We were reluctant to believe that they would, but they have. Ortega and Murillo, lords of the gallows and knife, have dared to decree the confiscation of the Central American University in Nicaragua, accusing it of having functioned during the 2018 protests “as a center of terrorism.” Another accusation without evidence, made almost six years after that civic rebellion; one more revenge of the couple that does not cease to curtail the thinking bases of the nation.
The UCA was the last autonomous university left in the country. Founded in 1960 and administered by Jesuits, it was the most professional study center with the most regional and international prestige. This August 16, a procession of teaching and administrative staff has left the campus that was the scene of debate, full classrooms, brilliant chairs. A disastrous scene because that university was an emblem of freedom, of critical thought. The regime has confiscated without appeal their facilities, their assets, their bank accounts. The university joins the other icons of the country’s intellectual tradition that have been stripped since 2018: La Prensa newspaper with its hundred years of existence, the Language Academy founded in 1928, literary festivals such as the Poetry Festival of Granada, and Central America Cuenta, publishers of children’s books, think tanks, all the independent media. He joins those of us who have been exiled and denationalized for thinking differently.
The closure of the UCA is not isolated from the regime’s persecution of the Catholic Church, which has had all of its bank accounts frozen, leaving the dioceses without funds to cover their expenses, as well as being denied freedom Bishop Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, sentenced for being who he is to 26 years in prison.
From exile, I am witnessing the death by suffocation of my country. What is being committed against Nicaragua is one of the cruelest murders: the dictatorship has decreed death to the independence of thought, death to the intellectual, journalistic, artistic and literary tradition of a country that shone like a small, green emerald in the slim waist of America and who gave an example of rebellion and courage by refusing the various forms of submission that interventions and tyrants imposed on him.
The desire for revenge against the popular civic rebellion of 2018 has become the driving force behind the dispossession actions of Rosario Murillo and Daniel Ortega. They justify this outrageous and criminal act with anti-imperialist rhetoric that contradicts the country’s economic reality: the United States is its largest trading partner and the source of most of the family remittances that keep the economy afloat. The ruling family and its close circle have amassed immense fortunes. They declare themselves in favor of Russia, Iran and China, but these have not worked for them economically. A US decision would be enough for the Nicaraguan economy to go backwards and stagnate, but the Biden Administration fears the increase in immigration, and alludes to humanitarian reasons. The Ortegas have been masters of falsification, defending a savage and predatory capitalism, while spouting radical speeches and fooling a few leftist dogmatists, appropriating a revolution, desecrating the graves of those who died for the freedom they now destroy.
Every day one dies a little, but this is the night of the soul. I never thought I would witness how my country’s head is cut off.
Subscribe to continue reading
Read without limits