Daniel Ortega´s speech on the commemoration of the Heroic Feat of Pancasán

Daniel Ortega gave this speech on August 29, 2018 for the gathering on the 51st Anniversary of the Heroic Feat of Pancasán. In the past there was no massive celebration of this anniversary. Many analysts interpreted the gathering as a response to the release that day of the report “Human Rights Violations and Abuses in the Context of Protests in Nicaragua” by the UN Human Rights Office. The report is a clear contradiction to the Government´s interpretation of the current crisis, which has characterized all the protestors as coup supporters, and claims the kidnappings and human rights abuses are being carried out by the opposition. This interpretation for the gathering is supported by the content of the speech, whose translation follows. [Capitals are maintained from the original. Spanish version of this speech can be seen at: https://www.el19digital.com/articulos/ver/titulo:80862-conmemoracion-del-51-aniversario-de-pancasan-29-de-agosto-del-2018 ]

Brother and Sister Nicaraguans, Nicaraguan Families, of this Nicaragua that wants Work and Peace, and Justice! Work, Peace and Justice! We are receiving those 524,363 signatures[1], in other words, we are adding more, and those that are missing, those that are missing, check it out!

And we are asking for Justice, yes, Justice, Justice, while Human Rights Organizations, International as well as Local ones, most of them do not act with Justice. For them these victims do not exist. For them these tortured people do not exist. If the tortured person is a Sandinista, they do not exist, for the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations, imagine that! That Commission manipulated by who?, by who?, by the Powerful, by those who have take over entire Continents, by those who have committed genocides against entire Peoples.

These are the owners of this Human Rights Commission of the United Nations, who came to Nicaragua because we invited them, they come to Nicaragua, and in their Reports, these murders, these tortured people, these disappeared people do not exist, they do not exist! The 22 murdered Police, they do not exist! For them the terrorist coup promoters are some “angels” who do not torture anyone, they did not kill anyone, and so these Brothers and Sisters, who tortured them? Who killed them? Who tortured these 22 Police? Who killed them? These Brothers and Sisters who were disappeared, who has them?[2]

Look, this is why more and more in the World no one believes in the International Organizations, because they are turned into instruments of the Powerful, of those who impose their Policy, of those who impose their Policies of Death on the Peoples of Planet Earth.

They are the same ones who turned the Peoples of entire Continents into slaves, who transported them from Africa so that they might exploit the plantations of cotton of white Colonialists there in the North, in the United States of America. They are the same ones, the same Colonialists who have invaded, and continue invading, and destroying and ravaging entire Peoples.

These Organizations of the United Nations, in this case this Organization that has to do with Human Rights, is nothing more than an instrument of the Policy of Death, of the Policy of Terror, of the Policy of Lies, of the Policy of Infamy. They are despicable, despicable! And it is good that we Nicaraguans are getting to know them better. The barricades did not exist for them, look at that! They did not say a word in their Reports, and they completely ignored the deaths caused by the murderous Coup promoters.

Murderous coup promoters who came to disrupt the Tranquility of a People; who came not only to kill, to murder State Workers, Sandinistas, to destroy Hospitals, Schools, but who also came to destroy the Economy of our Country, and to destroy Social Security, so that Social Security might disappear and the Workers would not have Social Security. That is why they pounced with so much fury, that is why they pounced with so much rage, like rabid dogs, looking for a way to destroy Nicaragua!

Thanks to God, we have been able to recover Peace, Stability, Work, still not in the way in which Work had been developing, the Economy, before these terrorist activities; but yes, Nicaraguan Families have been able to recover what is more important than the material things, which is Peace and Security, in the Home, in the Neighborhood, in the Villages, on the Beach. And this Peace, this Security, we are not going to allow it to ever be snatched from the Nicaraguan People!

If there is Peace, if there is Security, then one can work and be able to improve the Economy, and make the Economy grow, and there will be more Work every day; the person who was left unemployed can find a job, as long as there is Security and Peace. That is why they are desperate and talk about barricades every day…Their minds are stuck!

And with Security, with Peace, well, it gets reactivated, the Economic Activity is revived, Employment is revived; there is still a way to go for us to have the same amount of employment that we had before this terrorist attack. And in these conditions, of course we are going to save Social Security, we are going to save Security for the Workers!

We know that we are now here, on the other hand, we are meeting one another in the Block, in the Neighborhood, in the Community, in the Village, in the Hamlet, meeting, calling all us, beyond Political Thought, Ideology.

We Sandinistas have a profound Commitment to Peace, and therefore at the moment of dialoguing, of looking for how to once again develop the Practice of Reconciliation, we cannot nor should we exclude anyone. The doors have to always be open to talk, to converse; so that those that we are seeing as evil, we quit seeing one another as evil, and so that we think that fighting among ourselves we do damage to ourselves, and we do damage to Nicaragua; and that reconciling, as we had done since 2007 until April 18, 2018, Nicaragua grows, progresses.

This is the Path, this is the Route, and this is the most effective Dialogue that can exist; the Dialogue that People practice with People, Family with Family. If with Dialogue, the Word, after that terrible war from 1979 to 1990 we were able to come together, with as much and more reason now it is conversing, dialoguing, People to People, that we are going to assure Peace, Stability, and Progress in our Country.

Meanwhile, you have to continue fighting for Justice, for Justice because these crimes cannot be left unpunished, and on this day on which we are receiving these signatures, that we are going to send to those blind people from the Human Rights Organization of the United Nations, and we are going to share them logically with the Sister Peoples who remain in solidarity with the Nicaraguan People.

We also want to send our Message to the Nicaraguans who are in Costa Rica. In Costa Rica there are thousands of Nicaraguans, for ages they have been there; even, the deportations of Nicaraguans are normal, common, Costa Rica regularly deports Nicaraguans, for example, this year they have deported 478 Nicaraguans.

Well, this is in their Norms, their Laws, we cannot, in that sense, say no, that is the decision of each Country; we are against what is discrimination against Nicaraguans, lack of respect for Nicaraguans, after they also serve the People of Costa Rica. This we cannot accept, that we have to condemn.

And in these months of April, May, June and July many Nicaraguans left for Costa Rica, there are some thousands of Nicaraguans who left for Costa Rica, the Costa Rican authorities say that it is a controlled migration, in other words, it is not a migration that would lead them to be alarmed, but a controlled migration, we are talking about 26,000 Nicaraguans.

Yes, 26,000 Nicaraguans, now afterwards it has slowed, the flow of Nicaraguans to Costa Rica has dropped, and I am sure that these 26,000 Nicaraguans have not gone to Costa Rica because they are criminals, I am sure that the 26,000 are not criminals. Most have left because, well, when there are tensions, when there are situations like these, a lot of people get afraid and look for Relatives that they have in the neighboring Country, look up friends that they have in the neighboring Country, and go there to wait to see what happens.

And what can we say to those who feel free from sin? They can return with the Security that no one is going to arrest them…they can return! And we are going to formally propose to the Costa Rica Authorities that they send us the List of those who are asking for refuge there, asylum, whatever it be, and to be able to say to them: Look, from all this List, these are the only ones that have accusations for crimes, because they tortured, because they killed, because they destroyed, because they burned.

We are going to tell them with complete clarity, and if they want them to stay there in Costa Rica, well let them stay in Costa Rica. Because those who are identified because they committed crimes, those will have to go to a judicial process and let the Judge finally say, let the Judge decide how the law is applied.

So we are going to formalize this Proposal to the Government of Costa Rica, that they present to us the entire List, and then even the corresponding Agreement can be signed with the guarantees, that those who do not have any legal proceedings here in our Country because they have not committed crimes, can return, and no one is going to touch them, no one is going to capture them, and they can be reunited with their families again.[3]

Today we are commemorating Pancasán, in this month of August how many dates, right? …The Literacy Campaign, we commemorate one of these days the Literacy Crusade, and I saw and heard Professor Orlando Pineda, a Historic Literacy Teacher, addressing the Message to all of you.

Pancasán is a Stage in the Heroic Struggle of the Nicaraguan People, of the Sandinista Front, and we had the opportunity in those months of being in Pancasán doing coordination with the Compañeros who were in the Camps in the mountains; even coordinating the transfer of Dr. Oscar Danilo Rosales, a Doctor who taught in the University of León.

And the Guerillas needed a Doctor, the Guerillas where Carlos was leading the Guerillas; our Brother Carlos Fonseca had suffered a violent attack from those sicknesses that water causes when it is bad, and of course since he was drinking water there from the mountains, he had a fever; and there was a need for a Doctor, and it was when Oscar Danilo made the decision to join the Guerillas of Pancasán, join as a Guerilla Doctor.

And there in Pancasán was when Carlos made the comment when Compañero Francisco Moreno was with one of the Peasants from the Guerillas, took the initiative of teaching them to read. The Peasant did not know how to read, so Carlos was the one who commented when he saw him; So teach them to read, you have to teach them to read. Carlos created the slogan there: “Teach them to read”, and that slogan became a reality in the Great National Literacy Crusade. It was turned into an immense blaze.

And these Brothers who gave their Lives in the mountains, in the Zone of Pancasán, they gave their Lives for Work and for Peace for Nicaraguans, for Work, for Peace and Justice for Nicaraguans, and among them our Brother Silvio Mayorga, who was one of the Founders of the Sandinista Front; our Brother Rigoberto Cruz, Rigoberto´s psuedonym was “ Pablo Úbeda”; Rigoberto, from La Libertad, Chontales, we are from the same Town, from La Libertad, Chontales; Rigoberto Cruz, also from the Historical Leadership of the Frente, Rigoberto, one of the Founders.

Francisco Moreno, the young man I mentioned to you, was a Secondary Student; Otto Casco, Fausto García, Oscar Danilo Rosales; Nicolás Sánchez, such a skillful and fierce Peasant that they called him “The Tiger of Cerro Colorado”, a mountain of the Zone of Pancasán; Carlos Reina, Ernesto Fernández, Carlos Tinoco.

And Peasant Leaders were killed and tortured, like Eufresino Dávila,  Leocadio Picado, Moisés Picado, Felipe Gaitán, Fermín Díaz and his five children, and Oscar Armando Flores who was tortured and then killed. More than one of them had to have known here the Women, Amada as well as Benigna, because Amada and Benigna, Benigna was the partner of Bernardino Díaz Ochoa, that Peasant Hero who was tortured and murdered.

And don´t believe that the children, the people that have relatives that were Killed, murdered, from those Times, passing through the period of the war imposed by the United States, up to these times, well, how many children are they? How many relatives? A ton, a ton. And how many children do you have? Even babies murdered. It is not one, it is not two, it is not three, they are dozens! Because in the mountains they obliterated whole Families, thinking that with that they were going to kill the Sandinista Front of National Liberation. Like the coup promoters, like the terrorists who were thinking that sowing terror and death they were going to kill the Sandinista Front.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, dear Nicaraguan Families, our Message continues being, it is true, the search for Justice for all, for all, and for all of Nicaragua, Peace and Work. So that there can be Work there has to be Peace. So that there can be Work there has to be Security. For there to be Education, that the children can go to School without their Parents concerned about what can happen to them, there has to be Security, Work and Peace, Peace and Work. To continue fighting for Work, Peace, Security, all of us together, Brother and Sister Nicaraguans, reconciling ourselves as God orders, reconciling ourselves to one another as Christ orders.

Sandino Lives, the Struggle Continues!

Free Fatherland or Death!

And that long live Nicaragua, Blessed and Always Free!


[1] Refers to ongoing effort by government to send its supporters around to the neighborhoods to get them to sign a petition asking the government to try the “terrorists” it claims are responsible for the human rights abuses. Some people claim it is a way for the government to identify at the neighborhood level who is supporting them and who is not, which makes people nervous as the situation gets increasingly polarized.

[2] Cf Section III, 3 “Abuses by Anti-Government Protestors” of the above report.

[3] Cf Sections III, 1. G.”Violation of Due Process Rights”, and Section IV “Investigations and Judicial Response” of cited report.

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