There are no possible excuses for the repression of the Nicaraguan population, which includes constant attacks on media, and an unprecedented offensive against universities and their students, perhaps only comparable to that of the Anastasio Somoza dictatorship.
The government of Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo - who has called to attack protesters - can no longer blame foreign "strategies", especially those of the United States government, for what has been a ruthless offensive that they designed to silence the Nicaraguan people.
The protests started in mid-April and were triggered by some Ortega´s proposed reforms to the social security system. Even after the president desisted to implement these reforms, the abuse of power by the Nicaraguan government drove a movement that has spread throughout the country.
At the beginning, the Catholic Church –an influential actor in the Nicaraguan historical and social evolution- tried to mediate. But its attempts seem to have been in vain. Verbal violence from different government levels, that encouraged apparent anonymous groups to attack the population, make any peace agreement with the current president and his wife virtually impossible.
Highly respected figures, among them important intellectuals and former Sandinista fighters, consider it inevitable for Ortega to move away from the political scene. In addition to the human debacle, there has been in Nicaragua an economic catastrophe resulting from protests and markets distrust. Former Uruguayan president, José Mujica, an icon of Latin American democracy, said he feared the dream had strayed into autocracy and he added: "There are times in life when you must say: ‘I’m off”. It is a clear reference to the generalized opinion that, after so many people dead, amnesty or bringing forward elections will not work: Ortega must negotiate his exit.
Without the backing of the democratic forces of countries that traditionally supported Nicaragua, the situation on the streets will get worse. The Sao Paulo Forum –an organization of leftist parties and social organizations- that convened its 24th meeting in Cuba is an example of how the Nicaraguan government squanders the influence of these countries. There, they had the opportunity to intervene in Nicaragua´s terrible situation and draw up a plan to reach dialogue and other peaceful means. On the contrary, through a resolution, they attributed the violence to "foreign interventionism", blaming the “pro-coup right wing” for "destabilizing, violent and terrorist actions". In doing so, they ignore the eminently popular nature of the protests in Nicaragua.
Warnings such as that of the UN, whose High Commissioner for Human Rights demanded that the Nicaraguan government cease attacks against the population, had no effect on the crisis. Only in very specific instances, where they share financial and regional interests - as it is, again, the case of the Sao Paulo Forum - a call for sanity could have had an effect.
The terror that Nicaragua suffers today is the result of a turn to autocracy and an insatiable thirst for power. It is a Lesson for the world and an opportunity for a unified commitment that, beyond ideology and fraternity, it is necessary to exercise.
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