A Cry for Coast Solidarity
September 15- On May 4th, 2002, an illegitimate government was sworn into office in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region by then president of the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE), Roberto Rivas. Arnoldo Alemán had designated two natives of the Pacific coast to be governor and president of the regional assembly. Since May 4th, the CSE, the central government, and the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) have been making a mockery of our people. The outcome of the elections was rebuffed and appealed to the Supreme Court. The court ruled the elections illegal and ordered new elections. On August 24th, the new elections were conducted, and this time around, native council members of the Atlantic region were elected to lead the regional government in defiance of Arnoldo Aleman’s wishes.
What happened? Eleven council members of the Liberal party broke ranks and joined forces with the Sandinista and Yatama parties in order to form a majority. The new coalition elected the officials that they deemed fit to steer the regional government. Because of the current internal struggle within the liberal party and the failure of the CSE to convene a quorum, the liberal magistrates (the majority) in the CSE refused to go to Bluefields to instate the newly elected regional government. The Sandinistas magistrates of the CSE, who did travel to Bluefields, went ahead and installed the new regional government.
To date the regional government is in limbo. We are without a recognized RAAA…AASSSS!!!! government. The Supreme Court of Justice has not issued an opinion whether the regional government is legitimate or not. On September 5, the day before the peaceful protest in the streets of Bluefields to demand resolution to the impasse, the central government delivered a tiny fraction of the yearly budget allocated for the regional government with the clear intentions to abort the protest or better put, bribe the Costeños. Unfortunately, the CSE does not do its job because of the “pacto.”
How long must we put up with the humiliating treatment of the central government, CSJ, and CSE? How long before we agitate?
My brothers and sisters, our duty is to show solidarity with our people and affirm our commitment to the struggle every step of the way. That we support every effort the comrades at home are making to resolve the injustices perpetrated upon us for more than one hundred years. That we too demand the Supreme Court of Justice to render a ruling on the elections. That we too request president Enrique Bolaños to step in and put a stop to this mockery. When president Bolaños was asked if he would support the Autonomous government at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, he replied, “Yes, I support the law of Autonomy on the Caribbean coast.” We believed the president, but we must insist on the compliance and regulation of Law 28.
We are asking all Nicaraguan Costeños in the USA to join us and show solidarity with our brothers and sisters back home by having a peaceful protest in front of the Nicaraguan embassy in Washington, DC. Now is the time to act. Tomorrow will be too late. If you truly feel the pain of our people who not only need work and food, but also justice, then, show your support and join us.
Our goal is to congregate at least one hundred Costeños, Nicaraguans in Washington, DC on October 4, 2002 in front the Nicaraguan embassy if by then the Supreme Court, the CSE, and the central government have not resolved the crisis of the regional government. Send us your e-mail with full name and let us know if you will be joining us in this worthy cause. The e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org
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