Nicaragua: Now is the time for unity

Unity among those of us Nicaraguans who desire liberty, justice, peace and democracy is an essential condition for democratic change in Nicaragua.

This Unity must forever eradicate the problems that have brought Nicaragua to its current situation of dictatorship, human rights violations, institutional weakness and poverty nearly 200 years after the country gained its independence.

Based on a process that is already underway, our Unity will allow us to move toward a new, strong and robust Nicaragua with institutional democracy that promotes a peaceful development model rooted in legitimate and inclusive representation and dialogue among the different sectors of society. This implies a change in the way of doing politics that involves a consensus among the Nicaraguan people.

Rather than building a coalition designed to win a specific election, this Unity will be based on a national agreement that continues indefinitely after victory at the polls has been achieved, moving along a pre-determined path of political, social and economic reforms. These previously-agreed upon reforms will prevent the new governors from deviating from the popular will and national consensus, as has happened repeatedly in the past.

The struggle Nicaragua is currently facing is not an ideological one. It is not a struggle between Left and Right. It is rather a struggle between democracy and a dictatorship; against a dictatorship guilty of crimes against humanity that have been documented by various human rights organizations. These violations have been committed against liberals, conservatives, “renovationist” sandinistas, social Christians, social democrats, religious people, independents, indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, peasants and Sandinistas. We believe that the required Unity should welcome all the different expressions of the Nicaraguan socio-political spectrum without any sectarianism, neither retaliating against nor forgetting what has happened in the past, acting with humility and leaving aside our differences in favour of a greater common good.

Being part of this Unity does not mean losing one’s identity, but instead recognizing our differences. Understanding that there is strength in Unity will allow us to build an invincible alliance.

This is the moment for Nicaragua to build a future through an alliance of all who want liberty, justice, peace and democracy. The following is our proposal of ten key points for a truly free Nicaragua:

  1. No re-election or autocratic government (caudillismo).
  2. Rule of law; the independence branches or government; an independent and impartial judicial system; restoring national sovereignty and the repeal of Law 840 (the interoceanic canal concession law).
  3. An independent and transparent electoral system with unrestricted national and international observation.
  4. Truth, justice, reparation, the guarantee of non-repetition, and no impunity for crimes against humanity.
  5. Profound reforms to the National Police and the guarantee of a National Army that rigorously complies with its constitutional role.
  6. Unrestricted political participation of citizens, with no discrimination whatsoever. Full university and regional and municipal autonomy.
  7. All-out war on corruption and impunity.
  8. A social policy focused on the neediest, poorest and most vulnerable, free from party preferences or clientelism. Quality health and education.
  9. Respect for private property and a modern, competitive and environmentally-responsible market economy with opportunities for everyone.
  10. The ongoing building of a national consensus to reaffirm the joint desire to live in peace and with justice, respecting political, religious, cultural, ethnic and gender differences or preferences of all kinds.

These ten points are our contribution to the great Unity agreement. We urge the country’s different actors—social movements, political parties, organizations and collectives, among others—to join this national agreement and add their own contributions to strengthen a solid, cohesive and lasting Unity. Now is the moment. There is strength in Unity.

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