As a Nicaraguan, I cannot remain silent in the face of our vice president Rosario Murillo’s rudeness towards Spain, a country that for many years has shown solidarity and friendship to Nicaragua through thick and thin.
Certainly, the Spanish colonizers were cruel and bloody, as were the Belgian, German, English, French and Asian colonizers. Europe paid a high price in World War I and II and other independence struggles, for its colonial adventures and imperial expansionism. Their very battles led them to the conclusion that democracy and human rights should be essential conditions for the peaceful and civilized existence of nations. Europe has made very significant progress in that direction.
Therefore, Murillo’s claims, that those nations are not fit to make demands and criticize a failing government like hers, arise from a vision that only seeks to raise a demagogic smokescreen to hide her and her husband’s arbitrariness.
If colonial times left us some nefarious inheritance, it was precisely caudillismo, the faith in the “strong man” as an ineffable and infallible leader, to whom obedience, loyalty and admiration are owed. This inheritance, also received from the pre-colonial systems of all-powerful caciques and Tlatoani, is one that has plagued Latin America since Independence from Spain.
Our peoples have suffered dictators and modern national savagery all too much like those of the colony. Central America, in the next bicentennial, will have only one country that can authentically celebrate Independence; that country is Costa Rica. The rest of us have not ceased to be whipped by bad governments or by attempts at change frustrated by those who tried to carry them out.
Mrs. Murillo confronts Spain with its internal problems, as if they disqualified it from imploring and trying to influence the well-being of a country with which it has had deep cultural ties from Rubén Darío to the present day. Spain is not interfering; it is advocating for democracy and Human Rights, two supranational values in the community of nations.
It is interesting that Murillo lists problems in Spanish politics, which she reads as she sees fit and qualifies with her customary rhetoric of chaotic accumulation of adjectives and insults. If she thinks she knows the problems of Spain, it is because its citizens are free to express themselves and its journalists are active agents in their task of monitoring and questioning power from the ground up.
Spain has a citizenry organized in parties that dispute and criticize each other in defense of their programs and interests. Spain respects the right of Spaniards to disagree, to participate in politics. Problems with Catalonia, which are complex for Spaniards themselves, cannot be judged in black and white. Besides if their government fails, it must either amend its failures or submit to the judgment of its parliament or to the votes of its citizens; votes counted by independent powers in transparent and supervised processes. The Spanish social process is dynamic and in it all tendencies and voices are manifested. That is its virtue.
Mrs. Murillo could blame any country in the world for its past or present, but she cannot claim the status of a sovereign country, because in Nicaragua she and her husband have made sure that we are once again a colony where they both act like royalty, owners of the lives and destinies of Nicaraguans, without regard for their own Constitution, the laws and even the norms of respect for its citizens Human Rights. Nicaragua is a signatory of treaties and commitments that oblige it to submit to the rules of peaceful coexistence accepted in the community of nations. It is on these that they are being called to respond.
Rosario Murillo and Daniel Ortega do not cease to shame us before the world with their teenage behavior and public tantrums.
I am not wrong in saying that most Nicaraguans do not subscribe to those pompous and insulting “official” statements of a Nicaragua that, for the people from whom sovereignty emanates, has ceased to be sovereign, and suffers under these new home-grown colonizers.
This article was originally published in Spanish by Confidencial and translated by Havana Times