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To Monsignor Alvarez and Nicaragua’s Banished Priests

A poem dedicated to the banished religious leaders

Catholic priests

The Catholic priests and other support people banished to the Vatican by the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship on January 14th. Photo from social media

16 de enero 2024

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They arrive in Rome,

that undesired journey.


In exchange for release from the harsh prison cell,

the vile and soulless seclusion,

they had to accept banishment.

Shorn of their homeland,

declared guilty without having sinned

they leave loyal flocks,

those known beloved faces,

the souls they staunchly nurtured.

They leave the green landscapes, the downpours,

the life they knew, their household possessions,

the daily tastes and teachings,

All a cruel design of cunning rulers,

feverish minds

who in the name of the God they call their own

act as devils.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times. To get the most relevant news from our English coverage delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to The Dispatch.

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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.

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