We are living in terrible times. I don’t remember when was the last time I read a happy headline anywhere, especially in social media…injustice…terrorism… racism…pollution… but you know what really sucks?
People killing their own people. This is what is happening in my country, caught in gruesome genocide, and the world is SILENT. This is happening in Nicaragua, la tierra que me vio nacer. My heart is heavy with sadness and anger, because my people, my family, my childhood friends are fighting for their lives and the world is not talking about it. I switch the channels, browse through local newspapers and this war that started on April 18th is making NO major headlines. Every day there is BLOODSHED. Last week the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported that 212 Nicaraguans have been killed and close to 1,400 injured (not including those detained or missing), all this in a span of two months. This war doesn’t pardon anyone. It doesn’t matter the day of the week, the time of the day. On Mother’s Day, close to 20 people including children, were killed by government Death Squads while participating in a peaceful protest. Last weekend a family with young kids, and an unborn child, were burnt alive for refusing to open their door to government snipers and paramilitaries. This past Sunday we woke up to the news that a 14-month-old was one of the latest sniper victims. This is Daniel Ortega. Have you ever heard of him and the Sandinistas? Daniel is a very special one, our Lider Maximo of Nicaragua, the very worst of the Latin American caudillos. Ortega, his wife and co-ruler Chayo Murillo, and the rest of their nepotistic gang, are breaking my country to pieces.
It’s a sad story…does anyone out there care?!?
I don’t think so.
Thanks to social media and the few local opposition leaders, who include fearless university students and key Catholic clergy, local news is quietly trickling out and being echoed by us Nicaraguans abroad. However, our collective voices are not loud enough for the noisy world stage. Our wailing cry for democracy is not enough to prevent the slaughter of innocent people and my country from crumbling to ashes.
I have lived in the US for 25 years, yet Nicaragua and my country pride are always alive. It saddens me that an online petition to sanction Ortega has merely half the number of signatures than a petition to sanction United Airlines. Ok, I get it. We are a small, minuscule developing country, but the scope of this crisis is catastrophic.
As Americans, when we complain about the small things, like lack of customer service, bad food, or mediocre experiences, think about the Nicaraguans out there fighting for their lives. The US system was created in such a way that power is sheltered, and you are free to voice your opinions and actions. Let’s all stop complaining and have some perspective — four-year election cycles happen fast. Our Tyrant-King Ortega, on the other hand, has held a firm grip on power for the last 11 years, now in his second incarnation as a capitalist tyrant, after first being power for the entire 1980s as a Socialist revolutionary.
So, I am upset at the media. I am upset at the world, and because I want to pitch in and do my part, I invite you to read up and research on what’s really going on in Nicaragua and spread the news. There is some occasional reporting on the situation, especially from The Washington Post, BBC, Al Jazeera, El Pais and other European outlets. Prominent Nicaraguans like Bianca Jagger, a human rights activist, are helping bring this tragedy to light.
Until 69 days ago, my country was one of the safest in the Americas. Now, that has suddenly all changed and Nicaraguans are fighting for their lives and their freedom.
These are my people.
I ask that you please spread the news, help me create more awareness of this dire situation, write your local representative in Congress and keep Nicaragua in your prayers.
This is a cry for help.
— — — — — —
Tim Rogers, fearless news source, Nicaraguan Dispatch, Twitter @nicadispatch
Silvio José Baez, Obispo Auxiliar de Managua (Bishop in Managua), Twitter @silviojbaez
Red Funides — local organization helping those impacted by the ongoing unrest (all Spanish)
American Nicaraguan Foundation — reputable organization which has been established for decades and now has shifted focus to help the victims.