adopted country.
    I am not going to address every single point you made as your post are just too long but I will address the important points. First of all Daniel Ortega (along with his wife Rosario) in his second time in power has betrayed the principals and ideals of the Sandinista Revolution in the 11 since he’s been back as President. Not opinion, fact! It’s no coincidence that those who were the vanguard of the revolution such as Giaconda Belli, Sergio Ramirez, Ernest Cardenal, Moises Hassan, and even his brother Humberto have broken ranks with him over the years. That’s all for now, I’ll continue with part II shortly.

  • (Note to the editors of Havana Times. Thank you for publishing my response. I didn’t think you would since what you write here is pretty much non stop against the government. But thank you. Feel free to delete this top part if you’d like.)

    Doña Gioconda – and anyone interested in a dialogue…

    In my writing above, I made an error that I wish to correct. I wrote: “The US has a problem with meddling – all around the world. They don’t like socialist governments dictatorships.”

    What I meant to say is: The US has a problem with meddling – all around the world. They don’t like socialist governments OR dictatorships – so they say. And I am not implying that this government is a dictatorship. Only that there are many dictatorships in the world that the US seems to get along with just fine, but they seem to want to mettle in our business accusing Nicaragua of something it isn’t.

    That said, I’m uncomfortable with the accumulation of power this government has and likely is still engaging in. I’d like to see more democracy. I’d like to see respect maintained in all areas of government. And frankly putting one’s wife in as Vice President is a power play that is simply not defensible. And that’s just for starters.

    Let me expand on that for a moment. In my opinion, the problem started in earnest when Daniel appointed his wife as Vice President. This caused a big rupture in the Sandinista party. But her ability to manipulate things, and his lack of health, enabled this to take place. I believe that we’ll all look back at that event, a number of years from now, as the beginning of the end for them. It was a strategic error. From my experience, many in the Sandinista party are in agreement with that.

    But that act doesn’t negate what Sandinistas stand for. When I say I support the government, I am saying that I support what it stands for. I wish it would return it’s focus to those fundamentals.

    Alright, I’ll move on.

    What I’m saying is, that Nicaragua isn’t perfect. I’m not sure there is a perfect place. What’s happening on both sides, is an attempt to grab more power. Let’s all face the truth.

    On the side of those trying to overthrow the government, they were attempting to seize power in a moment of weakness. And on the side of the government, they have attempted to consolidate power. This was made more possible for them by the attempted coup.

    Let me also bring up something very important that I failed to address in my response. In your article you stated… “He forged an alliance with Arnoldo Aleman and pardoned him from the jail term he’d deserved for corruption, in exchange for lowering the percentage required to win the elections in the first round from 45% to 35%.”

    This is true. I don’t think anyone can rebut that.

    However, let’s be smart about this. “What’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.” Meaning, the law is now changed. Yes, Daniel lowered the bar so he could get elected. But that bar IS NOW LOWERED.

    What this means is that to become elected president, ANYONE who can lawfully run, only needs 35%. This is a double edged sword that cuts both ways. If I’m wrong in my understanding, please correct me.

    Therefore, thinking strategically, doesn’t it and wouldn’t it have made more sense to think things through instead of trying to engage in a coup? Surely, if the majority of the nation thinks as you do (and I don’t agree that they do), you could find someone who could pass this lowered bar and win 35% of the vote?

    And wouldn’t it make more sense for everyone on your side of things, to get together, stop talking trash about this government, and show us all a better plan? I’m not specifically talking about you, Doña Gioconda. I’m talking about the international effort to discredit the government as shown on 100% Noticias and elsewhere. This constant negativity makes it harder and slower to bring people back together. Harder to get the economy turned around. And harder to engage in the dialogue you say you want.

    Overall, I think nuestros Comandante Daniel has done a good job – for the most part. This is more true of years gone by then since this last election. The country was peaceful, excelling by most standards, had good credit ratings, education was increasing. It also has its problems. Corruption is a huge problem. Not sure why it tends to be such an issue in Latin America. Frankly I believe it is an issue most everywhere. It’s just very seeable in Latin America.

    I think there is a lot of things this government could do to improve. Going back to its roots, to what Sandinita’s stand for, would be the most import of them. I’m hoping that with an honest and productive dialogue, they can see many ways to improve. Then, if they engage in those things, they will further the good name of Nicaragua in the international community. Not to mention repair the damage that has been done. And when 2020 rolls around, the election can bring whatever it may bring. Either way, we should have more democracy and more peace all the way around.

    Let me also say that defining ourselves by what we stand against vs what we stand for, is another strategic error. By saying we are a revolution… vive la revolucion, we must always have something to fight against. This ensures ongoing fighting. I believe that the Sandinistas must turn to what they stand for. Or if they want to continue a revolucion – then let it be a revolucion to end poverty, end the lack of education, end corruption. And too, they need to be for something.

    This country can’t support more violence and more economic turmoil. If it continues, we will all be left with nothing. And Daniel will still be in control. The alternative is to come together in honest and meaningful dialogue, just as you suggested.

    Where shall we begin?

    I think at a bare minimum, the Catholic church has disqualified itself as an arbiter of the process. I doubt they will be allowed to be involved further.

    Setting some kind of realistic goals like how we can have less corruption and more democracy would be a good start. What do you think?

    And coming together as a country, putting a “good face forward”, stopping the negativity, no more “paros” and genuinely working to make things better. In other words, all of us pulling for a better Nicaragua… this is certainly what I want. And I think at the core, it’s what most Nicaraguans want. Peace, prosperity, democracy. Or if I must say it in the reverse… an end to fighting, an end to poverty and an end to corruption and concentrated power in the hands of one family.

    So where do we start? I’d really love to hear from you or anyone that genuinely wants to figure things out.

  • Doña Gioconda,

    Your writing is beautiful and moved me. I appreciate you taking the time to write and publish this. I learned a lot.

    I am not of the same persuasion as you and in fact support the government. As a result, I doubt this will be published. I have written previously and they don’t publish it. Perhaps they only want people to write who agree with them. However I write this with respect and hope it is published. Maybe, if as you say, an honest conversation is desired, it can begin with us, conversing respectfully – even though we have differences.

    Let me say at the outset that I am a relatively new Sandinista – about 10 years. And I’m a relatively new Nicaraguan. As such, I listen to those who lived through the Somoza era and my heart goes out to them. And I listen to people such as yourself, who write with dignity and class. And I am moved. I respect you and your life experiences.

    I don’t work for the government and like you, have always earned my own way. I get no aid or support from the government – and haven’t asked for any. I have never received as much as one cordoba from them – ever. I have received no favors. I’m just a regular person, living here with his wife and family. And I’m someone who genuinely loves this country.

    I do believe in a famous saying that you have likely heard as well. It’s from US President John F. Kennedy. “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”. I practice this philosophy.

    Much of what you wrote are facts that I have corroborated independently. I take no issue with them. And again, I appreciate the way you stated them.

    Here is the gist of my position.

    I disagree with the Imperialista’s meddling in the affairs of this country. Or any country for that matter. President Trump says he is a “Nationalist”. I think all Presidents of all countries should be looking out for their country and their people, first and foremost. I also disagree with any political body thinking they can come in here and try to tell us what to do. That includes the UN. We are proud Nicaraguan’s and we can solve our problems. By the State Department’s (of the US) own words, they put millions of dollars over the last decade or so to overthrow the government here. That is plain wrong by any standard. No Nicaraguan should tolerate the meddling in our country by others.

    The US has a problem with meddling – all around the world. They don’t like socialist governments dictatorships. But of the big 3 governments, China is full on communist, Russia is pretty much a dictatorship and the US is in full blown disarray. Saudi Arabia is a kingdom. Perfection doesn’t exist. We should not look to others to “save” us. We need to be our own solution. And I believe that is doable.

    You wrote: “Every Nicaraguan citizen has the right to demand a country where their freedom to think differently and to protest if they don’t agree is respected. But here, the exercise of those rights has already cost more than five hundred fellow Nicaraguans their lives.”

    Everyone can think as they wish here. There is no laws against thinking. But protesting is another thing altogether. Try protesting in the US, Canada, England etc. where you block ALL the roads. Try doing that without permits. Try doing that where vandalism happens as a result of your protest. You know full well that would not fly and anyone who tried it would be put in jail and not get out for a very long time.

    Here, people think they can protest without permits. They think that destroying infrastructure is “peaceful protest”. It isn’t. Erecting “tranques” – barricades – by digging up the streets is by definition, against the law. And every government needs to protect the rights, peace and freedom of ALL people. Not just protestors.

    Shooting at police officers – and it doesn’t matter with what – is absolutely a crime and likely an act of terrorism. Try that in the US. Participating in crimes where infrastructure is destroyed, barricades are erected, officials captured and tortured and burned alive, is NOT peaceful protest. And anyone doing it, on ANY side should indeed be put in jail and the key thrown away. There is zero defence for this kind of behavior. The protestors eliminate 100% of any and all rights they might have had when they engage in that type of behavior.

    In the US for example, the people who assist others who commit a crime are charged with the same crime. Here it is happening as well. And right that it should. Crime is crime. Criminals should be put in jail.

    Now, lest you think I can’t see the reality, the same should hold true on all sides. The government didn’t do right when they beat the protestors when the problem started on April 18. What the government forces did was wrong by any standard. It was the overreach of authority and the misuse of force. Whoever ordered it should be strongly punished, put in jail and accused and convicted of the crimes they committed.

    The problem began due to the President trying to address the problem in the social system here. Income is down, costs are up. The same holds true in almost all countries. The US system of social security is nearly bankrupt. Greece has the same problem. In fact everywhere you turn, the same problem exists. Protesting violently about it was the wrong thing to do. Where was the desire to have an honest communication about things then?

    But to turn that into an attempt at overthrowing the government, was simply not thought through well. Everyone piled on instead of trying to resolve things. The President even eliminated his solution to try and fix things. But no, that wasn’t good enough. Nothing short of his head was what was demanded.

    And speaking of demands. Do you really think that people like Lestor Aleman did right? He claimed to be a student… he wasn’t. He is simply an agitator. Many of those claiming to be students, weren’t. And yelling at the president, speaking disrespectfully… how will that solve anything?

    Let’s go further and talk about the Catholic church. Why on earth are they involved in trying to overthrow a government. What a disgrace! A religion should be about saving souls, helping the poor and feeding the hungry. Since when is it about overthrowing governments? To say I was shocked to hear the recordings, see the exchange of money and watch as they debased themselves was shocking to me. Even one of our children’s school actively supported the protest, choosing to close so they could march rather than be responsible for our children’s education.

    Those are just some of the things that bother me.

    I’d like to speak about one more. Finances.

    The “movement” simply didn’t think through what they were doing. Nicaragua is by no means a wealthy country. But it sure was better before this attempted coup took place.

    The financial destabilization of the country has been horrific. Banks are unstable. Mortgages and car loans are being defaulted on left and right. How is this helpful?

    Property has gone down some 30% in value. How is that helping anyone?

    The protestors lost their jobs, lost their businesses and now not only can’t pay back their loans, they can’t afford to eat. How was that well thought out?

    The protestors say they want more democracy but they are using violence to try and get it. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Alright. I’ve tried my best to respectfully make some points. I am very open to dialogue and conversation. I don’t think I have all the answers. I’m very much wanting to learn and grow. And my love for this country is rock solid. What I can say for sure, as can anyone who wants to be honest, is that prior to April of 2018, this country was peaceful, economically it was growing, things were FAR better than they are now.

    My belief is that what the movement of protestors did was to insure that Daniel will remain in power for as long as he wants. The severe lack of stability will need a firm hand to guide the country through the process of recovering and rebuilding. This will take years.

    That said, I’d be surprised if Daniel ran again. I do suspect he will keep his hands in things. But then again, look at past presidents in the US and other countries. They do their level best to steer things in the direction they think is right.

    When you say that serious conversation is needed, I agree. BUT, demanding that Daniel step down is a non starter. That’s not conversation, that is demanding. And it won’t fly.

    So the question is… what can be talked about to make things better? How can we move forward, heal the country, regain our positive financial direction, bring peace once again. It’s not going to happen by demanding Daniel leave. We all can see that isn’t going to happen.

    So what can we do that is moral, ethical, honorable, peaceful to bring about change. Greater democracy is something I think most people want. Less corruption (like from Aduana), lower taxes and greater transparency has always been desirable – and never really happens here.

    Let me hear your ideas. I would like to engage positively. And I hope you will see what I’ve written.

  • Amen to that sister I was there at 13 14 years old it is sad what Danielito is doing I guess and hope he ‘ll find out how zomoza went away if he doesn’t want and smart about he ‘ll change things around too sad that maras from everywhere are in Nicaragua
    Planning to do what there were doing in elsewhere it is sad knowing that nobody cares UN not doing a f#$%^& thing I only wish that things change for my people Nicaragua is poor to the lowest is the nothing if you will of the earth but just a sound of nature of Nicaraguan night is the world of peace in my head. I know this could get me in trouble but matter of fact when I went to Nicaragua I felt ok but now difficult and unsafe my family is suffering EVEN though having both sides of government it has become difficult and hard to make a living too sad it hurts to no end hope is the only thing on my mind

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