Last May 15 and 18, the first sessions of the so-called “National Dialogue” took place in Nicaragua, composed by different sectors summoned by the country’s Episcopal Conference. As the first sessions advanced, it becomes clear that the objective of this table and its participants are not discussing the surrender of the Ortega-Murillo, as anti-canal students and peasants first posed.
By IWL Nicaraguan Committee.
The government is only seeking to earn time in its race to dismantle any internal opposition. Entrepreneurs are only seeking to preserve their businesses in name of “stability” without posing to oust the government. Most of the Episcopal Conference (CEN) pose democratization, but without the end of the current dictatorship as a condition. The only sectors that posed the renunciation of the government were the student and peasant representatives, who are a minority and stand alone in this objective in the table.
A Dialogue in Ortega’s Terms
The second day of dialogue marked clear setback and pointed towards a relative strengthening of the government in this table. First, a table was accepted without live broadcasting, as the first day, with secondary government representatives and without the participation of the Ortega-Murillo in negotiations. Finally, a “truce” that only serves to provide time and oxygen for the dictatorship. Let us see:
Since the beginning, the demands of the movement were open and public. The distrust of the people on the tables that discuss behind their backs is very positive, thus, the importance of not accepting any meeting without live broadcast. The people in the streets deserve to know all the details of the dialogue. Therefore, as of this Monday, any discussion behind closed doors is unacceptable.
The presidential couple participated the first day expecting a merely formal act, as foreseen by the script of the Church Hierarchy. Student and peasant representatives had to seize their turn to speak to pose some of their slogans and remember the martyrs, in one of the most emotive moments of past Wednesday. The tyrants’ discomfort was evident, thus their absence.
The subscribed agreements, announced by the end of the second dialogue session, only benefit the government and extend their time. Currently, a harsh battle has been taking place for more than one month, with 70 deaths and countless wounded, tortured and missing. In this context, nothing justifies a truce to stop the blockages, which were beginning to affect the great economic interests of the Ortega-Murillo.
A truce pushes away from the main objective and the people’s main demand: out with them all. It is correct to denounce repression and permanently demand the government to withdraw the police, but this must be done without conditions from the dictatorships since a government that massacres its own people has no right to ask for anything. The surrender of the police without conditions must be a permanent slogan of the movement.
No Dialogue without Immediate Surrender of the Ortega-Murillo
For us to continue dialogue either the Ortega-Murillo leave, or they remain in office and we continue fighting. There is nothing to negotiate with murderers and dictators except their surrender. Any dialogue or agreement while they are in office makes no sense. With the Ortega-Murillo in office, there is no future for Nicaragua, so the most important and immediate demand is, out with them!
The CEN proposals of tables or agreements like on past Friday only help postpone the downfall of the government. This is precisely what Ortega wants with dialogue: to wear out the struggle and earn time to end the movement. In less than 24 hours, the government violated the so-called truce and its “commitment” to cease repression by the weekend. Early Saturday evening, there were new attacks on the students of the Universidad Nacional Agraria (National Agrarian University) in Managua, and deployments of crowds and police agents in several zones. So we say, there is nothing to negotiate with murders and we cannot trust dictators.
Any discussion for the “democratization of the country” or for trial and punishment of the guilty makes no sense with dictators in office. Without them leaving, the re-founding of the country over new grounds is impossible.
For Blockages and Stoppages until the overthrow of the Dictatorship
Some bastions of resistance, like Masaya, rejected the truce and sustained the barricades. With the first aggressions on Saturday night, the anti-canal peasants announced the immediate retake of street blockages. We believe this is the path, to continue the struggle and paralyze the country until ousting Ortega-Murillo.
The entrepreneurs’ pressure for “stability” because this affects their great businesses, they are not worried by the continuation of the government. They just want to protect their profits. They are hypocrites when they speak of price increase and shortages that the population suffers because their policies and agreements for years with the government are responsible for the hunger, poverty and unemployment of the people.
The people’s preoccupation must be to strongly pressure for the government to fall. To lift the blockages, even for a short time, only gives oxygen to the dictatorship. The mobilized people may face the shortages of basic products creatively, through solidarity supply chains or popular markets so the people have food and continue struggling.
No Trust in the COSEP, AMCHAM and the Great Entrepreneurs
As we said, these sectors are only interested in their businesses. During the years of tyranny of the Ortega-Murillo, they have accumulated fortunes at the expense of the suffering of the people. If today they are in the dialogue table, it is despite their will. Therefore, the movement must remain independent from them.
A national strike must be promoted from the rank and file and against the interests of these great entrepreneurs. We cannot expect anything on their behalf, nor can we grant space in negotiation to great imperialist interests represented by AMCHAM (American Chamber of Commerce), to honor the memory of anti-imperialist Augusto C. Sandino, they must leave any negotiation on the future of Nicaragua.
The IACHR and the OAS endorsed the Fraud in Honduras: they do not guarantee justice
The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR), a body of the Organization of the American States led by Luis Almagro, arrived with a delegation last Friday in the middle of the second negotiation session. Before the serious violations of human rights committed by the Ortega Murillo, many hope this body will set an end. However, one must not forget what Almagro already said, “the democratic way for Nicaragua does not imply Ortega leaving, because there is a climate of negotiation and concrete advances for the next presidential elections (in November 2021) to have all democratic guarantees”.
Almagro’s words are a great pat on the back for the Ortega regime. Although it may surprise some, the support to dictatorships is no news. Recently, this body and the observation delegation in Honduras endorsed the fraud that kept dictator Juan Orlando Hernández in office and showed that this organization only acts on the North American interests that control it, not for an actual democratic vocation.
All denunciations must be done. The families of those murdered must seek justice in the barricades. However, the punishment to those responsible will only be ensured by the continuity of the struggle until overthrowing of the dictatorship and making them pay for each of their crimes.
Justice against the guilty will only come from the hands of the people, thus we believe that the people must put an end to the dictatorship. However, it does not suffice for the Ortega-Murillo family to leave power, it is also necessary for their goods to be confiscated to compensate for the damage they have inflicted.