By Eddy Montilla.
National Palace of Nicaragua
The way Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has changed over the years exemplifies at its best how unchecked power for a long time ends up ruining the life or unmasking the intentions of those who always seemed to emerge from the temptation of corruption and injustice unscathed.
I was still a child, but with a vivid memory to be able to remember those afternoons when my father, listening to the news on his old radio, used to tell me how close the people of Nicaragua were day by day to overthrow the dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle. My father, a real fighter for social justice, followed those moments full of hopes and told me about some Nicaraguan leaders like Edén Pastora (Commander Zero), the same Daniel Ortega and others. Today, when we look at this country, because of their dubious actions, from many of those leaders of the people of Nicaragua, what is left is sad memories, since there is nothing more pathetic than to see people who pretended to defend their nation in the past enriching themselves now at the expense of the life and health of the country’s inhabitants.
It is one of life’s little ironies that President Daniel Ortega fought during all his youth to overthrow the dictator Somoza, a man who was identified with injustice and oppressed his people, and now he is the one who turn himself into some kind of modern dictator and the one who should be overthrown. Ortega has done all things that Latin American dictators usually do to remain in power: To turn congressmen into servants of “Godfather” in order to reform the country’s Constitution and thus to push constitutional changes through Congress that ended presidential term limits, to appoint relatives to key posts (his wife is vice-president of the country) and so on.
Daniel Ortega has been in power since 2007. Nicaraguan protesters, above all students, refuse to back down since April and people have taken to the streets in nationwide protests, something that has been answered by the President’s group with brutal actions, which resulted in the death of more than 100 people.
The country’s highly respected Catholic Church, late as usual for these kinds of situations, has finally shown some sign of life in favor of the people. We only hope now that most Nicaraguan do not give in to Ortega’s repression and keep their protests until forcing him to call presidential elections once again for the good of the country because from dictators, history has shown us that we do not get anything good and Daniel Ortega belongs to that group.
This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion.
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Photo: By courtesy of Zenia Núñez under the criteria of Creative Commons (Flickr, 6-5-2018).