The Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy presented on December 20 a balance of their actions nationally and internationally during 2019, looking towards next year with first line demands for the liberation of political prisoners and the formation of a big opposition coalition to confront the Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo regime.
“Unity of all Nicaraguans against tyranny”, proposed Juan Sebastián Chamorro, executive director of the Civic Alliance. “There were three fundamental efforts during 2019: The Alliance’s disposition to seek a civic and peaceful solution to the crisis through two months of negotiations with an obstinate dictatorship; demanding the freedom of political prisoners, and the establishment of a big opposition coalition that we are building. That is the Alliance’s main task.”
University student leader Lester Alemán said the Civic Alliance has been growing by integrating new members such as the group of doctors in Unidad Medica Nicaraguense, one of Masaya’s protest leaders Yubrank Suazo, and a teacher’s group Unidad Magisterial Sindical. However, he clarified that in 2020 they plan on territorial growth in each department of the country, organizing a network which will allow the “Alliance to inform and interact in a better way” with the population. “So citizens feel heard and included. It’s not only to get rid of the dictatorship but to achieve a change so to not fall into a dictatorship again,” said Aleman.
Jose Pallais, from the Civic Alliance’s negotiating team, explained that the “big opposition coalition being constructed” is not purely for electoral purposes. But that it plans on guiding the country along the “path of political and social reforms so new rulers don’t divert from social consensus.”
“There are several conditions: demand the release of political prisoners, struggle for deep changes in the electoral system and the legitimacy of the Supreme Electoral Council. If they provide conditions of security, freedoms and voter confidence, then we can speak of an electoral option”, assured Pallais.
The Civic Alliance pointed out that at the negotiation table with the dictatorship, the signing of two agreements was achieved: the release of political prisoners and respect for human rights and liberties. Alemán said the first one was half-way fulfilled with the liberation of most of the political prisoners last June. However, he criticized that the regime still has 160 imprisoned. “The second agreement has totally not been fulfilled.”
Jose Adan Aguerri, president of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP), assured that for the country’s economy to recover, the government should fulfill the agreements signed during the failed national dialogue.
“First of all, there must be an answer to the demand of a Christmas without political prisoners, especially for the prisoners’ families. Then, what we have stated is that if we really want Nicaragua to change, then there should be no more dead, no more political prisoners, no more exiled, no more closed businesses, there must be a guarantee that the agreements will be fulfilled”, said Aguerri.
Carlos Tünnermann assured that while the government does not fulfill the agreements and does not change “its repressive will”, sanctions will continue raining upon El Carmen. “That has worsened the crisis and explains why sanctions are imposed upon the regime’s functionaries”, he added.
The United States recently sanctioned Rafael Ortega Murillo and all of the family’s fuel distribution business through DNP-Petronic. Last Thursday, the European Parliament also approved a resolution to sanction the dictatorship.
Aguerri said they expect a delegation of Euro deputies to visit possibly in January 2020, to “evaluate, analyze and get to know the situation the country is suffering”.