Gioconda Belli is a well known poet and writer and participated in the overthrow of the Somoza government as a Sandinista. She tells her story in the book, “The Country Under My Skin: A Memory of Love and War” (Anchor:2003)
OPEN LETTER TO ROSARIO MURILLO
(translation of letter by Gioconda Belli June 17, 2018)
It is true that your communications policy since you came to government has been governed by that maxim that “a lie sufficiently repeated becomes the truth.” For eleven years you have sown the wind in this country, turning those not on your side into despicable adversaries, and proclaiming a country of solidarity that only exists in your imagination. But you have sown the wind and you are now harvesting the whirlwind. Lying has been a mistake. Now all the lies, like black ants, are chasing you.
And nevertheless the spectacle of falsified truth does not stop. What horrible days these have been: death after deaths, police leading hordes of paramilitaries, young people disappeared, beaten! So much violence culminated yesterday in the Dantesque and very sad fire where an entire family perished with small children, and where enraged people burnt the people they felt were responsible.
I do not know what we might expect from you who did not show any mercy with your daughter, your own flesh and blood. But concerning the pain of more than 170 people dead, you have not stopped, you lie without meaning nor scruples to orchestrate, at the National Dialogue roundtable, before the Bishops and suffering people, the cynical and false discourse of the Foreign Minister Moncada and the other participants from your government. The rehearsed script that they follow has your seal: you try to absolve yourselves from blame and present those attacked as aggressors; another case of the doves shooting at the shotguns.
In that same dialogue, without any shame, Chancellor Moncada read a press release of the State Firemen about the fatal fire. But we are a small country and everything is known: the Volunteer Firefighters clarified that it was they, and not those who signed the press release, who responded to the call from the population. They were the ones and the neighbors, as we saw in the video, who tried to put out the flames. But the population that was helping were accused by the false firemen of having obstructed their work.
Another one of your representatives, Edwin Castro, on Friday left at the end of the session, avoiding journalists with the excuse that in León they were burning the tax office. It ends up that those who were going to burn it- paramilitaries – arrived at the site after his announcement, and it was the insurgent population who prevented the fire. The deceit was not well coordinated. And we are all witnesses. We have seen it like we have seen trucks empty out the State offices that later killers burn down in order to blame the youth who are protesting.
I would like to recommend, Rosario, that you go out of your enclosure in El Carmen to speak with the people that you claim to represent.
Pull up your Mercedes Benz jeep to the barricades of heroic Masaya to find out what they think about you and your husband. Don´t be afraid. The people are not murderous, your people are not murderers. The murderers are armed and follow the orders of your commandante partner. We have seen them pass through the neighborhoods in Hilux pickups, behind the police units, armed to the teeth and with the license to kill that you have given them. Eighteen pickups loaded with those paramilitaries escorted by the Police, passed by the Santa Rosa neighborhood. They were filmed in that neighborhood and in others that have been under siege and terrorized. None of this is hidden, as is also not hidden where the sinister people live who with unheard of violence have wanted to control this country.
For eleven years you have pronounced with obsessive constancy sickly sweet speeches of love for Nicaragua and love for this people. You have gone around ordering and disordering our system of Government, trampling on our freedom and democracy. But the truth has its way of coming out. The last CID Gallup Survey registered that 70% of the population wants you to resign and leave. Look how quickly the true feelings of the Nicaraguan people are revealed when they lose fear and dare to speak the truth of their hearts.
Rosario, on June 14 did you dare to watch any TV channel that was not one that repeated your discourse? Did you see the national response to the call for a general strike? Did you see the closed businesses, the desolate streets in the cities and towns of the country? That day the people shouted with their silence how tired they are of falsehoods, even of that strange religiosity with which you send us to pray, while your people threaten with death the brave Bishops who have defended the people. And what do you think motivated so many fellow citizens to fell the metalic trees that you imposed on us as excessive and wasteful scenery in Managua? Happy crowds in revelry knocking down the psycodelic symbols of a country that you have tried to personalize, as if it belonged to you.
Let me remind you that the beatings that your old “boys” of the JS (Sandinista Youth) gave the students – that we all saw live and in full color thanks to cell phone cameras – was what unleashed this rebellion. Dressed with tshirts of Peace and Love with your signature and that of Daniel, they kicked and beat defenseless people. If you would see those videos and those of the dead students in the following days shot in the head, maybe you would feel more shame for that colorful campaign that no one believes now that #Nicaragua wants peace, #Love for Nicaragua. Nicaragua does want peace, but not the peace that you preach and that has cost 170 deaths, more than two thousand wounded, and dozens of disappeared in just two months.
What lack of decency that later your delegates to the dialogue arrive naming the few casualties that you have suffered! Your deaths are also to be lamented, there is no doubt, but what did you expect? He who kills by the sword dies by the sword. It is the terrible consequence of the black cloud of violence that you have blown mercilessly over our country. How can you, Rosario, send the Minister of Health, Sonia Castro, to say that no one had been prevented from entering the hospitals, that no one has been denied aid, when there is proof and the dead who testify how medical attention was denied to the young students? Why don´t you talk to the Mom of Álvaro Conrado, 15 years of age, who died because he was denied access to the Cruz Azul Hospital? She will tell you the truth, as will other mothers tell you if you dared to listen to them. I saw Minister Castro deny the entrance of the medical students to the hospital of León as a reprisal for having participated in the protests. The rejection of the hospitals is recorded in video by the population. They are not fantasies of the victims.
You are the only one who sticks by propagating fantasies that do not appear at all like reality. Through the TV channels and media of your family, since the first day, the dirtiest propaganda techniques have been put to use to turn the disgruntled population into “right wing criminal bands”. It is an old scheme: turn those who are protesting into enemies to be able to kill them, and ask others to kill them mercilessly. These techniques of dehumanizing a supposed “enemy” were used effectively against the Jews in Nazi Germany. In this way here Nicaraguans have been thrown against Nicaraguans inventing coups, conspirations and other similar motives that only try to hide the light of the sun with a fingertip.
That sun of freedom that moves this civic and uarmed revolution, haven´t you realized that it has spread through the entire national territory? The people have self convened themselves without more leadership that that of their community leaders and their cry is “have them leave.”
I do not have much hope that the cruelty and viciousness would abate that is attempted to disguise in sheep´s clothing. It is a shame that you have decided to use your intelligence and capacity to organize to take us to this terrible crossroads. With your caligraphy, that with which you have marked all of Nicaragua, you have written the blackest page in the history of the FSLN, you have tarnished your legacy, you have killed again all the heroes and martyrs that fought so that in Nicaragua there would not be another dictatorship.
In the fields and mountaions, in the cities and towns there are millions of eyes watching you, some incredulous, others horrified, but now no one afraid. What we are seeing we will never forget. We will never forget that Mother´s day, during the largest march that the city has seen, and in the other marches in the provinces, eighteen innocent people died. Do you think that you will convince us that the people in the march shot themselves?
This is not the first letter that I have written you, Rosario. I have been witness more than once to your mania to distort things, and your ability to twist reality. I admit that I did not think that power would so absolutely destroy your poetry, that the woman who I gave refuge to in the past would squander not only her present, but also her future.
Neither you nor Daniel will pass into history in the colorful and magnificent page that you have imagined. Neither history nor the people will ever absolve you.