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Nicaraguans in exile call on organizations to unite against the Ortega-Murillo regime

By participating in a Congress of Unity of Free Nicaraguans to be held virtually on January 9th

Citizens in exile call on organizations inside and outside the country to participate in the “Congreso de Unidad de los Nicaraguenses Libres” (Congress of Unity of Free Nicaraguans) this coming Sunday, where the National Council for Transition will be established. It seeks to channel actions aimed at finding a way out of the socio-political crisis that the country is going through.

Francisco Larios, member of the Congress Liaison Commission, explained that this call has the purpose of laying the foundations of an organization with a single objective: the overthrow of the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship and the beginning of a transition to democracy. “It is essentially an organization that wants to spearhead active struggle against the dictatorship and for this reason, includes a single goal: overthrow, and which includes a rejection of dialogue and [the November] elections,” he said.

He made clear that they are not against an electoral solution, but they are aware that it is not possible because neither Ortega nor his wife and Vice President, Rosario Murillo, will allow it. “That is not going to happen,” he pointed out. The initiative’s bet is to create an organizational structure, with members inside and outside Nicaragua to coordinate different actions to facilitate the weakening of the regime.

“The Congress of Unity of Free Nicaraguans is that, and nothing more than that, it is to come together to design, coordinate and implement actions of all kinds against the dictatorship to undermine its foundations until it collapses, until we make it fall,” expressed Larios in an interview on the program Esta Noche. However, these purposes clash with the de facto police state imposed throughout the national territory, arbitrary imprisonments and organized surveillance in neighborhoods and communities through the structures of the Sandinista Front. How to achieve it?

“Dictatorships fall. At some point they seem to have absolute power, but ultimately, when a dictatorship loses legitimacy, as in the Ortega-Murillo case, they begin to gnaw away at themselves, they begin to have weaknesses that they try to cover up with daily repression. There is a police state, but it reflects an enormous political weakness and as it was evidenced on November 7, the people of Nicaragua are capable of paralyzing the country,” said Larios.

He considers it necessary to create internal structures, working underground. While, abroad, they continue to promote the restrictions to the financing that pumps life into the regime.

For his part, Danilo Martinez, also a member of the Commission, explained that they are aware that the solution to the country’s crisis lies within Nicaragua.

“It is the people of Nicaragua who are the architects of their own freedom. So, we are aiming our best efforts to organize the population. If all that energy, creativity and ingenuity, that determination shown by the Nicaraguan people since April 2018 through November 7, were led by a single organization, with a single strategy, with a single voice, we would also have a great capacity to maneuver, and we would easily say goodbye to the dictatorship,” he said.

National Transition Council

In the Congress to be held this Sunday, virtually, the seven members of the National Transition Council will be chosen, which is not equivalent to a transition or provisional government, but rather, will serve as a collective leadership in the struggle for the freedom of Nicaragua.

Martinez maintains that after the wave of arrests unleashed by the Ortega regime against opposition leaders, “there is a leadership vacuum, and that leadership must be filled.” Indeed, after the imprisonment of seven presidential hopefuls, the exile of members of opposition organizations and the persecution in the territories against any minimum form of coordination against the government, to unite all the dissident voices that appeared in April 2018 continues to be a pending task, they point out.

The Council will focus on “a plan of struggle against the dictatorship and a democratic vision for the future of the nation,” states the foundational act of the Congress.

How will the Council be elected?

A commission elected on November 15, 2021, during a meeting of self-convened Nicaraguans, in which 38 organizations participated, among these, Movimiento de Unidad Democrática, Resistencia Grito de Abril, representatives of the Peasant Movement, Blue and White Movement of Nicaragua, representatives of the Juntos por Nicaragua platform, and others, coordinate this Congress.

Each participating organization will have two representatives, who will be able to vote and at the same time, propose candidates if they wish for the National Transition Council. The seven selected will be the most voted.

As of this Tuesday, according to Martinez, about 70 organizations have confirmed their participation and the deadline for registration is Friday, January 7, at midnight.

Freedom for political prisoners

Although the Foundational Act of the Congress does not specify the demand for the freedom of political prisoners, Martinez points out that the Council is also committed to achieving this objective, and that also  there should be no new prisoners for political reasons. This will only be achieved by putting an end to the dictatorship, he assured.

Currently there are more than 160 political prisoners in different prisons in the country. The almost 40, imprisoned in the El Chipote complex, remain isolated, under psychological torture, without specialized medical attention and enduring constant interrogations. Their relatives and the international community have demanded their freedom, but have received no answer from the Ortega regime, which in its November 8th “victory” speech called them “sons of bitches.”

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times

https://mailchi.mp/confidencial.com.ni/englishnewsletterform


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