Nicaraguan Government Kidnaps Dozens of Nicaraguan Opposition Leaders and Violently Assaults Protestors

October 14, 2018

Following is a statement by Nicaraguans living in the United States protesting the Nicaraguan government’s most recent repression. See Nicaragua’s Popular Rebellion Stopped — For Now by Dan La Botz for background. Solidarity denounces the repression and at the same time opposes U.S. intervention in Nicaragua, which would only make a bad situation worse.

Police arrest protestors, Managua, Nicaragua, October 14, 2018
El Nuevo Diario

This morning, October 14, 2018, Nicaraguan citizens in use of their constitution right gathered to march peacefully and protest the Ortega regime and demand the release of all political prisoners. Protestors were met with violent repression and an assault by the police. Over 30 leaders and civilians were captured this morning in an effort to silence the opposition.

Among the people arrested are long-time feminist activists and human rights defenders Marlen Chow, Ana Lucia Alvarez, Tamara Davila, Alejandra Blandon, as well as Suyen Barahona, the President of the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS), Ana Margarita Vijil, the former president of the MRS, and many members of civil society protesting the arbitrary measures of the Ortega regime. They were captured and taken to the infamous “El Chipote” a prison known for widespread violation of human rights. Haydee Castillo a long-time human rights activist Dr. Lottie Cunningham attorney and founder of the Center for Justice and Human Rights of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua were removed from an American Airline flight out of Managua and arbitrarily arrested.

During the last 6 months, Nicaragua has faced the worst repression and violation of human rights of the last 40 years. Daniel Ortega’s regime strategy has been to kill, capture, torture and disappear protestors in hopes of silencing the opposition. Ortega has demonstrated no will to dialogue despite demands from the international community including the Organization of American States, the United Nations and the European Union. A national strike is being called for in the coming days.

Since April, one thousand three hundred citizens (1300) are missing, close to 500 dead, over 3,000 injured and 400 illegally prosecuted. Approximately 400,000 people have lost their jobs and over 30,000 have fled the country. While the Nicaraguan landscape of today paints a dramatic picture, the opposition is convinced that the only pathway forward is peaceful and non-violence protest. Ortega’s firepower is contrasted with the people’s conviction for a free and just Nicaragua.

NICARAGUA CALLS ON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO DEMAND THAT ORTEGA STOP THE REPRESSION, RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS AND RELEASE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS.

Following is a preliminary list of those captured today:

Alba Aragón, Alejandra Machado, Allan Cordero Ocón, Ana Lucía Álvarez, Ana Margarita Vijil, Andrés Reyes Monté, Ángel Miranda, Francisco Ortega, Freddy Ramírez, Geisel Solís, Gustavo Adolfo Vargas, Gustavo Argüello, Haydee Castillo, Irving Dávila García, José Antonio Peraza, José Dolores Blandino Arana, Lídice Sotomayor, Lottie Cunningham, Marcela Martínez, María de los Ángeles Gutiérrez, María Dolores Monge Aguilar, Marlen Chow, Marvin Reyes, Mauricio Ríos, Orlando Rafael, Ramiro Lacayo, Salvador Berríos, Sandra Cuadra, Suyen Barahona, Tamara Dávila.

Statement by Nicaraguans living in the United States

Comments
  • Jeff Higgins says:

    This letter is full of untruths. Nicaraguans are not prohibited from marching peacefully. But now, as a result of the opposition using marches as cover to ambush police and attack municipal buildings and kidnap Sandinistas, organizers of marches must apply for a march permit and take legal responsibility for what the marchers they convene do in the course of the march. The people arrested the other day are organized by the MRS which maintains intimate ties with the ultra-right in the US (Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ileana Ros, etc), and which make no secret of being the leaders of the movement seeking to overthrow the current, popularly elected (over 70%) government of Nicaragua. The Ortega led government has said repeatedly and on national television in the dialogue that it is willing to discuss changes of anything and everything that falls within the parameters of the Nicaraguan Constitution. It was COSEP and the Alianza Civica which refused to dialogue, demanding only that the president leave government. Instead, they continued their efforts to paralyze the country with roadblocks, manned by armed delinquents (which I witnessed on the times I had to cross through their blockades over the months they controlled the roadways.) In fact, the opposition has no socioeconomic demands at all. It exists only for the overthrow of Sandinismo. The substantial job loss being suffered throughout the country cannot be blamed on the government but rather on the opposition that has attempted to crash the fragile economy (see COSEP’s Michael Healy comment in the dialogue where he openly stated the same). Lottie Cunningham was not arrested. She was detained and interrogated and returned to her trip. Haydee Castillo was arrested. The figures sited in the article for dead and wounded are inflated and, were Solidarity to make any effort to check them, it would find that many of the names on the list are of people still alive, people who are dead that had nothing to do with the conflict but died at the same time, and an enormous amount of those listed that are dead and did die during the conflict are of police and Sandinistas. Those that have fled the country are in the vast majority leaving because they committed crimes like the arson attack on the historic Granada City Hall, the videotaped torture of Bismark Martinez, the attack against the municipal workers in Esteli by over 500 contra in a battle the lasted over five hours, the ambushing and killing of police, etc. It would be lovely if the opposition were peaceful and non-violent, but it is not the case. Solidarity, in publishing opposition propaganda like this, finds itself in common cause not with students (who no longer constitute a sizeable presence in the opposition after seeing what it has done to the country) but with the Nicaraguan wealthy (Piero Coen, etc) and the US rightwing (which is actually of course bi-partisan).

  • Peter Solenberger says:

    Jeff Higgins may or may not be right about some of the details of this appeal. Was indigenous leader Lottie Cunningham “arrested” or “detained and interrogated and returned to her trip”? But he fails to see the forest for the trees.

    The Sandinistas of today are not the Sandinistas of 1979, even if Daniel Ortega and some other figures remain. The party degenerated long ago, as Dan La Botz’s article Nicaragua’s Popular Rebellion Stopped — For Now analyzes and documents.

    On October 28 the Executive Bureau of the Fourth International adopted a statement Faced with Nicaragua’s social and political crisis — Solidarity with popular demands and against Ortegista repression!

    The statement reviews the achievements and weaknesses of the Sandinista government established by the popular revolution of 1979, the degeneration of the Sandinista leadership after the electoral defeat of 1990, the feminist and worker-peasant fronts of struggle against the regime since 2007, the state repression as a response, the popular mobilization of April 2018, and the escalated repression since then.

    The statement ends with five demands which the Fourth International will articulate in a campaign of internationalist solidarity with the victims of the repression in Nicaragua:

    • Stop the repression of Nicaraguan popular movements! Immediate liberation of all political prisoners!
    • For women’s rights! Legalize abortion now!
    • Down with the criminal neoliberal regime of Ortega-Murillo!
    • Against any kind of imperialist interference in Nicaragua’s internal affairs! For the right of the people in Nicaragua, in Central America and beyond to take their fate into their own hands!
    • For the Sandinista refoundation! Towards an ecosocialist alternative to the extractivist export-oriented model and to the capitalist system, which implies a break that needs the highest level of democracy and self-organisation!

    Excellent demands, although I have reservations about calling for a Sandinista refoundation. After more than twenty-five years of degeneration, it seems a bit late to call for refoundation. A new revolutionary movement and party are needed.

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