By Judith Flores
After five years of the April 2018 protests, which Daniel Ortega’s regime dismantled with blood and fire, the crisis in Nicaragua persists.
For now, no exit in sight would lead to the end of the Sandinista regime, with part of the opposition in exile – among them those released in February along with the seven presidential pre-candidates – and the other in Nicaragua, neutralized by the repressive wave of the regime that governs through the policy of terror.
The United States is betting that with the departure of the released dissidents, the unity of the opposition bloc will be achieved, an effort so far unsuccessful due to personal interests and the presence of sectors of orthodox Sandinism that governed with Daniel Ortega during the first Sandinista regime.
The regime which pretended to ignore the murders, crimes against humanity, tortures, imprisonment, exile, and expropriations committed during that period.
Today, the group claims to represent the opposition before the international community.
This generates mistrust and rejection by the population not supporting Sandinismo because of the human rights abuses committed in the 1980s.
The two Sandinista regimes have maintained the same behavior of abuses against Nicaraguans.
Their leaders have enriched themselves under the cover of public office.
After returning to power in 2007, Ortega consolidated his regime through the unconditional support of the National Police led by his father-in-law, Commissioner General Francisco Díaz, who faces sanctions for human rights violations.
Also, with the support of the Army led by General Julio César Avilés, sanctioned by the United States for refusing to dismantle the paramilitary groups organized by Ortega, in clear violation of the Constitution of the Republic and complicity with Ortega.
Dissident Sandinismo opposes Ortega but not his Sandinista ideology, whose origin was inspired by Marxism-Leninism, and this is another factor that generates distrust in the population.
The support of sectors that identify themselves as “democrats” and “liberals”, who argue that the struggle is against the Ortega regime and that ideological differences will be resolved once the regime falls, has not been received by the population.
These sectors of the “revolutionary” left that seek to come to power, interested in the continuity of Sandinismo, also have the support of the European left, some Latin American countries, sectors in Washington linked to the Democratic Party, and even some Republicans.
Despite this support and the media battery of the so-called dissident Sandinismo, which places its representatives as the “leaders” of the opposition, they do not convince a good part of Nicaraguans.
They further fragment the nation, which does not want the continuity of Sandinismo after 40 years of destruction of families and a nation that was prosperous before the arrival of the FSLN to power during the times of the Somoza regime.
This situation favors the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.
Another aspect that generates distrust is that the main operator between the so-called “official Sandinismo and non-Ortega Sandinismo” is Daniel Ortega’s brother, retired General Humberto Ortega, who advocates for the “soft landing” of his brother’s regime and “cohabitation”, a practice of “forgiving and forgetting” to which Sandinismo is accustomed: “kill and forgive” through amnesties.
The former Army chief, based in Costa Rica, is accused of crimes against humanity for cases such as the military operation known as the Red Christmas in 1983.
It was the eviction of 42 Miskito indigenous communities.
A case in which members of Unamos, formerly Movimiento Renovador Sandinista (MRS), whose founders governed with Ortega during the first Sandinista regime, were also involved.
Among them, the commander of the revolution, member of the national leadership of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), vice minister of the Interior, and founder of the shadowy State Security, Luis Carrión Cruz, who has been observed in Washington representing the opposition.
In the Red Christmas operation, the Army expelled over 8,000 Miskitos, burned their houses and crops, and performed forced disappearances and executions, as revealed in the testimony in Boston of Father José Wolf, a US priest who worked with the Miskitos.
“That December 23, 1981, I was an eyewitness to the disappearance of 23 people, and to leave no traces, they shot them in the Coco River, which is on the border with Honduras.”
“They wanted to hide the truth from the people, and no one has paid for that massacre.”
“After 24 hours, the bodies began to float in the river, and the relatives began to recover the corpses by giving them a Christian burial”, documents from the Library of the disappeared ex-president Enrique Bolaños reveal.
According to newspaper reports, 35 people were executed and buried in a mass grave.
The Army attributed the attack to the “Contra” – the irregular group of peasants fighting against the Sandinista regime – and Miskito soldiers.
However, the number of crimes against the Miskitos is estimated to be higher.
Others implicated are former Vice President Sergio Ramírez Mercado and Daniel Ortega Saavedra, who approved Amnesty Law number 42 to “pardon” the crimes committed by the regime against the Miskitos whom they accused of supporting the “Contra.”
The Law is considered mockery because it was precisely to “forgive” the victims, not the massacre’s perpetrators.
It is the same strategy that Daniel Ortega again employed with the Amnesty Law approved in 2019, after the April protests, with which he “forgave” and released hundreds of political prisoners.
The April protests left 355 dead due to repression by the Ortega regime, hundreds of political prisoners subjected to cruel torture, over 2,000 wounded, and caused the exile of thousands of Nicaraguans.
“Amnesty is granted to all Nicaraguan citizens who, due to the events that occurred on the banks of the Río Coco, or any other event that has occurred in North Zelaya since December 1, 1981, to date and have been involved in criminal acts as a result of the situation of aggression,” says the Amnesty Law approved in 1983, by Daniel Ortega, Sergio Ramírez Mercado, and Rafael Córdoba Rivas.
It is not convenient for Sandinismo to lose power.
They will always cover up the crimes committed in the 1980s.
The so-called dissident Sandinismo identifies the regime of its former comrade as “Orteguismo” in an attempt to distance itself and seeks that only crimes committed during the current government period, which Ortega usurps, be investigated.
Most media linked to dissident Sandinismo do not discuss the crimes of the first regime: it is a vetoed topic.
The objective would be to forget that dark past, but thousands of families of the murdered, disappeared, confiscated, and in exile do not forget.
Ortega’s former comrades are betting on the continuity or “rescue” of Sandinismo, the imposition of the so-called globalist agenda, and the gender ideology promoted by the left, which is increasingly gaining ground in a region governed in most countries by socialism.
However, despite the influence of Sandinismo, Nicaragua remains a country with deep religious roots.
The other part contributing to the advancement of Sandinismo’s agenda, the creation of NGOs abroad, and the attraction of funds from organizations and governments is the lack of organization of anti-Sandinista sectors, which Sandinista operators have infiltrated.
The truth is that, five years after the April massacre, no group can claim to be the leader of the opposition in the Central American country.
With information from LGI