The esoteric writings of Rosario Murillo are baffling. There two spoonfuls of Marxism-Leninism, there a hint of social-democracy, there three spoonfuls of Christianity, there a pint of new-age utopia. It is like a bad brew, concocted by someone who is struggling to find the right mix for an audience that should be confused, troubled and rightly alarmed.
She spoke on January 9, 2019, about the Constitution of Nicaragua, and other topics addressing the “Compañeros” (Companions, a phrase that conveys the same meaning as “Comrades” in Cuba). The full speech was posted online by one of the multiple media outlets owned and directed by her children. Murillo and her husband and President, Daniel Ortega, dominate Nicaragua’s Congress, judiciary, electoral congress, the army and the police. The couple’s children, run the family’s business empire through a network of public-relations firms and media outlets that serve as an unofficial government information bureau. In this environment the echo of her words is deafening.
She claimed that yesterday was the 32nd Anniversary of the Constitution of Nicaragua. Not sure how the country survived so long without a constitution since it took a bunch of revolutionaries who were uneducated in governance and policy to produce a real constitution. “A Constitution,” she says, “that has placed us (Nicaragua) in modernity”. For Pete’s sake, the very position she occupies is forbidden by this constitution! As the wife of the president, she cannot occupy any official position in the administration, much less “Vice-President. But she says the values of the Constitution is what she and her husband defend every day. (Yeah, this is why they had to kill more than 500 unarmed people. The constitution required it!) And as far as “modernity” it is the last thing you think of when you visit Nicaragua. The country is suffering from mismanagement, corruption, and an economy only second worse than Haiti in the American Continent. Add to that the effects of the destruction and terror that followed the April 2018 uprising. Tourism, the main contributor to its economy has dwindled to almost nothing. People are scared, in hiding and the economy is on free fall. But you don’t hear any of that when you listen to “La Gran Hermana” (Big Sister).
Reading her speech, I had to fight off my gag reflex. She says the Constitution is for families (who are denied the right of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression), for children (who are indoctrinated in schools with revolutionary textbooks). She adds something that sounds eerily like the talk of the Communist Utopians “The New Man is in the Future, is the one we want to form in this new Society …”
Then, she goes into her reserve of bad (really bad) poetry. Responding to Where is the “New Man”?
It is on the edge, at the top of the hill that we are climbing …
There it is: grab it, find it, look for it and get it. “
The New Man is beyond where the normal Person is. The Man, the New Woman is beyond fatigue, beyond the fatigue of the legs. The Man, the New Woman is beyond the fatigue of the lungs. The Man, the New Woman is beyond hunger, beyond the rain, beyond the mosquitoes; beyond the loneliness of the mountain, beyond the extraordinary effort, there is the New Man, the New Woman!
In her long speech– which I’m so glad I didn’t have to be like the poor government workers, forced to listen to–she goes back to the tired arguments of Nicaragua’s “Historical Struggle against Imperialism and against all interference, against US interference in particular.”
She shares with us that Commander Daniel is traveling to Venezuela to be present at the inauguration, the “Dear Comrade Nicolas Maduro as president of Venezuela” yes, the man who has oppressed, killed, exiled and caused Venezuelans to starve is “building the future of Justice, the Future of Development, the Future of Welfare, the Future of Happiness, of the Families of This Great Homeland.” Something I find particularly annoying is her bad use of capitals. She capitalizes every other word in all official communications. It is as if she were saying, “I will not play by the rules, yes, not even grammatical rules!”
Another thing is that the only Sandinistas they applaud are those who died long ago. Those former “Compañeros” who are alive and have criticized her and her husband’s power grab are being as harassed, exiled and imprisoned as if they had never had a part in the so-called “glorious revolution”.
Now, the part that sounds like a fog from the depth of a psychedelic dream: She spoke about the upcoming “Forum of Love, Peace, and Solidarity with Nicaragua.” Seriously!? PEACE AND LOVE, Compañera Rosario. Tell that to your followers who cry for PLOMO (lead, bullets) for dissidents, for people in the prisons against whom you’ve leveled charges of “Terrorism” for singing the National Anthem and have suffered in isolation, threats, and beatings.
Attending the “Forum of Love” (gag!) is a list of 45 “intellectuals”, others from the far left communist organizations from all over Latin America and Europe and at least one Pentecostal pastor. Many of the people in the list represent organizations with names including words as “Union”, “Vanguard”, “Popular” and “Communist”. The reverse Midas touch is obvious in every country that has been plagued by the most defeated ideology in the history of humanity but it is hard to abandon the mythology of Socialism/Communism. It is particularly attractive, since they blame others for all the ills of society, never themselves, therefore, from the safe stages of “intellectual superiority” they spew this verbal diarrhea on the U.S. Interventionists, the coup-mongers, and the traitors. If only they wouldn’t exist, then Utopia could be a reality. Really? How does that match the stark results of a century of communist revolutions in the Soviet Union, China, and North Korea? Imposing the “Utopian” dream by force cost the lives of millions. Accept it people of the “Forum of Love”! It’s been tried and failed. Are you listening, representative of Spain who heads the “Solidarity Platforms Against Anti-imperialism and Peace of the Communist Party of Andalusia”? Communism has been found wanting. It crushes the human spirit, it destroys the individual desires of the natural aspirations of men and women to flourish in freedom. It fails at a nuclear level when it subjects masses to suffocating government control, fear, and poverty. Yes, the riches come only to the top communist brass, don’t you know it?
Her vagaries are too extreme to even comment on. She breaks into recitation of a poem by the Nicaraguan Poet Laureate Ruben Dario where he called the United States the “Invading Eagle” and then she concludes with a sermon of sorts, quoting the Bible and touting the achievements of the “Revolutionary Government” and reminding people that there will be city fairs, celebratory occasions for the people of Nicaragua who embrace peace and last but not least, announce the broadcast on January 21 of a very “successful soap opera” from Taiwan, “The New World”. Yes, we’ve heard it all. The Entertainer-in-Chief also wants to reign over your TV viewing habits. And this is just today. She will be back tomorrow with more of the same. Yes, she is insane, but so are the 45 people who will be showing up at Airport Agusto César Sandino soon to attend the Rosario Hosh-Posh show to listen to an aging hippy, turned revolutionary, turned politician, turned priestess.
The Organization of American States Group of Independent Experts Report is clear:
THE ORTEGA REGIME COMMITTED CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
The report could result in an investigation of Daniel Ortega, the Nicaragua Health Minister and other actors in the nine-month drama that has exposed the deep wounds that the autocratic government of Ortega and his wife and vice-president, Rosario Murillo, have inflicted in the psyche and life of Nicaraguans and human rights during the last twelve years of misgovernment.
In an absurd attempt to prevent the GIEI/IGIE from presenting the report, the presidential couple expelled the GIEI/IGIE from the country in a matter of 24 hours. The report was presented nonetheless the next day in Washington, DC at the Organization of American States and it contained damming information that will be utilized for further actions against the regime of Ortega and his wife. The report says that in the months following April 18, 2018, “The State of Nicaragua has carried out the type of conduct that in accordance with international law, should be considered as “crimes against humanity, particularly murder, arbitrary deprivation of liberty and the crime of persecution.” (Following are the highlights of the report prepared by the Nicaraguan-American Center for Democracy, Inc. http://www.nacd19a.org)
NICARAGUA REPORT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY I. ESTABLISHMENT OF IGIE Following recommendation number 3 of the Preliminary Observations of its working visit, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) called for the establishment of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE) for Nicaragua. IACHR and the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS) obtained the consent of the State of Nicaragua to create a mechanism for an international investigation into the acts of violence that have occurred since April 18 through an agreement signed on May 30. The IGIE had, among others duties, to analyze technically the lines of investigation and making recommendations for actions with respect to the different levels of legal responsibility. It was also charged with analyzing whether, in the course of investigations, all lines of inquiry were properly exhausted, and whether the appropriate legal principles were used to review possible illicit acts and the identity of their perpetrators. The IGIE also had the duty to issue recommendations for implementation aimed at guaranteeing that these objectives are achieved. The initial mandate of the IGIE was six months and could be extended by agreement of the Parties. IGIE members arrived in Managua on July 1 to begin their work and remained there through December 3rd. They were selected by the IACHR and appointed by the OAS Secretary General: Amerigo Incalcaterra, Sofía Macher, Claudia Paz y Paz, and Pablo Parenti, all highly qualified and widely recognized for their technical expertise and well-established track record in the protection of human rights. The day before the IGIE was to present its report in Managua, the government of Nicaragua ordered them to leave. The report was presented at IACHR offices in Washington on Friday, December 21st, and to the OAS Permanent Council on December 27th, 2018.
II. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS A. CONCLUSIONS Since the IGIE’s work began, the government of Nicaragua systematically denied information requested by the IGIE and did not facilitate contact, much less allow the development of working relationships, with other State institutions. As a result, the IGIE could not, throughout its mandate, carry out its duty of collaboration in a criminal investigation
OAS-IGIE NICARAGUA REPORT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY required under the Agreement. In addition, violence and state repression continued even after our work commenced, which further limited our ability to complete the task entrusted. Absence such cooperation and collaboration from Nicaraguan authorities, the IGIE implemented a methodology based primarily on gathering information from public sources and analyzing official documentation provided by the State to the IACHR, as well as other classified material. A significant number of documents were examined, including videos, photographs, and newspaper articles, along with other material from the mainstream and social media, much of which was recorded and distributed by citizens participating in the protests. Just in audiovisual material alone, more than 10,000 files were reviewed and analyzed.
Despite the obstacles arising of lack of cooperation from the State authorities and the safety risks confronted by sources consulted, the IGIE was able to gather, analyze, and verify a comprehensive body of information that enables us to reach reasonable conclusions to reconstruct facts as they occurred, as well as contextual circumstances, and to identify possible responsible parties. The IGIE was able to confirm that the State resorted to the abusive and indiscriminate use of force to repress peaceful protest demonstrations. A repressive pattern, which was verified at different times and places of Nicaragua, involved the use of firearms, including weapons of war, directly against demonstrators. Cartridges armed with lead bullets were used, with calibers matching various types of weapons, including combat assault rifles. These repressive actions occurred in different venues where protest actions were carried out: demonstrations in public spaces, universities, and street blockades. The IGIE was able to determine that the National Police is responsible for most murders and serious bodily injuries, and that police officers acted directly and in coordination with parapolice armed groups. The joint actions of the National Police, an official entity, together with parallel structures was another distinctive feature of the repression of the protests evident in the vast majority of repressive events.
The IGIE also finds that the State resorted to the arrest of hundreds of people in police raids that occurred during the protests. The detainees were only available to the National Police and suffered various forms of physical harm and abuse. Some complaints refer to situations of torture, although the IGIE could not verify that this was a pattern during the months of April and May. The IGIE also received varied evidence of discrimination to which injured protesters were subjected at public hospitals, ranging from refusal to provide medical care, even in cases of life-threatening injuries, to cases of insufficient or inadequate care, to the mistreatment of patients´ next-of-kin and other family members.
OAS-IGIE NICARAGUA REPORT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY These events occurred in a context in which State authorities at the highest level orchestrated public discourse that stigmatized protests and justified repression on political terms. The IGIE considers that numerous crimes committed in the context of the repression of demonstrations constitute crimes against humanity. This implies certain consequences, such as imprescriptibility, the non-statutory limitation through amnesty agreements or similar instruments aimed at precluding trials or convictions, the possibility of intervention of courts from other States under the principle of universal jurisdiction, and even the possible intervention of the International Criminal Court, in case the Security Council of the United Nations formally petitions the ICC or that the State of Nicaragua itself accepts ICC jurisdiction under art. 12.3 of the Rome Statute. The IGIE has also found that, although demonstrations were essentially peaceful, repression by the police and pro-government groups provoked violent responses from some protesters against the government, which resulted in deaths, injuries and attacks on private property. The IGIE did not find evidence that these acts of violence had been coordinated or planned. The State of Nicaragua has violated its duty of due diligence with respect to the investigation of cases of violent deaths from April 18 to May 30, 2018. Of the 109 cases of violent deaths recorded by the IGIE, only 9 have been prosecuted. At least 100 cases remain in impunity and, in many cases, steps essential for the clarification of the facts have been bypassed altogether, such as the adequate evaluation and preservation of crime scenes and the conduct of autopsies. In the 9 cases that have been prosecuted, 6 involve victims somehow related to the State of Nicaragua or to the governing political party. Furthermore, these investigations show serious weaknesses. The prosecution did not act in an objective or impartial way; it did not exhaust all lines of investigation, and the accused appeared to be presumed guilty even before conviction. That practice is not only unfair for the accused, but also to victims and their families, who are unable to obtain truthful answers. There are no instances whatsoever of any cases brought against State security forces, despite abundant evidence pointing to their responsibility. The criminal justice system, i.e., the Public Ministry and the Supreme Court of Justice, has acted as an additional piece in the scheme of human rights violations through the criminalization of citizens participating in the protests. Cases brought against students, countryfolks, and social leaders are based on anti-terrorism and anti-organized crime statutes, which is an illegitimate means of sanctioning and punishing political dissent among members of the opposition. All these cases feature very serious violations of the rights to personal liberty; to freedom from arbitrary arrest, and from the widespread use of preventive detention.