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Nicaragua needs more civic heroes

Arturo McFields, who has been inside the spheres of the regime, said clearly that there is weariness in the State. I certainly believe that

Arturo McFields at the presentation of credentials as Nicaragua’s Ambassador to the OAS. Photo: Flickr/OAS.

Gioconda Belli

28 de marzo 2022


The public resignation of the Ambassador of Nicaragua to the OAS, Arturo McFields, had in these times, the impact of armed guerrilla actions of the past. We were moved because it was, without a doubt, an act of civic courage that earned the attention that the world pays to heroic actions throughout history.

This heroism, without bullets, based on a personal decision of principles, shows that a single person can weaken and expose dictatorships. The regime intimidates us with acts of repression, tries to make us feel powerless, but McFields’ action opens a path and shines a light of hope.

Personal heroism is resistance. It does not need to be accompanied by machine guns and weapons of war. To revolt against an evil and cruel power such as the one ruling our country today, has a cost, but the cost will be lower and shorter to the extent that more people participate.

Arturo McFields, who has been inside the spheres of the regime, said clearly that there is weariness in the State. I certainly believe that. Merciless acts of cruelty have not been be part of our character. The behavior that we have seen since 2108 to now, by the “loving Sandinismo” that Murillo preaches and is endorsed by her husband, is not typical of our mentality. It wasn’t to deny medical attention to the wounded in the April revolt or seeing Alvarito Conrado die because he was not received at the Cruz Azul hospital, or Gerald Vásquez because they did allow an ambulance to pass to the Divine Mercy Church while he was dying.

The snipers’ viciousness aiming to kill in the thorax or head, the violence with which the official discourse has wanted to justify an armed campaign by the State with all its resources against unarmed people, demonizing a few reprehensible actions of angry boys at the roadblocks.

None of the many protests that have taken place in Latin America in recent years: in Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, even Venezuela, have resulted in so many deaths, so many filmed testimonies of excessive use of force and cruelty as those seen in Nicaragua and critically exposed by the IACHR, the GIEI, Amnesty International, among others. These actions earned the Ortega-Murillo regime repudiation to the point of leading them to think there was no way they could win the November 2021 elections.

They then contrived a malevolent conspiracy to blame opposition leaders and candidates to take them out of the game. What we have seen and learned of the nefarious, cruel, and sadistic manner in which they have mistreated the El Chipote prisoners, all of them innocent in the eyes of most Nicaraguans, has filled the cup of wickedness.

The people know the persons who they have listened to for months express their intentions and criticism openly. They know the associations and business leaders. They know Cristiana and Pedro Joaquín, Violeta Granera, Juan Sebastián, Felix, Arturo Cruz, Dora María, Tamara, Ana Margarita. All of them. According to a Cid-Gallup survey, 78% of Nicaragua are against them being imprisoned. But what has the regime shamelessly done? Inflict on them the worst psychological punishment imaginable; keep them isolated in 2 x 2 cells, in the dark or with light all the time, without blankets, with nothing to read, without communication with their families, malnourished, harassed with interrogations day and night.

Elderly men and women pushed to the limit of their strength, locked up worse than animals, skinny, starving. Hugo Torres had to die kidnapped in some hospital in secret, worse than a criminal, after getting sick in prison, so that others with very deteriorated health would be sent to house arrest.

Tamara and Suyen, mothers of small children forbidden to communicate with them for almost a year. Shocked, we have learned about the prison regime designed from El Carmen for innocent people. The inhumanity and injustice with which they fabricate charges and impose long sentences, and of course, prohibiting them to aspire to public office, which is what the regime is most concerned about.

Arturo McFields has been one of those Nicaraguans who has not been able to remain silent in the face of this display of perverse cruelty. There are many other Nicaraguans who could also do so, raise their voice, condemn the abuses of power, the destruction of our national spirit, and demand the end of a regime that offends our notion of humanism and justice.

The dictatorship is sustained on feeble legs. Complicit cowardice must end. We need more civic heroes like Arturo McFields.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times


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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.