The Return of Somoza to Nicaragua

“It has been almost a year since Ortega-Murillo launched their fury against an unarmed people, but the wounds continue open and are still bleeding”

I was five years old when my older sisters took the task of enlightening me with the monster that would infuse me the most fear during my childhood: [Anastasio] Tacho Somoza.

A sinister, cruel and ruthless being who, without the need to invoke him, could appear at any time or place to torture and kill me.

At that age, I didn’t have the slightest notion that he was a real life character, until I turned eight, when my grandmother Carmen, related the story of how the Somoza’s National Guard came to the house in search of my uncles.

Without justification they entered armed and turned everything upside down in search for clues that indicated that in that house lived one or three possible traitors of the Somoza dictatorship.

The phrase “Que se rinda tu madre” (a way of saying “we will never surrender”) is now addressed to President Daniel Ortega by a generation of young people in rebellion. Carlos Herrera / Niu.

The monster returned in April

Years later, I had forgotten that character until April of 2018 when he returned to my life in the figure of dictator Daniel Ortega Saavedra, who, just as Anastasio Somoza (or worse), has not stopped hunting young dissidents.

To my head returned the story of my grandmother about how she washed my uncles’ boots so they appear new without anyone, especially Somoza’s Guard, suspecting that they were used to fight in the mountains.

More than 70 years have passed since the beginning of that dictatorship. We were in times of democracy, but again we would have to use tricks to deceive a new dictatorship, this time, one that was led by one of those who overthrew the last member of the Somoza dynasty, Anastasio Somoza Debayle.

“That we should go?” “For this?” “What an exaggeration!” The cartoons by Pedro Molina have denounced the massacre by the dictatorial regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.

Nicaragua changed, we changed

The morning of April 19 when the universities awoke occupied by brave young people, I was thrilled to learn that Nicaragua would finally emerge from the magenta lethargy it was in. What came next was pain, crying, anger, more anger, frustration and even hatred.

Almost a year has passed since Ortega-Murillo launched their fury against an unarmed people, but the wounds are still open, and are still bleeding. Nicaragua changed, we changed. We are not the same as twelve months ago.

In fact, I do not even live in my own house anymore. The persecution of Ortega-Murillo supporters forced me to abandon my home, with my son. It deprived us of our safe space, our home and our family because the persecution has even reached my mother’s house.

I am not the only one. I know that many Nicaraguans still live in safe houses, more than 60,000 went into exile, not to mention those murdered, injured, disappeared and political prisoners, so what happened to me is little compared to those lives.

A group of protesters destroy a billboard of President Daniel Ortega and his Vice President Rosario Murillo. Photo: Carlos Herrera

Ortega and Murillo are in our lives every day

Amid the pain and despair I try not to falter and keep struggling from any possible space, but I break every time five-year-old son, asks me: “mom, when are Daniel and ‘La Chayo’ (Rosario) leaving?”

He left behind his house, his room, our constant trips to the beach, the Sunday visits to Puerto Salvador Allende, Luis Alfonso Park, to the cinema. Today we are prisoners in a house that is not ours, but that protects us from the monster Ortega.

That Daniel Ortega to whom my son has as much or equal terror as I once had towards Tacho Somoza, but it is not fear but contempt because in light of the events, Ortega and Rosario Murillo, have become, for my son, the reference of the worst human evilness.

They are the children that no mother would have wanted to have, but even though their presence is so despicable, Ortega and Murillo are in our lives every day as that bad example, that bitter drink, that fresh story that Nicaragua should never repeat.

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