Stones Weighing Down the Nicaraguan Opposition

Nicaraguan opposition members in Costa Rica

If we proceed to eliminate as opponents all those who at some point in their lives were Sandinistas or Somocistas… who is left?

By Fabian Medina (La Prensa)


HAVANA TIMES – With all that has happened and is happening, I find it legitimate that there are people who hate Sandinismo. I also understand that others hate Somocismo. There are even those who detest both Somocismo and Sandismo equally. That is what we are. A fragmented society, with deep wounds, full of resentments and the desire to even the score because much damage has been done and justice is never obtained. The problem is, for me, that we cannot impose our hatreds on the rest as the only possible way of life in Nicaragua, because in doing so we are condemning the country to repetition and to replicate those regimes that, precisely, justify those hatreds forever and ever.

Violeta Chamorro

Let’s imagine a scenario. 1990. Let’s suppose Violeta Chamorro had tried to act as many of those who from their seats of distance and time demanded that she should have acted. Disarm the Army and the Police, prosecute all the crimes of the 1980s, put the nine commanders and all Sandinista cadre in prison… Can you imagine that? Well, she would not have gone beyond the attempt because she did not have the capacity to do that. Her government would have lasted days and the Sandinista Front, as we now know from Daniel Ortega’s behavior, would have become radicalized, without caring about what happened to Nicaragua because its only purpose would have been to survive, and for that it would need power, just as is happening now.


Moreover, such an attitude would have fit Daniel Ortega like a glove because it would have given him the justification to remain in power once he had lost it at the polls. It would have served him to show those of his own party who supported a transition that they had no alternative but to die with their boots on. “Power or death,” as Oscar Rene Vargas says. The [contra] war would have continued. Thousands more would have died. You or I, we could be dead if Doña Violeta had not swallowed all the toads she swallowed to install that fragile democracy.

A common goal

Another scenario during the same time. What would have happened if the UNO election coalition had rejected those who had opposing ideologies? The 1990 elections would have been like those of 2021, only parties collaborating with Ortega would have participated. It should be noted that in the UNO there were communists like Eli Altamirano and social democrats (now conservatives) like Alfredo Cesar. Socialists and Liberals. It was not a matter of seeking ideological unity because everyone remained what they were, but of having the UNO win, because it set a simple unifying goal: to get rid of the Sandinista dictatorship.


In order to get rid of the current dictatorship, common minimum goals must be reached. No one has a reason to give up on their way of thinking and, neither, of their hatred. It is not about Alvaro Somoza becoming a friend of Dora Maria Tellez, but of asking ourselves: do these two ideological extremes have something in common? They should. Getting rid of the Ortega Murillo’s. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” says an old proverb. They are tactical alliances.

Political prisoners

It is hard for me to understand this discrediting campaign [on social media] against former political prisoners. There is a virtual initiative to turn them from heroes into villains. Who will benefit from destroying this moral leadership of the opposition? Everything is criticized, from the shoes they wear to the food they eat. And this has nothing to do with glorifying anyone, or relinquishing sound criticism, but to examine where the stones are going. Does the stone throwing help get rid of the dictatorship or to maintain it?


Another thorny issue is the dissidents of Sandinismo. Old and recent. This is not to exonerate anyone, but to appeal to common sense. I do not understand how anyone can think that it is better to see Vilma Nunez in an Ortega’s Prosecutor’s Office than on the other side defending human rights violated by the regime. It is not to whitewash Rafael Solis or Chino Enoc, but common sense tells me that the Nicaragua that many of us want is better off with Solis as a dissident than as a Supreme Court magistrate doing outrages like the ones he did once. I prefer Chino Enoc expelled and discontent with Daniel Ortega, than riding in a Hilux pickup with a shotgun in his hands. And that does not mean that we are buddies.


If we set out to eliminate as opponents all those who at some point in their lives were Sandinistas or Somocistas…who is left? Daniel Ortega would be delighted with such a selection. Beyond anything else, the opposition should be defined in the first place by opposing the dictatorship; and secondly, by some “common minimum” principles such as democracy, respect for human rights, justice and freedom. Those who are on this side of the line are opposition, amid differences, of course; and those who are on the other side, are on the dictatorship’s team, even though they may wear the opposition’s attire.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times

One thought on “Stones Weighing Down the Nicaraguan Opposition

  • May 7, 2023 at 10:29 am

    Those two dictators have ruined Nicaragua. How sad!

Comments are closed.