Seven opposition political organizations, including the Civic Alliance and the Blue and White National Unity (UNAB), signed on Tuesday, February 25, to the founding of the National Coalition, a platform that aims to force the Ortega Murillo regime to restore democratic freedoms, free all political prisoners and achieve an electoral reform that leads to free and transparent elections.
In total there were seven organizations that signed on in the well-attended event held at the Hispamer Bookstore amid an armed siege by riot police that surrounded the building.
The initial political organizations in the Coalition were the Civic Alliance, the UNAB, the Campesino Movement, the Democratic Restoration Party (PRD), the Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC), the Yatama indigenous party and the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN). The Citizens for Freedom Party (CxL) did not join the Coalition on the grounds that they have to consult more with their structures.
“We are those that came,” said Carlos Tünnermann, leader of the Civic Alliance, referring to CxL and other organizations that have not yet joined. That does not mean that they cannot join in the coming weeks, he noted.
“Through this proclamation we commit ourselves to continue working on the construction of a plural, inclusive and participatory National Coalition, with democratic and fair representation of all, where every Nicaraguan who opposes the dictatorship has a space. The blue and white flag unites us and to rebuild Nicaragua it is essential to banish the dictatorship from power and our culture,” said the former political prisoner Yubrank Suazo of Masaya.
The proclamation was signed by Carlos Tünnermann, representing the Civic Alliance; Jesus Teffel, from UNAB; Saturnino Cerrato, of the PRD Party; Medardo Mairena, of the Campesino Movement; María Haydee Osuna, of the PLC; George Henriquez, of Yatama; and Luis Fley, of the FDN.
“In this Coalition we have a purpose, a shared vision of the country, with ethical principles and values ??that commit its members to put aside individual interests and work for a Nicaragua with freedoms, justice, security, prosperity and democracy. A National Coalition that practices a new way of doing politics, leaving behind the vices of reelection and caudillismo (strong man leadership) that have caused so much damage to the country and its suffered people,” added Suazo.
Farm leader Medardo Mairena said that his movement joined the coalition in the face of the clamor of exiles, political prisoners and murdered peasants in the north of the country. “They need us to join together from the heart. Today we begin a new stage and I think it is important that all Nicaraguans give us a vote of confidence among ourselves,” said Mairena.
Juan Sebastián Chamorro, of the Civic Alliance, said the National Coalition does not have a solely electoral purpose.
“The goal of the Coalition is to democratize Nicaragua, but it should not be only an electoral force. That is an important part, but now it’s about the release of political prisoners and putting pressure for the return of public liberties, so that we can hold marches and public gatherings. To push for electoral reforms and then present an electoral option to govern under a plan for the nation,” said Chamorro.
The opposition leaders chose February 25th to present the Coalition due to the 30th anniversary of the victory of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, who, leading the National Opposition Union (UNO), managed to defeat Daniel Ortega and his FSLN party at the polls in 1990.
“Those of us who sign here are committed to putting all our efforts to find the citizens and organizations that are missing to join our efforts, as we form a multilateral table that allows us to build a National Coalition, based on clear, fair and transparent rules, inspired by the triumph achieved on February 25, 1990, and committed to the victims of the regime. We seek a new and definitive birth of democracy, for the good of all Nicaraguans, as well as the welfare of future generations,” said former political prisoner Yubrank Suazo.
The activity was carried out under a fierce police siege, which included not only the militarization around the Hispamer bookstore, but also of many sectors of Managua and several cities.