“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”
― Rosa Luxemburg
I don’t know where to begin to tell you what has occurred in Nicaragua since last week. It is a unique experience for us. I think it may be an evolution of the Nicaraguan people. I prefer saying evolution over revolution. Evolution has never been just a scientific theory. Ever since it was first formulated by Darwin, the theory has been used to advance a variety of political projects. Although evolution is a directionless process in nature, in ethics and politics the idea of evolution is joined with the hope of improvement.
And that is what the Nicaraguan people are doing…shouting to the world their need for improvements and human rights in their government. Tim Rogers describes it as a primal scream. I echo his sentiments. Nicaragua’s Primal Scream
I can’t simply describe the history that led up to the Nicaraguan people confronting Ortega with demands and protests. It is very complex. The best source of reliable news for me has been Confidencial. This article written by Carlos Chamorro explains what led up to the national protests, 25 deaths, and repression by the Nicaraguan government.
Nicaragua Says No to Repression or Back Room Deals
As legal residents of Nicaragua we are not permitted to become involved in Nicaraguan politics or protests, even though it does affect us. Many people have asked us how we feel and questioned our safety in Nicaragua. To be honest, when the police brutality against UPOLI University students, the murder of a journalist broadcasting a Facebook live video in Bluefields, and the photos posted by local friends of mine in Managua occurred, we were fearful!
Although, I was receiving regular updates from the U.S. Embassy in Managua, when the embassy announced they were ordering families of U.S. Embassy employees and authorizing some staff and officials to evacuate, I was in full panic mode. Then, it was announced that they were evacuating the Peace Corp.
At that moment, I felt somewhat abandoned by my country. They are evacuating and we are staying??? To be fair, we live on Ometepe Island, the Island of Peace. In the past revolution and Iran/Contra war, the islanders tell me that although there was some burning, and looting, it was much calmer here than on the mainland. We are cutoff from the turmoil.
But, that presented some problems, too. So many “what ifs” went through our heads. What if they cut off the power? What if we don’t receive supplies from the mainland? What if the ferries stop running? So, Ron took me to town to buy supplies after we heard that Pali grocery store was crazy with people stocking up.
Surprisingly, Sunday afternoon was a typical Sunday. It is the brutally hot time of the year, and the streets were empty except for a few stray dogs. The MegaSuper grocery store was well-stocked, there was no evidence of panic anywhere. I sighed a big sigh of relief and we headed home to hunker down.
Today is Wednesday. Schools reopened around the country. U.S. Embassy wardens in each department report that it is business as usual. People are exhausted and recovering from the stress of this violent week.
What happens next? We don’t have a clue. Carlos Chamorro says, “It is useless to try to predict the outcome of this crisis if the government continues to resort to repression, the only sure thing, for now, is that after the announced Social Security reforms there will be a Before and After, a true watershed in the relations between the Ortega dictatorship and Nicaraguan society.”
So we wait, we continue to support the Nicaraguan people, and hope for a peaceful outcome and mediated resolution. We are safe. We are trying to escape from the wicked heat at this time of the year. But, there are signs that the rain is coming. The parrots are chattering up a storm in our mango trees and the clouds are building. Soon the rains will wash away our fears and anxieties, and leave us with hope for peaceful resolutions for the Nicaraguan people.