Rafael Solis’ resignation is the most important statement that’s been produced up until now from the regime’s functionaries, not only because he’s a Magistrate on Nicaragua’s Supreme Court, but also because he’s been a figure very close to the inner circle of power that surrounds the Ortega-Murillo regime.
We can speculate about the deep personal motivations behind his decision, but these aren’t relevant politically. What’s relevant are the reasons expressed in his public letter.
He didn’t opt for a discreet withdrawal, alleging reasons of health or any other of a personal nature, nor did he choose to leave by way of a silent getaway to minimize the consequences of his decision. Rather, he chose the path of a political rupture with the regime, based on their illegal and repressive actions from April 18th right up through today.
In this sense, it’s the first sign of a fracture at the highest level of the Ortega allies, and an indication of other fault lines and fissures within that apparently monolithic structure.
Solis denounces the establishment of a state of terror, the excessive use of force by paramilitary or by the police themselves, and the fact that no rights are respected. He classifies the Ortega regime as an absolute monarchy with two heads, and holds them responsible for the crisis with its social and economic consequences. He declares that their position against the Catholic Church is rooted in hate, and that the trials of the current prisoners are political – full of absurd accusations and sentences that have been decided in El Carmen [residency-bunker of Ortega and his wife].
And finally, he confirms that the government’s course of action is without reason, or rights, or majority support.
Most Nicaraguans have already known these things for a long time, but having them put forward by someone who comes heart and soul from within the dictatorial power structure echoes differently within those who because of faulty information or cowardice have closed their eyes to the dictatorship’s crimes. It encourages other functionaries who share his doubts and reasons to abandon ship and renounce a future of continuing as accomplices of this illegitimate regime.
In the same way, his statements refute the lie of a “soft coup”, and strip naked all those within and outside the country who out of self-interest try to defend the indefensible and justify the dictatorship’s brutal repression. The importance of Solis’ accusations is that they aren’t coming from the so-called “terrorists and coup promoters” but from a high official who up until yesterday was a militant in the Ortega ranks.
The FSLN members who have fed themselves on the false news coming out of the Ortega media should pay attention to Solis’ words, because they come from someone who’s been inside the heart of the power structure and knows first-hand what goes on there and what’s decided there. He knows from within the lies, the hypocrisy and the cynicism with which the Ortega-Murillo duo have tried to hide their crimes from their supporters.
After this declaration from Solis, they can no longer continue alleging ignorance, and they can’t lose sight of the fact that continuing to be tied to Ortega is to make yourself an accomplice, though it be a passive one, to the destruction of democracy and the rule of law, the squelching of free expression and the suffering of the families of the dead, the wounded and the political prisoners. They can’t evade the fact that continuing to back Ortega is to feed the hate and vengeance that are destroying our society and our country.
On the contrary, the FSLN members hold the possibility and the responsibility to contribute to the search for a peaceful and democratic solution to the tragic humanitarian, political and social crisis that the dictatorship has precipitated. It’s enough for them to recognize in the interior of their consciences the truth of what’s happening and to find the civic and moral courage to separate themselves from the regime. Without their support, the regime wouldn’t be able to sustain itself in power. By pulling away, they could bring us closer to a true national reconciliation based on justice, democracy and respect for the rights of all.