To have a full picture of the polarization in Nicaragua today it is important to compare this speech with the previous post, the interview of Daniel Ortega´s Vice President in the 1980s, Sergio Ramírez. Ortega accuses the opposition of exactly what he is being accused of. What is particularly noteworthy is his conflict with the Bishops, who he originally went to and asked to host the National Dialogue. Documents from the dialogue can be found in earlier posts. Here is his speech [capitals are from the original text published by the FSLN webpage]
Brother and Sister Nicaraguans, Families of this Country of Diriangén, Darío and Sandino, today, the 39th anniversary of the Triumph of the Revolution, is a very Special Date because, from April to May, May to June, from June to July 19th, it has been up to us to defend once again Peace for all Nicaraguans.
And it has been a painful Battle, painful because we have faced an armed conspiracy financed by internal Forces that we all know, and by external Forces that we identify completely, because they themselves have taken charge of revealing the financing that they give to these groups that become an instrument of the Policies against the People, against the Poor, against the Peasants, against the Youth.
And a coup is being organized, we were seeing it, it would seem difficult having so much Stability in Nicaragua, 11 years of Stability, 11 years of Security, 11 years of Economic Growth, 11 years of Health Care, Education, Streets for the People, Homes for the People, Agrofood Programs, Programs for the Countryside, Programs for the City; with approval levels for this Government of the People without precendent in the History of Nicaragua, the highest Approval levels.
Of course, they could not allow the Revolution to continue consolidating itself, and the Strength of the Revolution undoubtedly that resided in Peace, Security, Stability and that at the same time allowed the Economy to grow, to the benefit of the Small Producers, to the Benefit of Walking Salespeople, to the Benefit of the Peasants, to the Benefit of the Large Producers, to the Benefit of the Medium Enterprises, to the Benefit of Large Enterprises, to the benefit of Large Capital. All were benefitting, and it was good that they benefitted, it was a correct Policy: Benefits for Everyone!
But for that Economic Growth and that Benefit for Everyone to be possible, there had to be Peace and Security; so the conspiracy said: We have to kill Peace, do away with Peace, so that the Economy would be destroyed and the Revolution be destroyed, and that Sandinista Government be destroyed. That was the Plan, and they began to invent once again what they have been working on for some years, with financing from Organizations, US Agencies, they began to work through the Networks, they began to work now with more force to provoke this shock and destroy Peace.
When the fire happened in the Indo Maiz Reserve, there they began to blame the Government for the fire in the Indio Maiz Reserve, and they said: This is the moment; because the Specialists that come to support us in the face of this fire in a Forest Reserve, including Specialists, US Experts were telliing us that it would be difficult for us to be able to control that fire in 2 or 3 months, and they provided as examples the fires that they experience in the United States that last months.
Logically we were concerned, and they working on their conspiracy under this principle, this fire is going to last, this is the moment. And they began the war through the Networks, nationally as well as internationally, and they continued arming themselves, because they have been arming themselves, they were already arming themselves.
And under what coverage were the protests? They are “civic protests” they say… civic protests, civic protests, but, how did they kill the son of Amada? With what did they kill him? With weapons of fire, even weapons of war, they came to stockpile weapons of war. With what did theuy kill the Sandinista brothers and sisters who they went to find in their homes, simply for being Sandinistas, and they shot them? With what did they kill them?
The civic protest was just the pretext, and they held some Marches where they were not armed, but on the other hand they had armed people, and they installed the armed people at points where they converged into points of terror, where they installed torture centers, they used the Universities to install torture centers, to kill. And we were saying: How far are they thinking of going? How far are they thinking of going? Because the fire, thanks to the intensity of the rains in the Indio Maiz zone quickly disappeared. And they were left without fires!
So the Decree was issued to respond to Social Security, which is essential, which is necessary to save Social Security. And when the Decree was issued, again in the streets with the social protest, with the civic protest they started immediately, now at midnight, in the early morning and the following days with armed attacks against State institutions, with armed attacks against the Sandinista Front for National Liberation, the institutions of the Sandinista Front, with armed attacks and burning of buildings of institutions, and then with the looting also of Enterprises of Supermarkets. It was a matter of sowing chaos.
And in an Act of Patience, of Patience, avoiding falling into provocations, we ordered that the Decree be withdrawn; it did not mean anything to them that we withdrew the Decree, they continued with their campaign, they, who started the aggression, they who caused the deaths and who sent the young people to death, and above all, Youth from the Neighborhood who they paid so they would participate as Shock Troops.
But we not only withdrew the Law, but we said: Well, we are going to a Dialogue to talk about the Law and get the law produced in a Dialogue, and they said that it no longer dealt with the Law. And where did they want to go, we said. And we were saying to them, what is it that you want? What is it that you are proposing to us? We wanted to hear them, we wanted to know what was the Strategy that they had. And they took out their claws, they took off their masks and they ended up saying: You have to leave now! You have to leave now!
They said it, logically, our adversaries… full of hate they said it! It was understandable that they would say it, but it surprised me more, or maybe it did not even surprise me, when the Mediators, meeting there in the Casa de los Pueblos with all the Bishops led by the Cardinal, read me the Riot Act, took out their Strategy, and they said there: “This has to change now, starting on day 11”, they gave us a term of two days, “the Judicial Branch has to change now, the Electoral Branch, the Comptrollers office, all the Branches of Government, the National Assembly, and the President has to be removed and the Elections pushed up”. They said that there with complete clarity.
When I received the Document, I said: Well, this is what they really want. I thought that they were Mediators, but no, they were committed to the coup plotters, they were part of the Plan with the coup supporters. And it hurts me a lot to say this, because I have respect for the Bishops, I respect them, I am Catholic, but they have positions there, some, of more confrontation, others I would say, more moderate, but unfortunately always the line of confrontation is imposed and not the line of Mediation. They failed to understand that Mediation is to have the two parties sit down and listen to the two parties, and not that the Mediator takes sides and says: You have to do this in so many days, in a week. A Coup they wanted to cause in Nicaragua, said by they themselves!
When they proposed this to me…well, I always ask God to fill me with the Patience of Job, and I said to them: Well, if you want to propose all this in the Dialogue, propose it, you can propose it, but there has to be a Consensus, and for there to be a Consensus there has to be agreement between the two parties, but they did not wait for Consensus, they simply appeared with an ultimatum.
I did not want to speak to them with this clarity, I simply took the Note, I paged through it, I was surprised, it hurt me that my Bishops had that coup supporting attitude…It hurt me! And right there they discredited themselves as Mediators, they disqualified themselves as Witnesses, because their clear Message was the Coup! The Coup! And from one day to the next.
When they presented that List to me, immediately I remembered what happened with that Mr. Carmona Estanga there in Venezuela, when the Coup against Chavez happened, that they came and met joyfully Leaders of the Churches, the Capitalists, the enemies of the People met in the Presidential House and the then began to say: The National Assembly disappears, the Electoral Branch disappears, the Attorney General disappears, the Justice Branch disappearsl And all of them joyfully applauding; then the People arrived, and the People got rid of them, got rid of them, and Chavez returned to exercise the legitimate Presidency that he had.
This is what has hurt me more, because I got to think that with the Bishops we could find Agreements that would give us Peace, that would help us to consolidate Peace. And the truth is that, every day that the Dialogue went, and when they talked about the barricades, and that they had to remove the barricades that they had imprisoned our People by all sides, they did not like that, they did not like that, the furthest it got was an Agreement for a 3 day Truce; that was the most that was gotten, a three day Truce.
And the Truth has to be said, you have to tell the Truth, I do not know if all the Bishops, I want to believe that not all the Bishops, I want to believe that the Cardinal did not know anything about this, but many Churches were occupied as bases to store weapons, to store bombs, and to leave from to attack and kill.
Look at this closely, they say that their struggle was civic, that their protest was civic; then who killed Senior Commissioner Luis Mayor Emilio López Bustos of the National Police? Who killed Captain Hilton Rafael Manzanares Alvarado of the National Police? Who killed Lieutenant José Abraham Martinez, of the National Police? Who killed Lieutenant Douglas José Mendiola Viales of the National Police? Who killed Lieutenant Marcos Antonio Gonzalez Briceño of the National Police? Who killed Jean Kerry Luna Gutierrez of the National Police?
Who killed Lieutenant Dixon Bismark Soza Enríquez of the National Police? Who killed Lieutenant Carlos José Zamora Martínez of the National Police? Who killed Lieutenant Zaira Julissa Flores of the National Police? Who killed Lieutenant Martín Ezequiel Sánchez of the National Police? Who killed Lieutenant Hilarios Jesús Ortiz Zavala of the National Police? Who killed Lieutenant Marlon José Requene López of the National Police? Who killed Lieutenant Lenin Ernesto Olivas Alaniz of the National Police? Who killed Lieutenant Gabriel de Jesús Vado of the National Police?
Who killed Inspector Juana Francisca Aguilar Cano of the National Police? Who killed Inspector Abelina Obando of the National Police? Who killed Inspector Ilish Aarón Urrutia of the National Police? Who killed Inspector Faber Antonio Vivas of the National Police? Who killed Inspector Faustino Téllez Vargas of the National Police? Who killed Inspector Kelvin Javier Rivera Lainez of the National Police? Who killed Inspector Luis David López Hurtado of the National Police? Who killed Senior Officer Allan Alexander Rodríguez Hernández of the National Police? Who wounded by bullets 342 men and 58 women of the National Police? And these are pacifists! They are the pacifists! These are the pacifists!
And then, who killed dozens of Sandinistas, hundreds of Sandinistas? Dramatic cases, dramatic! In Jinotepe, the coup supporters show up, defended by the Civic Alliance, defended by the Civic Alliance that is the false face of the coup supporters, is the mask of the coup supporters, the coup supporters show up to look for a person in their home; the person is not at home and the person´s younger brother opens the door and when he told them he was not there, then they killed the young boy, and left. Then the father of the murdered boy shows up, after the funerals, the grieving father, and he did not talk of hate, he did not talk of hating them, but that logically he grieved the death of his son, and he condemned it. And what did they do the next day? They also killed the father of the boy.
They injected the poison of hate! They turned them into a diabolical force, satanic, like those that practice satanic rites. When we see the way in which they acted, torturing the people in the barricades, killing them in the barricades, all that like a satanic rite, and what is more terrible, that shows that these people are completely satanized, and it is these that should be sought out to be exorcised, Mr. Bishops, these devils, these demons.
Look closely at how they are satanized, that all the atrocities, the crimes that they commit, the torture that they do, remember what they did with the son of Amada, what did they do? They danced, they jumped around the cadaver while they set it on fire, celebrating it, and filming themselves and later they themselves put it on the Networks, they themselves accusing themselves as the criminals, as the murderers of this People, that want to steal Peace from the Nicaraguans.
So much pain! So much pain! So much tragedy! But they are confused, one of the Bishops came to us to tell us that the Sandinista Front was now finished, that it no longer had people, that it was liquidated, and that it was better that we leave, that is what he said! That is how he said it! No, we are not going to disrespect the Bishops either, we are not going to fight with the Bishops, but, Christ died for the
Truth, and as Christians we are obliged to tell the Truth, and to ask the Bishops to correct themselves, for the Love of God, that they correct themselves and not be encouraging these satanic sects, coup supporters, murderers.
They thought that we were already defeated, simply because we had Patience, Patience, Patience…And it is that their Plan was incredible, incredible, they were so coordinated that I even remember that they placed as a condition on us, for the Dialogue Meeting, for the installation of the Dialogue, that the Police had to be restricted to their bases, in other words, secuester the Police. We said, look, how interesting, confine the Police to their barracks! Of course. Why? So that the armed people of the coup supporters could peacefully kill, murder, destroy and attack the very Police confined to their barracks.
And our Patience, our flexibility got to the extreme that we accepted confining the Police to their barracks; but a moment came where we said: We are patient, but we are also responsible for the Security of all these people. Even the US Ambassador told us this, that the Police should act; because now the “little angels” that were in the UNAN, armed, had already assaulted an Official of the American Embassy, they had taken his pistol, they had stolen his pickup. And I said: Of course, since their conspiracy is there, then they looked for a way in which the truck would be returned to them, but the pistol already appeared among the arms captured from those who were in the UNAN, imagine that.
So, not because the Ambassador of the United States said it, but because we know this is an obligation of the Nicaraguan State to watch over its Citizens. We said: This is over and we have to reestablish Order in our Country!
And that is what has them irritated, furious, and they are calling to exorcize us tomorrow, starting tomorrow they are going to start, they have ordered to say that there has to be an exorcism, that they have to exorcise us. Let them exorcise the demons that they have there next to them! Let them tell them that the Path is not war, but it is Peace, Dialogue. Let them tell them that we have to reestablish Peace in a definitive, total, permanent way, Stability so that the Country can continue growing, continue developing, because there will have to be an enormous effort to raise up the Economy. Thanks to God, the bases for Productive Actiivty are there, but they have logically fallen with this situation, and we hope that they can be quickly energized.
But for that it is indispensible that here all us Nicaraguans, regardless of Ideology, regardless of Political Thought, regardless of Religion, join forces to ensure Peace, which is what gives us Security and a Better Future for all Nicaraguan Families.
I want to thank you for the Message that Compañero Foreign Minister Bruno brought us on behalf of the President Miguel Díaz-Canel and Commandante Raul; and your Message, Bruno, is a Message with that Strength, with that Conviction that you have had and that the Cuban Revolution is always going to have, the Heir of Martí, Heir of Fidel, Heir of Che.
Likewise, grateful for the Message that the Foreign Minister of the Sister Republic of Venezuela have brought us, a young, very young Foreign Minister, and who has spoken to us from the Heart, and when he talks about the willingness of the Venezuelans to accompany our Battles, he reminds us of the time of Sandino when Brother Venezuelans were in the Sandino´s Army in Defense of the National Sovereignty.
Thanks, dear Compañero Jose Arreaza, Chancellor of Venezuela. And our Affection, our Esteem, our Gratitude for our Brother Nicolas Maduro, for Diosdado, for all the Members of the Leadership and for that brave and heroic Boliviarian People.
We greet the Brothers of the Sao Paulo Forum who accompany us in this 39th anniversary.
And from this Plaza de la Fe we greet the brothers and sisters of each and every one of the Provinces of our Country who on this occasion were not able to come. And they were not able to come, why? Because the Slogan was, to celebrate the 19th each one in their Province, in their Municipality. And Managua? Here is Managua with the Municipalities of Managua.
It has been, therefore, a massive Celebration where people have participated from all of our Country, from the Caribbean Coast, from the Autonomous Region of the Northern Caribbean to the Southern Caribbean, from the Provinces of Nueva Segovia and Madriz, from Matagalpa and Jinotega, from Boaco and Chontales, from San Carlos, Rio San Juan, from Chinandega, from León, from Carazo, from Granada, from Rivas from all of the Country, all participating, all the Provinces, this day on this great date, and all defending Peace!
Well, we have to learn from the experience of this that has happened, you have to fight for Peace with Firmness, you have to fight for Peace with Intelligence, you have to fight for Peace without hate, you have to fight for Peace strengthening the Mechanisms for Self Defense, so that never more Sandinista Families are murdered, nor never more are the homes of the Sandinista burned.
And that those sinister messages be erradicated from the Networks, where they are offering death to entire Families only for being Sandinista Families. And they say it there with complete clarity that they are going to kill the father, the mother, the children, even the small children they are going to kill, they say… What kind of thing is this? This is something from satanic sects. Please, dear Bishops, exorcise these demons, exorcise these demons.
And without dropping our guard, without dropping our guard, continue defending our Rights, continue defending our Decisions…!Our Decisions are not in Washington, they are in Managua! Our decisions are not in Washington, they are in Nicaragua! And we are those who have to defend our own Decisions to continue defending this Model, that continue promoting Peace, Reconciliation. Because we are never going to be sowers of hate, not even against those who have done so much damage to the People. We do not hate them! We say to them, correct yourselves, change, and help them to change and they can then be a proactive part in the construction of Peace in our Country. We want Sowers of Peace, not Sowers of Death!
I want to tell you, dear brothers and sisters, dear Nicaraguan Families, on this day, that you are, Brothers and Sisters, the Defenders of Peace with the Heroes who gave their Lives defending Peace. Here are the Defenders of Peace in this Plaza, and they are in all of Nicaragua, and we are full of Faith in the fact that we will win an ever more solid Peace, because Peace has to be defended every day, you have to be winning it every day, to keep situations like these from repeating.
Long live the 39th Anniversary of the Triumph of the Revolution!
Sandino Lives…the Fight Continues!
Free Country or Death!
Long Live Nicaragua!
Blessed and Always Free!