Unifying the Nicaraguan Opposition to Expel Ortega

Nicaragua’s Blue and White National Unity goes public. Foto: Keyling T. Romero / Confidencial


There are stumbling blocks on this road that must be exposed with harshness, in order to overcome them effectively. Our history has a lot to teach us.


By Enrique Saenz (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – Undoubtedly, one of the most promising events in the struggle against this genocidal regime took place on October 4th, with the signing of the Blue and White National Unity Manifesto. The demand of unity was expressed from different sectors of our society and was an imperative to take a qualitative step in the struggle for freedom.

We must all congratulate ourselves, and encourage and support this effort, aware that unity in order to be effective, must be based on solid foundations, which can only result from a process of maturation. Impatience and improvisation go in a route contrary to that process of growth.

But this is only a part of the way. Now it is about this great coming together being consolidated in practice, because its challenges are present for the short and long term.

There are pitfalls along this path that should be exposed with all frankness, in order to overcome them effectively. And, regarding this, our own history has a lot to teach us.

I am going to make use of an extraordinary editorial published by the newspaper “La Prensa” in January of 1979, just six months before the overthrow of the dynasty. The mediation by the OAS had failed and the regime was presenting a victory over the insurrection of 1978. These were moments of extreme polarization, repression and violence. These were also occurring on the eve of the commemoration of the first anniversary of the assassination of Pedro Joaquin Chamorro Cardenal. A bloodbath stretched from border to border in the country.

In that scenario, where the civilian protagonists also risked their lives every day, even with all that attitudes persisted that encourage division. With things as they were, the editorial describes the situation of the opposition as follows: “…we have observed in the last few weeks an alarming and reputable political vendetta between some opposition political sectors and a regrettable deterioration of the unitary process…”

To what causes does the editorial attribute the myopic sectarianism that prevailed in such compelling and tragic circumstances?

In order to point out the obstacles and thereby contribute to neutralize them, we present the editorial points of the newspaper “La Prensa”, in January of 1979. Here they go:

  • Self-overestimation of their own strength by some groups in comparison with other political groups.

Each political group presumed to be stronger or more representative than the others, and showed a tendency to underestimate them and to assume more weight in decision-making. We present this stumbling block because it is a source of resentment and conflict.

  • A wrong assessment of the conditions and political possibilities of the country.

Each group had its own reading of reality. It is therefore essential to share a context analysis of the moment and the perspectives, because only in this way can a shared strategy be formulated and implemented.


  • “Caudillo” (strongman) style remnants and a lack of understanding and tolerance of true pluralism.

“Caudillismo” and lack of tolerance are the roots of tragedies that we have suffered. And they are ghosts that we must bury once and for all if we want to build a new Nicaragua.

  • On other occasions, and this is the most unjustifiable of all cases, there are personal quarrels and animosities, which are placed above the unity requirements of the opposition.

It is fundamental, we add, to continue fighting against egotism, that we all know exists, and which must be tied down so that we all can advance.

  • The unlimited trust of some groups in foreign powers to liberate us from Somoza or produce some kind of political miracle.

This point also has some obvious actuality. For us it is evident that the fundamental contribution is already being provided by the Nicaraguan people with their sacrifice. But, it is also evident that the contribution of the international community is also essential.

  • Distrust on the political objectives of the other groups.

Without trust, it is impossible for unity to be consolidated. But, let us be clear that building it is not the result of statements, but of sustained behavior and practices.

  • The shrewdness and schemes of Somoza and his agents

If we change the name of Somoza for Ortega, we are not better off than before. The infiltrators and undercover agents, although they are less and less, are still a permanent danger.

The final paragraph of the editorial contains a powerful lesson for today’s protagonists:

“At the extremes of these sectarian behaviors, sometimes it would appear that efforts are more directed to wear down allies or possible allies, than to fight the common enemy…these sectarian and divisive tendencies should be fought firmly. Because in the end, the people are united and we should not let such unity, and the immense possibilities of liberation enclosed in the present moment, get frustrated by the weight of the past in some, and the wrongful evaluation of the possibilities of the future by others, lead them to behaviors that objectively contribute to prolong the torments of Somocismo.”

I hope that you agree with me that these are lucid teachings that we all should assimilate to deal more sensibly with the challenges of the present and so that we can quickly eradicate this genocidal regime.