MANAGUA – Marta Uceda, Manuel Mendo, Auxiliadora Cuellar – all Nicaraguans with one thing in common. They are grandparents ready to give their lives in the battle of the people against the government, in exchange for a better future for the youth of Nicaragua and for a country of justice and peace.
“I’m old, so let them kill me,” mother and grandmother Marta Uceda told EFE, adding that she is ready to do whatever is necessary to defend the people against the government.
It all began last April 18 when Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega decided unilaterally to reform social security with a series of unpopular measures that stirred up the embers that had been smoldering for some time but suddenly burst into flames, into a huge fire there was no way of putting out.
The call of the grandmas and grandpas goes on, and they seem ready to do anything, to the point of taking a bullet to protect the future of their children, grandchildren, and Nicaragua itself.
“What Daniel (Ortega) wants is to leave Nicaragua destroyed…If I had him before me I’d say, you’re a murderer. He got rid of (former president) Somoza because he was a dictator, and now he’s the dictator,” Marta exclaimed with the pain of a mother and grandmother who sees the future through the eyes of her descendants.
Uceda, almost 70, from the indigenous district of Monimbo, is full of fear, not of dying but of the “combined forces” of the government, made up of police, parapolice and anti-riot squads that continue to persecute the youth of the country and have slain at least 288 young activists.
Marta, who confesses she hardly knows how to read, is nonetheless full of the wisdom she has acquired over the years and through the experiences of a hard life during which she brought up her kids by working in the fields and making handicrafts, which haven’t always made her enough money to put food on the table.
Manuel Mendo had a message that appears agreed upon by Nicaragua’s elderly: “They have bullets and we have flags. That’s all we need to bring down the tyrant (Ortega). and with that alone and our voices, we will do it.”
The old folks have no doubts. The radical position they have adopted in recent weeks gives young people the strength they need to keep going after more than two months of struggle, of nights of government shootings and bloodshed at dawn.
People of all ages have come together to bring down Ortega and live up to the slogan “A united people will never be defeated.”
Sources: EFE, Latin American Herald Tribune