Message from Comandante Daniel Ortega during the closing of the National Congress of the Sandinista Youth (Juventud Sandinista de 19 de Julio, or JS) in tribute to Comandante Carlos Fonseca Amador, founder of the FSLN and leader of the Sandinista Popular Revolution, on November 8, 2022, the 46th anniversary of his passing.
Beloved Nicaraguans—families of this land full of dignity, of love for our nation, love for justice and for freedom—on Sunday, the municipal elections took place, and these municipal elections show us very clearly that it is indeed possible to achieve peace, that it is possible to ensure peace.
These were elections where no shots were fired, no students, police, or young people were set on fire, no medical centers or schools were set on fire, the masses were not blockaded, and no blood was shed while terrorists financed by the Yankee empire bathed Nicaragua in blood. A Nicaragua that was at peace was bathed in blood, and they thought that with that bloodbath, this nation was going to surrender; they thought that with that bloodbath, this nation was going to flee; but how much patience the people displayed, how much patience the police displayed.
[The terrorists] already felt they were Nicaragua’s owners, and some bishops already felt they too were ruling Nicaragua, but they failed to take into account that here, in this country, throughout history, the people have had to face, time and again, the imperialists of the land—from those who arrived with Columbus to occupy lands that were not theirs, to steal the wealth of our ancestors, to enslave them, exploit them, murder them, to try to erase their identity, as the Yankee expansionists and imperialists also have done.
Because here in Nicaragua, Nicaraguans—our ancestors, ourselves in these times—have had to confront the Yankee invaders directly, those whom the traitors first brought with William Walker, who believed they owned Nicaragua, and that Walker was then the president of Nicaragua.
Ah, but that’s where they are wrong, because they see a humble, hardworking peasant people and think they can make them tremble, and they don’t realize that in the blood that runs through Nicaraguans’ hearts—runs through our veins, as our General Sandino said—is indigenous blood. Through it runs the promise of rebellion, of dignity in the face of injustice, in the face of oppression, and in the face of colonization. It is not rebellion without a purpose.
Our indigenous ancestors did not invite the Spanish to come and occupy Nicaragua with the ”blessing” of the Pope so that they could come and steal whatever they liked in Nicaragua, and in all these countries that they occupied and colonized
No—they came with weapons to attack, to destroy our ancestors, who did not have the modern weapons that they brought; and it was shocking simply to see them appear on horses, because of course [horses] were a powerful weapon, because our ancestors did not know of horses. So then, horses became a means of military transport to destroy peasant communities, to set them on fire, to murder, to throw people to the dogs, as the colonialists did!
There it is proven in history, as written by the imperialists themselves, how pleasurable it was when the original people, the indigenous people who rebelled against them suffered. As punishment, they threw them to the dogs, for the dogs to destroy them. And they were happy at that… happy!
That has been our history, and history should not be forgotten! History should not be forgotten, because those examples of the heroes resisting the Spanish, with Diriangén in the lead and dying, giving their lives for their lands, for their culture, for their identity, those fighters at San Jacinto, with José Dolores Estrada and Andrés Castro defeating the invading Yankee, are precisely what has given strength to this people and what gives strength to all of us. So, it is very true that no matter how great Goliath is, there is always a David with a sling to bring him down, as we have brought him down here in our country.
After Walker came the troops of the United States army, and at that the dignity of the Nicaraguan people rose, and there arose, transcending the universe, the example of General Benjamin Zeledón, who faced the invading Yankees, surrounded by the troops of the most powerful army on Earth at that time, there in Coyotepe, in all that area of Coyotepe and La Barranca.
Some Yankee colonels arrived to parlay where General Benjamin Zeledón was resisting, to tell him to surrender, and that they were going to spare his life, that they were not going to shoot him. And how did he answer them? He responded with a letter that he sent to his wife, to his children, where he told them that such and such Yankees had arrived to tell him to surrender.
But he wanted them to understand, the children and the mother of his children, that no matter how painful it might be, he had no alternative but to defend the nation, and if, in the defense of the nation, he was to give up his life, then that should be recognized as a gesture of dignity, and that it was an inheritance that he could bequeath not only to the people of Nicaragua but also to his family: the dignity of someone who does not surrender or sell themselves. On October 4, his birthday, in 1912, General Zeledón gave up his life.
And there was General Sandino, a boy—he was a boy then, he was not yet a general—who saw how the Yankees were parading Zeledón’s corpse in a cart so that people would be afraid, so that when they saw a Yankee, they would kneel to them and that they would tremble in the face of them.
Instead, [that display] provoked indignation in our General Sandino, who was a boy, a young person like you all, and he relates how when he saw that disgrace for Nicaragua, how the Yankees humiliated Nicaragua, how they murdered its heroes, he was filled with dignity, with the dignity that General Zeledón was passing onto him, that he was transferring to him. And that is why our General Sandino is the son of General Zeledón, and that is why General Sandino decided so firmly to continue the battle that Zeledón had started.
The country continued to be occupied by the Yankees, and it was Sandino who took up the fight and led the fight, and he did not lead that fight with huge detachments of soldiers; rather, he led the fight with a small group of volunteers to whom he said “well, we are going to face these Yankees who have invaded our nation,” and he asked the fighters who had been with him how many were willing to accompany him in this challenge. Only a small group was present with him at the moment, and they all raised their hands, all 29 of them—30 including himself—to take the fight to the Yankee until they were expelled.
The Yankee troops did have to withdraw. They could not defeat Sandino, and they had to resort to treachery. We already know the whole story: they had to resort to treachery, to murder Sandino and put Somoza in his place, which the Yankee presidents calmly defended when they received Somoza there in the United States, because there were people [in the US] who asked “how can you receive Somoza if he is a murderer whom you installed?”
They did so for the same reason, since he was a son—yes, they used a word that I prefer not to say—”a son of a bitch“, with apologies to the bitches, yes—they said “he may be a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch.” That’s what the Yankees said calmly, the Yankee presidents… “He is our son of a bitch.” So, what does that make them? Bitches giving birth to dogs, that’s what they are, dogs that give birth to dogs, who go out destroying the world, who go out destroying humanity, who go out destroying entire peoples.
These municipal elections were a lesson in peace: there were no altercations, there were no stones thrown, there were no lawsuits, there were no bullets, there were no injuries, there were no deaths. What does that mean? That all Nicaraguans, all of them, of different political opinions, of different ideologies, who, before, with great ease, would resort to confrontation when an election was coming—killing, murdering, destroying the ballot boxes—all Nicaraguans, regardless of their ideology, regardless of their religious thought, in these years that have passed have seen the results, the fruits of peace. Who can deny here that schools have been built all over the country, schools have multiplied, health posts have multiplied throughout the country. Who can deny that hospitals have been built and continue to be built?
We are making progress in the construction of hospitals, and soon we will inaugurate the Chinandega Hospital, which is practically finished. Only the formality of the inauguration remains. They are already practicing medicine there. They are providing care for people, testing all the equipment, the capabilities of doctors and specialists, already giving attention to the population.
The hospital in León, the hospital in Ocotal, Nueva Segovia… Since we are talking about actual hospitals, of course, we have to combine departmental hospitals, health posts, maternal shelters, and first-rate hospitals like the ones we are building. Because in the same way that the rich capitalists always expect good hospitals, they will design hospitals where a poor person, even if they arrive there dying, will be told that if they can’t pay, then they can’t come in. And the poor die at the gates of the hospitals of the rich,.
Not here. Hospitals are being built here with every facility, with all the technology, with all the capabilities of the hospitals that serve the rich, because the poor have the same and even more right to quality medical care.
A large hospital is also being built in Bilwi, on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. That is another historical step. The Caribbean coast, from the formal, institutional point of view, was already integrated into the Nicaraguan state, but in reality, it had not been integrated because there were no roads or highways to get to or from there. You had to take long detours, embark to travel along the River Rama, and go on those boats to Bluefields, and then from Bluefields, go by boat to the communities, to Pearl Lagoon, to Sandy Bay, to all those other communities that lie along the Caribbean coast.
In the north, in the Southern Caribbean, in Bluefields, a road has been built, a type of road that is built only in rich, developed countries, a road that is much more expensive than a paved road, much more expensive than an asphalt road—a concrete road. A concrete road lasts, resists the rains which in that area are very copious and destroy the paved surfaces, destroy asphalt.
If we look here in the different places in our country where paved roads are laid, those types of streets have short lifespans. The paving blocks loosen easily, they get displaced easily, and if a paving block gets displaced, then several of them also get displaced.
In the case of asphalt, of course, asphalt cannot be lifted, but it is very fragile. With a little rain, fissures open, and after the fissures open, a small pothole appears. I remember where, on a trip there to Chontales, then to El Rama, in all those areas where it had been possible to lay asphalt, big potholes appeared along the roads, because it rains so much there that no asphalt can resist it.
Therefore, in discussion with our minister of finance, Compañero Iván Acosta, and also speaking to General Oscar Mojica, minister of construction and transport, who is like lightning, building roads and bridges everywhere, I said “we should not continue building here with either paving blocks or with asphalt, even if it may be more expensive, because after all it is more expensive to have to be changing paving blocks more often because they get destroyed more quickly, or asphalt too. Better concrete, instead.”
So we have to adjust the budget and talk to the mayors, which has already been done, so that from now on, what is already underway with paving blocks will have to be finished. But from now on, any new street that has to be constructed, a city block say, whatever the distance—a kilometer, a hundred kilometers—must be done with concrete so that they can persist.
Because the truth is that it is a false economy, using paving blocks. All of you are witnesses to how paving blocks get loosened with the passage of trucks, they break up and even disappear, because when people see the paving blocks broken up like that, they grab them so as to make some walls there in their houses. Yes, that is the truth.
Paving blocks are very fragile, while asphalt has other problems, so we have now assumed that commitment. We must have a little patience, of course, because where before a surface was going to be laid with paving blocks, we are now going to build with concrete and not with asphalt nor with paving blocks. Therefore, it has to be explained to the population, and they will have to wait a little longer, because it is more expensive, and so instead of building five kilometers that were going to be laid with paving blocks, we are going to build two kilometers with concrete, but a surface that lasts, and then another two kilometers with concrete, until the five kilometers that have to be laid in that place, or ten kilometers to another place, or a hundred kilometers to another place, are completed.
So this is good news that we give to all the families, who are the ones out there who find themselves swallowing dust and getting covered in mud.
I was telling you about these public works and how many more public works that we could mention, works that I don’t even need to mention because the people see them and touch them. The people are enjoying those streets, those roads, that construction of the bridge over the River Wawa, which is a historic achievement. And we are doing so with the confidence, with the certainty that we are a people that deserve all of that and more.
Faced with everything that this people has lived through, that they have seen—because in the ’80s, as we know very well, it was a war… In the ’90s, those who serve the Yankees occupied the government, financed by the Yankees, so that they could have many assets for elections, for manipulating the voting to win votes. But then when they came into government, what did they do? They do what the rich, the capitalists, the big companies, the Yankees are interested in: they start privatizing everything: schools, healthcare, and other public sector companies.
Here, they privatized companies that earn multi-million dollar revenues; unfortunately, those governments handed them over, and of course, they got their kickbacks under the table. Yes, they took good money under the table so they would sell off those concessions, concessions to do with communications.
Take a good look at the kind of business communications means in these times of cell phones, the Internet, everything we know very well. That is a tremendous business in any country in the world. They are companies that never stop earning, even during the pandemic, they earned much more because, since people could not go out and about, they still had to communicate.
Here, those companies earn multi-million dollar revenues. It is true that they have to pay some tax, but the relationship that we have is not fair, and we will have to see how to demand that they contribute more. The more they earn, the more they should contribute through taxes to enable the building of more schools, more health centers, more roads, more highways. Yes, they must contribute more.
All the companies, the big businesses, when we piloted tax reform, they cried out to high heaven. They said that the economy was going to collapse, that the economy was going to go under, that big companies, small companies, and medium-sized companies were going to disappear—as if they were actually worried about small companies. Anyways, they said all of that.
The truth is that the people have understood that when there is peace and a government willing to work with the people and for the people, the fruits multiply. People have been seeing this since 2007. We have since managed to govern in times of peace, but what kind of peace is it if [the imperialists] continuously declare war on us, applying sanctions and aggression?
Even so, we still managed to grow and build, growing and even building extraordinary sports centers like this one, the Alexis Argüello Multi-Sport Center, just like the National Stadium, a first-rank stadium. In other words, public works have multiplied, and the people have seen it, the communities see it, how the government has been promoting productive activity.
For that reason, when we were entering the year of 2018, [the imperialists] attempted a coup d’état—because they realized that the longer the Sandinista Front was in government and taking on all the public works on behalf of the people, making no political or ideological differentiation when carrying out a given project, they realized that they could not get back into government, because they had their chance during their 17 years in government with all the support of the Yankees and the Europeans. But where are the results?
What happened to all the promises they made? The people realized that they instead had suffered losses with all those neoliberal governments.
Then, in 2018, they started their campaign over the tax reform we carried out, crying out that the economy was going under, that there would be no economic growth. And then, when COVID came along, it got even worse, they said again that the economy was going down … that the Nicaraguan economy was going under, that the country was going to be totally bankrupt and everyone was going to be unemployed, and that we had to close the schools and close the hospitals. In other words, a diabolical campaign.
2018 came and went, and we persist. I remember that in the middle of 2018, we still inaugurated public works in different parts of the country, and here in Managua. After 2018, people have become more aware; even those who have other political sympathies, have other political banners, are becoming aware, and they say “ah, if we had a mayor here, how many times did we not have mayors?” They say “a lot of times we had mayors; in their 17 years of power they had mayors everywhere, but what did they do?”
Instead, they say “these Sandinistas, since 2007, despite 2018, have continued to inaugurate more projects and more and more public works.” That explains why the people are now recognizing the value of peace. A people in peace and with a government committed to the interests of the people is a people that does well, and Nicaragua’s families are growing in every way. The country is growing.
We can say that last Sunday’s election is a historic achievement, because, for the first time in the history of our country, the people cast their vote thinking about the well-being of their families, not thinking about political parties, being convinced that the political party to which they belonged did nothing for them, and that the only way ahead was to continue voting for the Frente Sandinista.
For the first time in history, as I was telling you, on election day there were no assaults, no stone-throwing, there were no attacks with clubs, no gunshots, there were no injuries… Not a drop of blood was spilt. But they had made plans, they did make plans, sponsored by the Yankees, by some European governments, whose ambassadors conspire here, meeting with terrorists to encourage them, and funding them to promote violence, to promote terror.
Despite that, despite the millions that have been invested in them, and that they are given in Costa Rica—as Costa Rica is a base that they have—even so, they did not manage to provoke acts of violence. Why? Because this people is now convinced that a vote is worth more than a drop of blood, worth much more for the progress and well-being of the country…
Congratulations on this day to all the thousands and thousands, the many thousands and thousands of Nicaraguans who went to vote, the families who went to vote, to all those who participated in the electoral organization that is very complex. Congratulations above all to the youth, who have always been there alongside the people, next to the people, fighting multiple battles.
You have the concert soon, and I want to conclude by referring to a meeting currently taking place there in Egypt, they call it the COP. This is COP number I don’t know what exactly, because since 1995 they started doing these meetings in Germany because they were worried about global warming, about poisoning the planet, about the destruction of the planet. And they reach agreements, but they don’t fulfill any of them, and then they get back together and they make more agreements, and they don’t fulfill any of those either. Who does not comply? The countries that pollute the planet the most, the very ones that should comply with what the agreements mandate.
Countries like ours here in Central America and the Caribbean do not have high levels of pollution but are rather the victims of global warming, hence the hurricanes, the droughts, everything that we already know of, which are always hitting this area. It is recognized by the international community, by scientists, along with other areas in Asia, in Africa, it is recognized here in the Americas, that Central America and the Caribbean is an area highly vulnerable to global warming.
Well, yet another meeting, and of course we sent a delegation, to listen and to at least be listened to, but in these meetings, the same thing happens as happens with the United Nations. It is the same, that is, in the case of the United Nations; what is said? That it must defend and respect the principles of the United Nations founding charter, but that is not fulfilled. And who does not comply? Those who have the power to say, “I won’t comply.” Who has that power? The imperialists of the Earth, who remain the same as ever.
If we have to point out here the culprits of the destruction of the planet, of global warming, of the destruction and enslavement of humanity, it is the countries, the nations that were then already developed, wealthy nations, the ones that were killing each other to see who could dominate the world. And I mean Europe. Indeed, the Europeans were killing each other, and that was when there were kings all over Europe, and they all went to the Pope so that the Pope would crown them. Yes, that’s how it was.
Then they went on to invade Africa, invade Asia, invade these lands; murdering, stealing wealth, destroying, polluting, and yes, enslaving millions of human beings they set out to enslave. Yes, it was a crime against humanity, enslaving human beings, especially from Africa. Entire enslaved families were imprisoned, fettered and shackled, fathers, mothers, boys and girls, young people, children… Everyone.
Whole families were enslaved and then transported by the big European companies that managed the slave transport business, shipping them from those areas of Africa, where the slave buyers went, selcting slaves, paying for them, and so they bought human beings as merchandise. Total brutality! And then shipping them to other places, including the United States, where slavery was installed.
So, every year and every day we hear that at the United Nations the protests and demands over the agreements not being fulfilled and so the world will be destroyed and humanity will disappear.
Yesterday, or the day before, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, spoke at the meeting in Egypt, and look at this man’s variety of wisdom. What did he say? With what has happened, with the destruction of the planet, and because what should be done is not really being done, all this is leading us all to suicide.
No, Mr. Guterres, we do not want to commit suicide, none of us want to commit suicide, nor do Africans want to commit suicide, nor do Asians want to commit suicide. What you need to say, and have the courage to say it, is that what has been happening is a crime committed since colonial times against peoples in developing countries, against the African, Asian, Latin American and Caribbean Peoples, they have been destroyed, they have been murdered, they have been exploited, and along with that, those doing so have been destroying the environment.
That they, with their big companies and their big industries, have been quietly poisoning the environment, and that poison falls on us, the poison that they emit. So who are the killers of the environment? It is the wealthy countries, the capitalist countries that are killing the environment. So say it, Mr. Secretary of the United Nations, have the courage to say so and not come out with the story that we are all committing suicide.
No one here wants to commit suicide. Here, what we are faced with is a gang of assassins who control the global economy, who control atomic weapons and who commit crimes every day. They commit crimes even in their own countries. They live killing themselves there, killing children, killing students. It happens every day. Hardly a day passes where such news is not there in the United States. Since there is a free market with weapons there, a child can go out with a gun and set about killing, or an adult the same, anyone. They kill as they please, there is no security there.
On the other hand, they speak out against drug trafficking and organized crime. But why is there drug trafficking and organized crime? This is the same case as with global warming, why? Because it turns out that the inhabitants of those rich countries love marijuana, they love cocaine, drugs, they love them, they go crazy for them. They are the biggest consumers and they pay very well, and those who produce drugs in these parts are quite simply not the ones who consume them.
The key to ending drug trafficking, organized crime, money laundering, and the largest amounts of money are laundered in US banks from drug traffickers. Who has the key to end it? The United States has it. Who else has the key? The Europeans have it.
Why don’t they exercise control? Why don’t they apply control? Because, like it or not, while there is a lot of talk about narco-states here in Latin America, in fact, the narco-states are the developed countries and that is why they never put an end to the consumption of drugs, nor truly try to control it. On the contrary, it has become a huge business where police officials, intelligence officials, officials of the US Congress are engaged in this kind of criminal activity.
The truth is that we have to continue striving against these conditions; that is, we cannot give up in the face of that Goliath who continues to destroy and commit barbarities even against their own people.
At the United Nations, one sometimes asks, really, what are we doing at the United Nations? But after all, we have to continue in the United Nations so that we can at least be heard, and to demonstrate and make clear that there is no democracy at the United Nations, there is one power imposing itself which is the power of the powerful capitalist countries, that is what gets imposed.
Precisely in the last few days, a vote was held at the United Nations on the issue of the blockade of Cuba. Yet one more vote. Year after year, the United Nations votes to see who is in favor of the blockade of Cuba and who is against the blockade in Cuba. And there are already around 190 countries, 188 countries, that is, the overwhelming majority. There are just two, three or four countries that vote to maintain the blockade of Cuba, the first, of course, being the United States.
The rest of the countries of the world, even those that are pro-American, despite the fact that the Yankees pressure them to vote in favor of the blockade, do not dare. Because they realize that they become accomplices of a crime against humanity that has been committed every day for 60 years against a people, the people of Cuba, the people of Fidel, Martí, Raúl, Miguel Díaz-Canel, that heroic people who have resisted and are resisting a blockade for more than 60 years.
It is the people who suffer with these blockades, and what does the Secretary-General say in the face of a vote like that? Mr. Guterres, you should declare that in the United Nations General Assembly, where the representatives of all the world’s countries are, if they vote for the blockade of Cuba to be lifted and there are 180 votes against four votes, then what more do you need to have the courage to insist that what the peoples mandate should be fulfilled?
Let the vote of the nations, of the peoples, be fulfilled if we want to have some respect for the United Nations. Otherwise, I tell you, beloved brothers and sisters, we should not get our hopes up about the United Nations, it is a disaster which has served for nothing except to allow the commission of horrendous crimes, and always in developing countries.
Our solidarity on this day is with the people of Cuba, with Cuba’s families and with Cuba’s youth who have been a brave, heroic, combative youth.
And for you, beloved young men, beloved young women, who have held this congress, one more congress for you all, a congress not just for talk, not just to be talking in a vacuum, but a congress of deeds, of action, working with the people and alongside the people. That is the Sandinista Youth!
Long live the Sandinista Youth!
Long live blessed Nicaragua, forever free!
Sandino lives, the struggle continues!
A free nation or death!
Remarks by Compañera Rosario, Vice-President of Nicaragua,
after the closure of the National Congress of the July 19th Sandinista Youth
in tribute to Comandante Carlos Fonseca Amador
November 8th 2021
Good evening… How much energy, victorious energy. How much hope, triumphant, victorious hope. Here, peace has overcome. Peace has triumphed here. And peace is joy. Peace is the certainty that not only does the struggle continue to improve our life on the material plane, but it also lets us grow, as we are growing, as we are seeing it with this youth, in awareness of sovereignty, dignity and harmony. Growing in awareness of values, ideals, families and community.
No one can take away our honor. No one can take away our culture, our ways of life. They cannot take away what we are, what dignifies us, what exalts us, what invigorates us, because we are full, as Rubén Darío says, of vigor and glory. We are made to live in freedom, to live as people, as human beings, not as the subjects of anyone, of any empire. We are made to face life with love and with courage, because to feel love, to be passionate, to be enthusiastic, to love one’s nation, one needs to be brave.
So today, we honor Carlos, we say to Carlos: Here is this youth taking on all the commitments, in study, at work, in recreation, in solidarity, in the protection and the genuine restoration of the environment. We are not talking about propaganda or show, we are talking about the real truth.
We believe in Nicaragua’s youth. During our lives, we too have been young, and we know how Nicaraguan youth vibrates. All our lives, we have known that special vibration, that special patriotic vocation for the nation, of Nicaragua’s youth. That is why we say, “because there is a nation, there is peace…” Because there are young people ready to take on every commitment, we know there is a nation and there is peace!
We feel happy, honored, invigorated, enthusiastic, passionate. We feel we are on the path to victory, always forward, as our General Sandino said. All of us, together, let’s move forward. Thank you.
Orinoco Tribune 2https://orinocotribune.com/author/yullma/November 29, 2022
Orinoco Tribune 2https://orinocotribune.com/author/yullma/November 29, 2022
Orinoco Tribune 2https://orinocotribune.com/author/yullma/
Orinoco Tribune 2https://orinocotribune.com/author/yullma/November 25, 2022