Nicaragua Solidarity Caravan Reports on its Impact in Europe

Madelaine Caracas, Jessica Cisneros and Yerling Aguilera of the Informative Caravan in Solidarity with Nicaragua.


Ten countries and 23 cities were visited, and they met with leftist parties

“It had a big impact and we continue to see the results and are trying to organize all the assistance”, stated Madelaine Caracas, member of the initiative


By Maynor Salazar  (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The impact of the Informative Caravan in Solidarity with Nicaragua, that has travelled through various countries of the European Union, has been slow but significant. That is how Madelaine Caracas asserted it in an interview for the television program “Esta Noche” (Tonight). She explained that little by little the media, human rights organizations and left-wing political parties, opened the door to putting the issue of Nicaragua and the repression of Daniel Ortega’s regime that has cause more than 300 dead on their agenda.

“In May not much was known about the situation of Nicaragua. We started in Denmark and from there more and more journalists, communication media, human rights organizations and politicians approached us and opened doors. We have been in touch with the International Federation for Human Rights of France. We went to the parliaments of the ten countries we visited, among them the parliament in the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels,” said Caracas. She along with Jessica Cisneros of the Youth Civic Movement, and Yerling Aguilera, sociologist and professor at Central American University (UCA), participated in this initiative.

The young communications student was in the parliament of Strasbourg, France, place from which a resolution was approved condemning Ortega’s Government for serious violations of Nicaraguan’s human rights. Through the Caravan, many contacts were made with other organizations that could contribute in the future reconstruction of the country.

“We will need to reactivate these solidarity ties, so far it had a great impact and we continue to see the results and are trying to organize all this assistance,” informed Caracas.

The members of the Caravan met with representatives of the European Parliament. Caracas expressed that although at the beginning what was approved is a resolution, they have also been talking about pressure mechanisms against Ortega’s regime and his entire cabinet. Bridges were also built through solidarity groups of Nicaraguans residing in those countries, so that they could provide continuity to the work done by these young women.

“The most important thing of all this are the connections, the work to be done by the solidarity groups in different countries. Because Nicaraguans are organized, and the Caravan contributed to that, and it will be these groups that will contribute the economic support that we need in order to continue the process of denouncing and other pending political activities,” assured this  young communications student.

The left is “reluctant” to take a position against Ortega

At the international level there has been criticism against leaders of orthodox leftist parties, which are defending governments that proclaim themselves leftist, such as Nicaragua or Venezuela.

Caracas and other members of the Caravan met with various leftist politicians in Europe. They discovered that there is a left reluctant to take a strong position against the Ortega regime, because they continue to have a romantic idea of the revolution and had remained with the image of Daniel as a revolutionary.

“It was hard, but we have opened doors. We have had spaces for political debate, in which we established as a basic parameter that we are not dealing with left or right, but with a humanitarian crisis where more than 400 people have been assassinated, added Caracas.

In these debates, the young Nicaraguan women faced questioning by politicians asking if this “peaceful revolution” was financed by the United States. For some it was difficult to understand how a civic insurrection could have been spontaneous and has not been controlled by any political leader of the opposition in the country.

After the Caravan’s visit, left-wing political parties maintained in their agenda the issue of Nicaragua. However, some still maintain a reluctant position, because the Sandinista revolution meant a lot for the left all over the world. It was a historical milestone and was attached to the ideology of many sectors in different countries.

“In order to understand it, it is important to discuss it with these parties, so they could take a stance. Until now, it is difficult for them to take a position, because the evidence and mutation of Ortega (to dictator) has not been evident at the international level. In Nicaragua, we know it, but issues such as the pact with Aleman, the Interoceanic canal proposal and the corruption, have not been known to these sectors,” said the young woman.

Caracas expressed that in spite of these positions, the political parties have opened the door and some fruitful debates have taken place, in which as a first step the massacre unleashed by the Sandinista regime is condemned.

“As we advance in our positioning and organization, all this will become clearer and many sectors will be able to assume a stronger position. It is clear that Ortega is alone and that the left, to a certain extent, does not even recognize him for his actions, but it is still needed for more political groups to pronounce themselves. Ortega is alone. We have seen how Pepe Mujica (Uruguay) and other sectors of the left in Spain have pronounce themselves, are following-up, and we continue to work with them and provide as much information as we can from Nicaragua,” she said.

International harassment and attacks

Although they were far away from Sandinista supporters, the members of the Caravan were not exempt from boycott attempts from some groups of persons linked to the Ortega regime. These regrettable acts were led by groups of Venezuelans that live in France and Sweden. They tried to derail various events and verbally attacked these young women.

“They attack us alleging that Ortega should stay and appeared with the same rhetoric all the time, in which they were not there for a political debate, but to attack. They said some offensive words and it became a campaign of criminalization. In France an attack was stopped thanks to the Nicaraguans. In Chile the Caravan received the same attacks,” recounted Caracas.

The excuses used by these groups that tried to boycott the Caravan’s activities derive from considering that the position of these young women, members of the initiative, were not valid, because everything was an act orchestrated by the United States.

“These are the same empty arguments, presented without any support. We also had debates with those that have doubts and to whom we present evidences of who Ortega is. It has been hard, but there have been two types of positions taken by the left: those that gave clear and respectable debate, and those that ended up yelling. True fanatics when they have to talk,” she said.

The Caravan visited cities in Denmark, Sweden, France, Netherlands, Germany and Spain. Currently other groups are doing the same type of work in South America, Central America, and various states of the United States and Canada.

“In Europe there is a team that is following up and all this is about continuing to weave efforts and look for ways to support Nicaragua in this humanitarian crisis, the refugees. Now we have a big problem of refugees, or people in exile that cannot return because of threats and because they have arrest warrants,” concluded Caracas.