A platform called “Congreso de Unidad de los Nicaragüenses Libres” (United Congress of Free Nicaraguans) elected on Sunday a “National Council for Democratic Transition.” Participating individuals and groups within and outside the country elected the new seven-member body by direct vote. Its goal is to confront the Ortega-Murillo regime “using all possible civic means, in order to achieve an end to the dictatorship,” and begin the transition to democracy in Nicaragua.
Participating organizations also signed a unity agreement, with the sole objective of “defeating the dictatorship and rejecting all calls for dialogue and elections, while the dictatorship remains in power.”
“We have united, and we call on others to unite to construct an organization for struggle. While the dictatorship persists, this organization will be dedicated exclusively to designing, coordinating, and carrying out actions that chip away at the regime’s underpinnings, until they’re defeated. We’re committed to the restoration of democracy, by practicing it in our decision-making, starting today, and acting with irreproachable ethics,” states part of the agreement signed by the organizations.
Those elected to the National Council for Democratic Transition are: Francisco Larios, economist and writer; Danilo Martinez, attorney and professor of industrial chemistry; Reyna Hernandez, former community leader and mayor of Wiwili, Jinotega; Roger Alfredo Martinez, psychologist; Alvaro Montenegro Mayorga, former ambassador and specialist in political science and business administration; Pio Martinez, sociologist, writer and blogger; and Ariana McGuire, social communicator.
The United Congress of Free Nicaraguans indicated: “[We’re] not looking to supersede the people, nor to set ourselves up as an authoritarian entity to rule over them. We seek to strengthen the population’s capacity for struggle, contributing to the people’s ability to channel their combative energy in a coordinated manner.”
Asking the international community for support
Francisco Larios, member-elect of the Council, and member of the Congress’s Liaison Commission, indicated in the event’s opening words that the group exists: “solely to design, plan, coordinate and carry out actions of struggle that can strike blows at the dictatorship, undermining all their pillars of support.”
The organizations reiterate that the Ortega regime is illegitimate. As such, they refuse to recognize the new mandate the regime is assuming, thanks to the electoral farce they engineered this past November 7th.
In addition, the opposition alliance called on the international community to accompany them, “in our just and basic demand. [We ask that] together with us, they refuse to recognize the usurping clan; keep them from receiving funding under the excuse that they’re for good ends; break with them diplomatically; help stop the state-sponsored assassinations, genocide, robbery and terrorism that’s been imposed on the entire population.”
Larios affirmed that as a group they don’t see war as a way to pry the dictatorship from power. “We’ll struggle to avoid bloodshed. The sooner we can organize the people’s political struggle, and the sooner the international community understands that the usurping regime – in addition to its cruelty – has destabilized the country and the region, the easier it will be to avoid having our country suffer more violence,” he indicated.
Exiled Nicaraguans reject the regime’s inauguration
Nicaraguan organizations from different countries joined the worldwide protest on Sunday called: “Nicaragua has no legitimate government or state powers”. They reject the January 10 swearing-in ceremony to mark Ortega and Murillo’s “new term in office”.
In Germany, a group of Nicaraguans protested with signs reading: “Doors shut, streets empty, illegitimate government”; “January 9 world protest, Ortega illegitimate”; and “Dictatorship in Nicaragua”.
Another group of Nicaraguans also mounted a demonstration outside the headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington DC., in rejection of the Ortega regime’s inauguration and in demand of conclusive action from the international community.
The Social Movements Network and a group of other organizations in exile, also demonstrated on Sunday, January 9, to express their repudiation of the electoral farce and its results. The regime claims this fraudulent vote as their mandate to assume a fourth consecutive period in government on January 10th.
Several organizations held a vigil at the Plaza of Democracy, in San Jose Costa Rica. They demanded the freedom of all the political prisoners, which at present number more than 160 scattered throughout the country’s jails. They also denounce the Ortega regime’s “illegitimate usurpation of power”.
The group of Nicaraguans exiled in Costa Rica set up murals, where they posted photos of some of the prisoners of conscience. They also held an activity where they danced to the sound of a marimba, but also denounced the violations that are still being committed in the country, especially with those deprived of their freedom.