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Letter to comrades in solidarity with Nicaragua

Thursday 12 August 2021, by Articulación de Movimientos Sociales

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The Articulación de Movimientos Sociales (Articulation of Social Movements), formed in 2018, is a grouping “from below” of the most radical, popular and left-wing elements of the opposition to the Ortega-Murillo regime, whose removal it has demanded since the beginning, prior to any process of transition, election and democratization of Nicaragua. This message was addressed to the Collectif de solidarité avec le peuple du Nicaragua (CSPN) during the solidarity actions held in France on 19-20 June 2021.

Dear comrades in solidarity with the struggle of our people, fraternal greetings from those who are part of the Articulación de Movimientos Sociales (Articulation of Social Movements) in Nicaragua: a meeting place where different resistance groups converge – collectives of feminists, LGTBIQ+, ecologists, Caribbean peoples, peasants, anti-extractivist movements, student organizations and self-proclaimed groups.

We address you once again, amidst a new escalation of political violence, by which the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship has destroyed the possibility of a way out of the socio-political crisis, this time the electoral route.

In the AMS, we have already pointed out that there are no real signs that genuine elections can take place. The police state remains unwavering, sowing terror by besieging, sequestering, monitoring and opposing a violent response to anyone demonstrating. There are still 124 political prisoners. In peasant territories and those of indigenous peoples, far from the cameras and the media, political violence has resulted, as before April 2018, in assassinations and expropriations of land to recover common property and grant it to mining extractivism, agribusiness in African palm, wood and livestock.

Reforms allowing a fair electoral process have not taken place; on the contrary, a counter-electoral reform has been voted through, obedient magistrates in tune with the dictatorship have been elected with the blessing of the traditional parties; all with the aim of ensuring control and establishing the necessary mechanisms for electoral fraud. Thus, any possibility of forming a list independent of that of the collaborationist parties or of the electoral option linked to the big employers allied to Ortega has been eliminated, de facto marginalizing the independent and emerging sectors.

In addition, the dictatorship has increased repression. It isolates and stigmatizes those who oppose the proposed “soft landing”, put forward by big business in order to make pacts with the dictatorship, in order to save the corporatist model of “dialogue and consensus”, implemented during the first eleven years of Ortega’s government. All this in exchange for maintaining shared economic benefits, impunity for crimes against humanity committed in 2018 and for corruption. In other words: agreeing to hold elections without any conditions, in particular the most important requirement: the liberation of political prisoners and the lifting of the police state.

We are therefore faced with the worst-case scenario, that of open electoral fraud and the continuity of the regime, with an entrepreneurial sector that does not care about the democratic functioning of the institutions. This sector has contented itself with an appearance of democracy with empty votes and negotiations for stability and governance that give priority to its particular interests, which in recent years have coincided with those of Ortega.

And as is usually the case in any fascist state such as Nicaragua, no one escapes its violence. Yesterday they attacked the popular sectors and social movements, protagonists of the insurgency of April 2018; today, they are attacking those who thought that it was possible to negotiate with a fascist government, that there could be a dignified way out and cohabitation, and even pre-candidates compatible with an Orteguismo without Ortega.

We note today that the international community is moved by this new repressive escalation. [1] This international community that pushed for participation in elections without conditions, that needed to “see” fraud to understand that Nicaragua lives under a dictatorship, even though the documented evidence of the massacre of April 2018, of the “cleansing operation” – which, with arms, destroyed hundreds of lives – was sufficient evidence to understand that we were facing an illegitimate and violent government, which did not hesitate to murder, torture, kidnap and rape prisoners. This community, which is more concerned with maintaining trade agreements than with strengthening human rights.

Today, we are asking you to call on your governments, to put pressure on them to take positions against the dictatorship. We ask you to denounce the fact that the partnership agreements with the Central American countries do not protect human rights, as those who promoted their signature claimed, but rather promote an extractivist, unequal and brutal model of growth that affects not only Nicaragua, but also the entire region, as demonstrated by the succession of various ecological, social and political crises.

Demand the release of the 134 political prisoners, the lifting of the police state, the return of human rights organisations, a way out without impunity, a transformative justice, a Republic which has never existed in Nicaragua, where social justice, fairness, inclusiveness, freedom and a true democracy based on the sovereignty of the people, not on aspiring monarchs and on elites, reign.

We conclude this message to our sisters and brothers in France with the hope of continuing to weave this bridge of solidarity between peoples, between social movements, who aspire to another possible world.

We maintain the firm conviction that we will emerge from this socio-political crisis thanks to the strength of the people and of those who, at international level, continue to support our demands, because only the people save the people!

18 June 2021


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[1See for example The Nation, 10 August 2021 “The Arrest of Dora María Téllez Marks a New Low for Nicaragua”. IVP