Solidarity with Nicaragua

 

Sir, – John Perry (August 12th) says “What Nicaragua now needs is support from those who knew it in the 1980s”.

Having lived and worked in Masaya, where John lives now, this is precisely why I signed the open letter to the Nicaraguan ambassador. The letter protests at the current repression, which has seen the killing of hundreds of unarmed protesters against the welfare cuts by the government and the imprisonment of hundred of dissidents, still under house arrest, mostly from Sandinista backgrounds.

The 54 people who signed the letter, at short notice, have all worked in Nicaragua on solidarity brigades and/or been active in the Irish Nicaragua Support Group. It is also supported by six Nicaraguans living in Ireland who do not want to be named for safety reasons.

It would have been negligent of us to simply ignore the plight of the people we worked with, who put so much faith in the pluralist and progressive Sandinista revolution and who are now living under house arrest, hiding in terror or in exile. They need our solidarity now as much as in the past. – Yours, etc,

ROBIN HANAN,

Former chairperson,

Irish Nicaragua Support Group,

Bray, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Your Editorial (August 6th) was based on the June Human Rights Watch report on the “egregious” human rights abuses committed by the government in Nicaragua. This was the most recent in a series of reports from the UN, OAS, Amnesty International and local NGOs documenting the terror in Nicaragua.

John Perry (August 12th) refers to the recent visit to Nicaragua of a delegation of UK trade unionists. Did they visit the prisons where 124 political prisoners are still held? Did they speak to the Nicaraguan  Medical Association, which claims that the health service has deteriorated due to the firing of 135 health workers, including specialist doctors, because they treated injured protesters? I doubt it.

In the June CID-Gallup poll only 18 per cent of those polled said they identified with the government party. So much for Mr Perry’s “majority”. –   Yours, etc,

MOLLY O’DUFFY,

Broadstone, Dublin.