Solidarity with Nicaragua’s resistance

July 26, 2018

An uprising in Nicaragua that began with students demanding the government halt its attempts to slash Social Security has turned into a popular revolt calling for the resignation of President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo after government forces and paramilitaries launched a terror campaign against protesters.

A number of academics and social activists from around the world have issued a call against the brutality of the regime and released the following statement, which was first published in Spanish at Correspondencia de Prensa and in French at A l’encontre, and translated into English by Lance Selfa.

WE, AS intellectuals, social activists and academics, wish to express our strong protest against the very serious situation of political state violence and human rights violations in Nicaragua. These violations are the responsibility of the current Ortega-Murillo regime, which has caused some 300 deaths in the last three months.

Our indignation, pain and unprecedented frustration go double when this political fiasco comes from leaders and governments that identify themselves as being on the left. What could hurt more than the irony of a leader who calls himself a revolutionary emulating the criminal practices of the dictator against whom he rose up? And our indignation becomes even more intense when this panorama of state political violence takes place with the silent complicity of political leaders and (self-)proclaimed leftist intellectuals. The connivance of a certain intellectual establishment — a pro-government left that usually presumes to speak for the “left” — has mutated into a substitute for the most unbridled cynicism in the service of government power.

Police officers deploy to repress ongoing popular demonstrations in Nicaragua
Police officers deploy to repress ongoing popular demonstrations in Nicaragua

To denounce this painful and unacceptable situation and to raise our voices against violations of the most elementary freedoms and rights that the current Nicaraguan government is carrying out is not only a duty of humanitarian solidarity. It is also a collective act and call to defend revolutionary memory — to try to prevent the consummation of this ongoing political degeneration.

There is no worse crime than the political dashing of the people’s hope.

There is no worse plunder than one that aims at pillaging rebellious energy for a just world.

There is no worse imperialism than internal colonialism that turns oppressive violence into anti-imperial rhetoric.

All this is happening in Nicaragua. The country that was a fertile symbol of emancipatory hope in the late 1970s has become another outpost of authoritarianism.

The stained memory of one of the noblest and most hopeful revolutions of Our America, as Sandino’s was and continues to be — the memory of the anti-capitalist struggles of a suffering but courageous people — is now trampled underfoot to (try to) cover up the typical violence of yet another dictatorial regime, like those we’ve seen before in our history. The former revolutionary leader, honored by the confidence of his people, today turned dictator, blinded by power and with his hands stained with young blood — that’s the violently bitter landscape of our beloved Nicaragua.

We raise our voices to publicly condemn the dictatorship that the Ortega-Murillo government has become. We express our solidarity with the people and the youth today who are, once again, rising up in resistance. We support and solidarize with their demands for dialogue and peace, and to put an end to an illegitimate and criminal government that today usurps the Sandinista legacy. We do so with the conviction that it is not only a question of “saving the honor” of the past, but, above all, rescuing and caring for the emancipatory seeds of the future, which have been put at risk today.

Initial Signatories

Alberto Acosta, economist, Ecuador
Raúl Zibechi, essayist and writer, Uruguay
Hugo Blanco activist, director of Lucha indígena, Peru
Joan Martinez Alier, Revue Ecología política, Spain
Pierre Salama, economist, France
Edgardo Lander, sociologist, Venezuela)
Boaventura de Sousa Santos, lawyer, sociologist, Portugal)
Jaime Pastor, Viento Sur, Spain
Ricardo Napurí, socialist activist, Argentina
Nora Ciapponi, socialist activist, Argentina
Aldo Casas, activist, Herramienta, Argentina

For the full current list of signatories, see Correspondencia de Prensa. Translation by Lance Selfa.

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