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I think the best statement that has been made on Nicaragua, one that reflects so many contradictory elements and how much many of us of the older generations have invested there, was on the eve of July 19 by former Uruguayan president José Mujica in the Uruguayan Senate:


*  *  *

I feel ill. Because I know people as old as I am. Because I remember names of compañeros who gave their lives in Nicaragua fighting for  a dream. And I feel I have been asked to intercede with the Pope for him to do something, and I said no. And they've talked to me from one side and talked to me from the other. And I feel that something that was a dream has strayed and fallen into autocracy. And I think that those who yesterday were revolutionaries are no longer aware that in life, there are moments when you have to say I'm leaving.

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I think _part_ of the statement was prompted by 93-year-old Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal, who in June sent an open letter to Mujica asking him to speak out in support of the protests.

But the pain and sense of loss in Mujica's statement should not stop us from seeing things as they are and calling them by their right name.

And this article is a shame-faced defense of the indefensible: an autocratic regime that has murdered hundreds of people.

Shame-faced because it presents the most vulgar apologetics as "context" that should be taken into account. Yet he somehow overlooks that Murillo and Ortega are much more likely to denounce the protests as a satanic rather than an imperialist plot.

Although Ortega continues to own the  "Sandinista" brand, I searched the web for statements about this crisis by leading Sandinista political and cultural figures from the 1980s,  mostly on video because I don't trust the reporting.

Apart from the first couple, Bayardo Arce, Doris Tijerino, all the prominent 1980s Sandinistas I found have called for Daniel to go.

Most striking are the repeated statements by his brother Humberto, as well as the emphatic denunciations by Henry Ruiz ("Modesto"), Luis Carrión, Jaime Wheelock, Víctor Hugo Tinoco (members of the National Directorate),  Dora María Téllez, Mónica Baltodano, and many others. Victor Tirado, also a commander of the revolution, "no longer has full control of his mental faculties" according to his son who denounced the way he was manipulated to appear next to Daniel at the July 19 rally, but five years ago in an interview Tirado has said he had no relations with Ortega and that the president should resign. Also writers and artists like the Mejía Godoy brothers, Norma Elena Gadea, Katia Cardenal (of Duo Guardabarranco), Pancasán, Sergio Ramírez (who was vice-president), Carlos Chamorro (editor of Barricada), Ernesto Cardenal (Minister of Culture), and Monica Baltodano.

Are they all agents of imperialism?

But even if everything that the article says is true, how does that justify the murder of hundreds of students?

And --of course!-- American imperialism is trying to take advantage of it. But who are its agents: students outraged by a murderous  autocratic regime or the imperialist interests, right wing parties and bosses that Ortega has been in bed with for more than a decade?

And of course now that they think they have a chance, they are trying to take advantage of the situation to oust him. Same thing as happened to Gaddafi. You can reach an accommodation with imperialism. But they do not forgive, and they do not forget.

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