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Gioconda Belli’s Questions for Rosario Murillo

Do you want to go down in history like Margaret Thatcher, who let IRA members in prison die during a hunger strike?

These are my questions for Rosario Murillo

Gioconda Belli

24 de noviembre 2019


At times, one must ask one’s self what make another person act the way they do. These are my questions for Rosario Murillo, who, it appears, is in charge of the unbridled repression occurring in Nicaragua:

1- Rosario, doesn’t it seem that a government such as yours, which has freed common prisoners by the thousands, could have liberated 136 prisoners more, who, according to your judges, were jailed for “common crimes”, thus avoiding the mothers’ hunger strike?

2- Did it not occur to you that, in being “merciful”, Christian and full of solidarity with these mothers, you would have avoided being denounced and condemned by the national and international communities?

3- We know that you have been strongly impacted, as have we, by the direction in which the country – which you thought was doing so well – is actually headed. Didn’t you realize that the violent repression of the first protests was what unleashed all that came later?

4- And prior to that, didn’t it occur to you that the concentration of power, and forcing the State under the control of one party would fail this time around, just as it did in the 1980’s?

5- Haven’t you realized that you are forcing your supporters to commit unthinkable acts that destroy the morality and civility of that peace about which you preach incessantly – acts such as attacking religious temples and striking priests who, for however how much you dislike them, are still representatives of the Catholic God, God of the majority, whose words you use constantly as the catechism of a religion made in your likeness?

6- Didn’t you realize that, with each passing day, it was increasingly possible that one of the mothers or Father Edwing Roman in Masaya might die? Do you not remember that the death of someone whom the people admire and love can bring down the Walls of Jericho, and signal the beginning of the end, as in the example of the assassination of Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, your former boss?

7- Don’t you realize that the latest 13 compatriots imprisoned by your obedient police force, with falsified proof, are a symbol of the impunity that threatens all of us, who, based on our opinions, and within our rights to do so, do not agree with your ideal of power, of progress, nor with that peculiar way you all have of seeing peace as being at war?

I present you with these questions because I doubt that anyone in your circle has dared to ask you. You are surrounded by people who fear and obey you. The loneliness of power prevents you from seeing into the distance or at the very least, interpreting correctly the displays of solidarity and the rebellion of the populace.

I still don’t understand why the resignation of Evo Morales led you to imagine that you had to up the ante to the point of increasing tension and harassment to these levels of hysteria. Do you not know that repression results in more rage and greater calls for justice? Didn’t you experience repression under Somoza and its consequences?

Do you want to go down in history like Margaret Thatcher, who let members of the IRA die in prison during a hunger strike – Margaret Thatcher, one of the world’s most enduring emblems of a conservative for the right?

I believe that those who govern cannot be “deaf as a doorknob” – neither in peace nor in war.


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Gioconda Belli

Gioconda Belli

Poeta y novelista nicaragüense. Ha publicado quince libros de poemas, ocho novelas, dos libros de ensayos, una memoria, y cuatro cuentos para niños. Su primera novela “La mujer habitada” (1988) ha sido traducida a más de catorce idiomas. Ganadora del Premio La Otra Orilla, 2010; Biblioteca Breve, de Seix Barral (España, 2008); Premio Casa de las Américas, en Cuba; Premio Internacional de Poesía Generación del ‘27, en España y Premio Anna Seghers de la Academia de Artes, de Alemania; Premio de Bellas Artes de Francia, 2014. En 2023 obtuvo el premio Reina Sofía de Poesía Iberoamericana, el más prestigioso para la poesía en español. Por sus posiciones críticas al Gobierno de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo, fue despatriada y confiscada. Está exiliada en Madrid.