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Nicaragua: heartbeat of protest

1 September 2008

Sergio Ramírez is a Nicaraguan writer and politician
who was a leading figure in the FSLN (Sandinista) revolution of 1979 against
the Somoza dictatorship and later (1984-90) served as foreign minister
of the country. His political journey saw him break in 1995 with the
increasingly degraded leadership of FSLN leader and (now) twice Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, to form the Movimiento de Renovación Sandinista (MRS). In five openDemocracy articles, Sergio Ramírez has tracked the
political comeback of Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo, and
the authoritarian regression and moral decay of their politics.

His
sixth and latest essay
has a more hopeful tinge, however: in its depiction of the
hunger-strike protest of revolutionary heroine Dora María Téllez and
the refusal of famed singer Carlos Mejia Godoy to allow his music to be used as propaganda, the author hints that the civic
forces of democratic dissent are finding new voice and confidence.

In an article in the Nicaraguan newspaper El nuevo diario (25 August 2008), Néstor
Martinez even suggests that Dora María Téllez could be "nuestra posible
Lula
". It is a good
time - with important municipal elections in November approaching - to
become acquainted with the politics of a country that in the 1980s
provoked such strong passions, and which again deserves attention and
democratic solidarity.

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Lydia Namubiru Africa editor, openDemocracy

Rebecca Vincent Director of international campaigns, Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

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