Periodically, I have written letters between the U.S. and Nicaragua through two made-up pen pals. The correspondence is intended to reflect the views that a U.S. citizen might have about his/her own country, as well as Nicaragua. What follows is the latest of these, a response to a letter from Nicaragua on July 1.
Thank you very much for your last letter. My whole family enjoyed hearing from you and hearing that you are safe. Like you, we have had some very heavy storms here in our part of the country. The rains have not really affected the crops very much, but there has been some flooding in towns close to rivers. You know all about that! I remember the stream that flows down the hillside near your home and how it swelled during the heavy rains that fell during my visit a few years ago!
I read with interest every day about the confrontations in Nica. Mostly we are getting our information from La Prensa, since the U.S. news outlets provide very little coverage of events in Nica. I am really sad to learn of police shooting citizens who are protesting. Here, there is usually no worry about the police unless maybe you are African American or Hispanic. Don’t worry- if you ever come for a visit we’ll make sure you are safe with us!
I am disappointed to hear of the allegations made against the president of your country. I don’t know whether he has told the truth about the latest violence against the protesters. We do know here what it is like to have an elected leader who lies. Our current president tells lies or misrepresentations most of the time. At one of his campaign rallies, he made 98 statements and 76% of them were either false or misleading! The Washington Post newspaper has counted up more than 3,000 lies told in 500 days. So we know what it feels like to have a leader who says whatever suits him. The good news is that the press reports on it and the people get to decide what they believe.
I am particularly sad about the deaths of so many young people there. I have met so many wonderful people, just like you, with beautiful families and loving homes. To think that even one of these has been torn apart by violence is hard to imagine. Maybe you have heard about some Nicaraguan families being separated by the U.S. Border patrol at the Mexican border. The difference here is that the children are mostly young- under age 15- which makes the separation almost as hard as what you have experienced. But each one of us is somebody’s son or daughter, so the pain is universal. I hope that the killing stops.
You asked me about human rights in this country and whether the U.S. is somehow less interested in them than before. I cannot say for sure, because of course I am not involved in making policy. I know that I still care about it. But the politicians end up doing whatever suits their own interests, which is why I haven’t even voted in recent years. It’s not like I have any voice. I think we still care about rights, but I don’t know. What organization was it that the U.S. dropped out of? I did not hear about that. But I have read that our president continuously asked his top advisers about overthrowing Venezuela’s president to stop the growing problems that his leadership of that country has created. I think maybe that has to do with human rights there, but I’m not sure.
I can’t imagine another war in Nicaragua! It’s too hard to think about the people I’ve met and the beautiful places I’ve seen being in the middle of bombs and guns. And all the great shopping markets, like at Masaya. I don’t think a civil war will happen, do you? What would you do? I think I agree with your brother, that the conflict is mostly in Managua and some of the other big cities. Getting involved could be dangerous! And would you really want to fight? In the end, I always feel like things will work out the way they’re meant to be.
I would love to come back to Nicaragua for a visit! I hope that things settle down there and that you can get back to selling your harvest without any trouble. Do you know anything about NAFTA? I was going to ask you if were affected by it. Our president thinks it’s really hurting the U.S. and he wants to re-do the agreement. I suppose that would not be good for you, but maybe Nicaragua has been benefitting from it for a long time and it should be evened out. Oh well, I just wondered.
Our family thinks of you often and wishes you peace and prosperity. I hope you will write to us again.