This Friday we woke up with the sad news of the closing of the El Nuevo Diario daily newspaper’s operations. The Ortega-Murillo dictatorship has achieved its objective: curtail fundamental rights and public liberties. As the Nobel Prize for Literature, Mario Vargas Llosa told Angela Saballos: “Sandinismo is incompatible with democracy.”
On repeated occasions I have not hidden my bitter criticism of Sandinista double standards. Today they force the closing of a newspaper’s operations, and it should fill us with indignation not only for the economic consequences that the closing of a company implies, but also for the social and political connotation of an independent media closing due to a customs’ blockade (on paper, ink and other supplies) that has been imposed for more than a year by the dictatorship.
The FSLN incorporated Pedro Joaquin Chamorro Cardenal (1924 – 1978) into the preamble of the Constitution as “martyr of public liberties” through a decree of the National Assembly in 2012. Pedro Joaquin was recognized for his work in favor of public freedoms during “Somocismo.”
However, the FSLN since April 2018 has maintained a policy of besiegement, harassment, censorship of the independent press, of its journalists (many in exile) and occupied the offices of Confidencial and 100% Noticias, until today in a de facto expropriation. This is the double standard of the FSLN.
And in that way, as Sergio Ramirez said: “The long-defended principles of freedom of the press and freedom of expression have also come to be underestimated and set aside.” And, further on he adds in his speech Rule of Law and Freedom of Expression: “to remain in power, and silence its opponents, and the media that expresses the opinion of the opposition or discovers the erroneous behaviors of power, they take on the exclusive right to reason and the ownership of the truth.”
This is a crucial moment in the history of Nicaragua. This dictatorship we face today does not allow criticism, nor does it accept an opposition. It wants to silence anyone through bullets, prison and exile.
We would never have imagined these attacks on the independent press since the bombing of La Prensa newspaper on June 11, 1979. We should recall Ortega’s commitments in the Declaration of Principles of Chapultepec of 2001, where it says: “there should be no law or act of power to restrict freedom of expression or of the press, whatever the communication media be.”
To be silent before this infamy of the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship is to be in agreement with its repressive policy. We should denounce this policy and reaffirm that freedom of the press does not admit regulations of any kind.
We are all “El Nuevo Diario”!
The author is an exiled Nicaraguan university student