The project to form a great national opposition coalition in Nicaragua, promoted by the Civic Alliance and the National Unity is still in place, according to the proponents, although formally the Alliance is no longer part of the Unity. However, there are still many unanswered questions: when will it be created? who will compose it? And, what would it do?
During an interview on the program “Esta Noche” (Tonight), Ivania Alvarez and Guillermo Incer, members of the Political Council of the Blue and White National Unity (UNAB), presented the coalition project as “a symbol of hope for people who are not organized, and want to see the face and shape of this new opposition, which is strong, respectable and brave.”
Ivania Alvarez, stressed that organizing in the territories “has been one of the most difficult situations,” since they have been “criminalized and boycotted.” “In the departments we been stopped for six hours to be inspected and never let us reach our destination. That feeling of helplessness, which people have, must be filled by the great coalition,” she added.
“It cannot be a coalition just to defeat Ortega, it has to be a coalition to rebuild Nicaragua,” emphasized Alvarez, who was arrested last November along with 15 other young people for bringing water to mothers of political prisoners on a hunger strike. She was released on December 30th.
Demand on business people
The former political prisoner stressed that in recent months UNAB has had success in mobilizations. “What has been done, as small as it seems, like sit-ins, whistle sounds, flag waving, fliers, graffiti, has been coordinated from the Unity.”
However, she expressed that “we cannot continue to be the face, we cannot continue to demand that the young people take the risks. There are other actors, who want to be part of the opposition political role in this country, who must also put a quota. At this time, business people and politicians should start to put in a bit of their quota.”
Incer highlighted that UNAB has made the decision to enter a new stage of civic resistance, which “would really alter the bedrock of power” of the dictatorship.
“In circumstances of repression and harassment, we are limited to actions of economic origin. We will work to ensure that the conditions exist for an indefinite national strike, which will have a very clear short-term objective and that is aware of what comes next. This is one of the strategies for 2020,” he indicated.
Parties must avoid an electoral farse
Regarding political parties, Incer pointed out that the mandate of the General Assembly of UNAB, is for them to be included in the national coalition, but with specific roles.
“The criteria for incorporating a party cannot be limited to the fact that they have a ballot spot and we don’t. They have the ballot spot now, but tomorrow it can be taken away from them, as has been done to other political parties,” says the representative of the civil society sector of UNAB.
“A role that the political parties can play, besides lending their ballot spot if we cannot get one for a coalition, is to not make an alliance with Ortega and enter in the process of an electoral farce, which would legitimize them nationally and internationally,” explained Incer.
“If there are political parties that are willing to not play along with this strategy, they have an important role to play within the coalition,” he added.
Another requirement for political parties is that the election of future candidates will be made through primary elections. “We are not going to allow candidatures to be imposed, because that is part of the past; and blood has not been spilt and freedoms lost to return to the same,” Incer emphasized.
The parties will also be required to sign an agreement with the Mothers of April Association, in which they agree to “not accept any negotiation with the regime, which allows an iota of impunity for crimes against humanity.”
Creation of a “founding nucleus”
Incer clarified that UNAB and Civic Alliance have agreed that it is the “founding nucleus” of the national coalition, which will establish the criteria for inclusion in the great opposition union.
He maintained that, at least, during the first quarter 2020, they will announce the members of the founding nucleus, and would have done “the first approaches with the new participants.”
“That is an imperative deadline, the conditions are already there. With the Civic Alliance, we have been working on that for months, and the National Unity made the internal decisions that were the main points of tension. That is already resolved,” he said.