Hundreds of Sandinista protesters marched this Sunday through the poor neighborhoods of the capital Nicaraguan to express their support for the government of Daniel Ortega and remember those who fell in the revolution that brought him to power for the first time in 1979.
This government “is the best thing that could have happened to Nicaragua,” Faldeni Castro told AFP, who with his daughter in his arms said he felt “happy” to be a member of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN, left) party.
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Dressed in t-shirts, hats and red and black flags alluding to the FSLN, the mostly young Sandinistas walked through the streets of several neighborhoods in southeastern Managua under the drizzle.
The march culminated in a place known as Hill 110, where in June 1979 35 young people were assassinated by the Somocista dictatorship, which ruled for almost half a century until the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution on July 19, 1979.
“It is a pride that the revolution is among us. My father has told me many beautiful and tragic stories” about that time, said Erick Parrales, 16, who belongs to a Sandinista family.
The demonstration takes place amid criticism from the international community for the arrest of more than 180 opponents and the closure of more than 400 NGOs since 2018, when massive protests broke out against the government that left 355 dead, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights IACHR .
For the government it was a failed coup promoted by the opposition with the support of the United States.
Ortegaa 76-year-old former guerrilla, won a fourth consecutive term in November since 2007 – with his wife Rosario Murillo as vice president – in elections where most of his opponents and rivals were imprisoned or exiled, and three parties were outlawed.
The opponents “could not, nor will they be able to (beat us),” exclaimed the Sandinistas during the march, which was enlivened with rhythmic songs that supported the president and rejected foreign interference.
“Here we no longer want foreign interference (…) outside they can say what they want, but if you are on Nicaraguan land, respect my flag,” said a melody that echoed from a loudspeaker from a truck that was following the protesters.
“Unfortunately, everything they did to us was not against Daniel (Ortega, but that) it was against the people,” said Sandinista Carmen Sánchez. “We are attached to the commander” Ortegahe added.