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Manuel Valls: “Nicaragua is dying in a deafening silence”


FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE - The former Prime Minister warns of the situation in this small Central American country, plagued by poverty and plagued by a totalitarian regime. According to him, it is urgent that European governments come out of their silence and support the opposition in exile.

Manuel Valls was Prime Minister from 2014 to 2016.

Who remembers The Clash's album,


, released in 1980?

I was a student in Paris and rockers from across the Channel paid tribute to a gesture that left more than one dreamer.

It was charged with revolutionary romanticism, with “glorious resistance to imperialism”, carrying an ideal of justice.

In Nicaragua, the Sandinistas had seized power from the cruel Anastasio Somoza and hoped to change the world.

They weren't the only ones.

I never believed in a clean slate and in the messianic dream, even under the sun, I knew the tensions and contradictions within the Sandinistas and with their allies.

I followed, without naivety but with interest, a movement which also represented an original way, a democratic alternative to the communist totalitarian model of Cuba.

He received the support of European social democracy against the Contra, the dirty war waged by the CIA and the Reagan administration.

And then didn't the alternation take place in 1990 with the election to the presidency of the opponent Violeta Chamorro, widow of the director of the big newspaper

La Prensa

, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro assassinated by the Somoza dictatorship.


Later, as mayor of Évry, I extended a twinning, which dated from this period, with the town of Estelí.

The revolutionary magic had already faded, but hope remained.

For a short time.

What remains of this Nicaraguan dream?

A nightmare, long endorsed by part of the European and Latin American left, unable to confront the reality of the facts, feeding on illusions, drinking untruths.

The very one who supported the Cuban and Venezuelan dictatorships, glorified by the "Bolivarian Alliance", forgetting that human rights are indivisible and that economic and social rights are nothing without individual freedoms.

Since 2007 and the return of Ortega to the head of the country, it is sinking into totalitarianism.

Manuel Valls

Today, Nicaragua is dying, bloodless, emptied of its population, a fifth of whom have left the country.

In 2022 alone, according to the

Washington Post

, at least 328,443 people have fled, starved by poverty and oppressed by a regime at the origin of a political and moral swindle that is a caricature: the country, hypercapitalist, n is nothing socialist.

He doesn't even have the excuse of an American embargo to justify his government's ineptitude.

He proclaims himself a "Christian" but persecutes the Catholic Church.

He also devours his own children, throwing into prison those who have served him.

Thus Dora Maria Tellez, known under the name of war "comandante 2", intrepid fighter of the revolution, liberator of the north of the country, then Minister of Health for ten years.

With others, tired of the authoritarianism of Daniel Ortega and the growing influence of his companion Rosario Murillo, she founded the Sandinista Reform Movement alongside intellectuals committed to democratic ideals, such as the "red priest" Ernesto Cardenal, apostle of Liberation theology, former minister of culture or even the immense man of letters Sergio Ramirez.

After losing power in 1990, Ortega and his clan had only one idea in mind: to win it back and never put it back.

Since 2007 and his return to the head of the country, it is sinking into totalitarianism.

In 2018, the regime fiercely repressed social protests, causing at least 325 deaths.

Dora Maria Tellez has been imprisoned since June 2021 in appalling conditions, kept in the darkness of a cell without windows, in the heart of the sinister prison of

El Chipote

in Managua, without the possibility of reading or writing, with a ban on speaking.

By methodically reducing the country to silence, the Nicaraguan dictatorship was finally able to attack the Church, the only dissonant voice still daring to be heard, committed to the defense of human rights.

Manuel Valls

Alongside Bianca Jagger, a tireless human rights activist totally committed to the return of democracy to her country, and Carlos Fernando Chamorro, Violeta's son, I attended the tribute paid to Dora María Tellez by the Sorbonne Nouvelle University, conferring on her the title of Doctor Honoris Causa.

His fate is shared by nearly 240 political prisoners, victims of presidential lettres de cachet, without any hope of release, condemned during unfair trials to long sentences for alleged "conspiracies against the Nation".

Our compatriots Jeanine and Caroline Horvilleur, cousins ​​of Delphine Horvilleur, have just been sentenced this Thursday, January 26 to eight years in prison.

Their only crime: being the wives and daughter of opponents of the dictatorship.

The regime of Ortega and Murillo, now vice-president, who looks forward to exercising presidential power on her own, has wiped out the opposition, all of whose candidates in the last presidential election are in prison, as well as civil society: more than 3,000 associations were liquidated with the stroke of a pen in 2022, in particular humanitarian NGOs.

The independent press no longer exists: journalists are in prison or in exile.

By methodically reducing the country to silence, the Nicaraguan dictatorship was finally able to attack the Church, the only dissonant voice still daring to be heard, committed to the defense of human rights.

Religious have been expelled or are prosecuted, such as the courageous Bishop Rolando Alvarez, bishop of the country's second city: the silence of Pope Francis leaves one perplexed in the face of this surge of violence and injustice.

It is essential that the international community mobilizes for Nicaragua and its 6.6 million inhabitants, demanding the release of political prisoners, an end to religious persecution and supporting a democratic transition.

And no Latin American state can condone such a regime.

European governments - notably France and Spain - and the High Representative of the EU must actively support the opposition in exile so that a credible alternative to the power in place presents itself and that Nicaragua finally emerges from its interminable nightmare. .

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-27

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