The Plea of the Caribbean Coast People for Equality  

In 1894, the government of General Josť Santos Zelaya with the help of his troops commanded by General Rigoberto Cabezas and aided by the army of the United States overthrew the Miskitos government. Robert Henry Clarence and his collaborators were forced into exile, and many who were left behind were either thrown into prison on the Pacific coast or were expelled from the country.

Cabezas and Zelaya through military force incorporated the Miskito territory and its resources to Nicaragua. They branded their names on the territories but did nothing for the people who, since that epoch, until the present have been treated by the colonizers of the Pacific coast of Nicaragua as conquered enemies and in the best case as second-class citizens.

The marginalized Caribbean people had to wait almost 100 years for redemption. In 1996, the national government recognized and established in its constitution that Nicaragua is a multiethnic country. In actuality, the majority of the countries of the world are proud of their multiethnicity. It is reflected on the television, in diplomatic representations, in sports, etc.

The United States and Costa Rica, which are displayed as examples of democracies by the Nicaraguan politicians, can be utilized to learn a few lessons. The National System of Radio and Television of Costa Rica always asserts that Costa Rica is comprised of multiethnic and multicultural people. In the United States there is more representation of the different cultures in all spheres of its national life.

On the other hand, the ethnocentric government of Nicaragua guided by the liberal party, most often has tried to diminish the participation of the Caribbean coast people. It would seem that they wish to hide the indigenous and black people of our country. The politics of discrimination and disparagement of the coast people have been steadfastly institutionalized. Some frustrated coast people who feel that their voices are not being heard anywhere do not even complaint anymore. The organizations and institutions, which we supposed would be the voice of the Caribbean people, have no echo.

Faced with a situation that put in danger the desired stability our country to move forward toward development and progress, it is urgent to have a profound reflection concerning the discrimination being inflicted on the Caribbean people in their everyday life. And because of this, we ask ourselves the following questions everyday:

Why is it that in multiethnic Nicaragua there arenít any cabinet ministers who are Miskito, Mayagna, Rama, Garifuna, Creole, or Mestizo from the Caribbean coast? Is it because there arenít any capable coast people? Or it is because of some other reasons?

Why is it that in multiethnic Nicaragua there arenít any ambassadors from the Caribbean coast in any part of the world? Is it because there arenít any capable coast people? Or it is because of some other reasons?

Why couldnít any Miskito, Mayagna, Rama, Garifuna, or Creole of the ruling party be a candidate or deputy for the South Atlantic region?

Why arenít there any coast athletes on the national baseball selection? It is that the coast people arenít capable or is there another reason? Why are the first division baseball championships dubbed national? Why arenít there any teams from the Caribbean coast in those championships? Why canít Davis Hodgson, manager of three different national championship teams, including the last two, be the manager of the national baseball selection team of Nicaragua?

Why wasnít an additional deputy assigned to the Southern Autonomous Atlantic Region by a decree in September 2001 for subscribing an excess of 86 thousand votes? Why are only two deputies from the Southern Autonomous Atlantic Region, a region with more than 130 thousand eligible voters, assigned to the national assembly while there are three deputies assigned to the departments of Carazo, Chontales, Esteli, Granada, and Jinotega, which have an equal or lesser amount of eligible voters? The coast people have vehemently protested this situation to no avail. The international observers did not mention a word about this anxiety.

Equality for the coast people is still a dream as well as the regulation of the Autonomous law for which we have been fighting since 1993. It seem no one is listening to our pleas.

Johnny Hodgson Deering  
Tel: 505-822-2579



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