International Participants in the Forum “Peace and Solidarity with Nicaragua” interviewed by Alberto Mora
Revista En Vivo, Canal 4
November 1st 2018
Alberto Mora : We are please to be able to talk this morning with Compañero Render Peña, from Venezuela, head of international relations for the youth directorate of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Thank you for being with us this morning and for talking to us.
In relation to your visit for this Second Forum for Peace and Solidarity, we wanted to discuss your impressions from hearing about what happened here during the failed coup attempt, which I should imagine reminded you in some ways of what the People of Venezuela have suffered in recent years.
Render Peña: Firstly, thank you and greetings to all the people of Nicaragua via the cameras of Channel Four. A revolutionary Bolivarian greeting from the youth directorate of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and from the President of our party, Compañero and Comrade Nicolás Maduro Moros, who has been following the proceedings of this Second Forum of Peace and Solidarity with Nicaragua, because as we were saying earlier, for us Nicaragua isn’t just an ally or a friend, it’s a brother and sister and the People of Nicaragua are brothers and sisters of the Bolivarian People of Venezuela.
So on the question you asked me, when I was listening to the Forum it was as though I were listening to what has been happening in Venezuela. Beyond any doubt there’s a Standard Procedure, a very clear Manual that North American imperialism , the centers of imperial power hold ready to use against Peoples who decide to go their own way.
They use it in Venezuela. They are trying to use it in Nicaragua, trying with the same violent, hostile, ruthless, inhuman actions to take political power violently.
We saw how the roadblocks and barricades did great damage to the Nicaraguan people. In Venezuela they are called “guarimbas”. We have seen the face of fascism in its clearest expression, we have seen how they have burned people alive. In Venezuela, we had people burnt alive.
We have seen how as a result of the roadblocks and barricades people have died while trying to move from their home, or some other place, to health centers because they needed medical attention and, thanks to the roadblocks, that was not possible and they died. That happened to us as well in Venezuela.
Something extremely hurtful happened to us in Venezuela and has also happened here in Nicaragua, because we all agree about Nicaragua’s national right wing, the extreme, rotten right wing, historic US collaborators and Venezuela’s right wing, obviously coordinated by the US imperialist political leadership of US imperialism, without the least mercy they have acted too against children, against little girls and boys!
People of Nicaragua, sisters and brothers, in Venezuela, they tried to burn 80 children in a preschool because that preschool was located in a Ministry, the Ministry of Public Works, in our country. And since the preschool was located there and anything connected to the government was a target, for the national right wing it deserved to be attacked and was a target.
They burned it and only the immediate response of the People nearby stopped them realizing their most ruthless desire. But coming to think or imagine that you can burn down a preschool with 80 children inside, burn down a public maternity center just because it was created by the Revolution and has certainly been part of the Bolivarian government’s social policy and doing so without caring that there were mothers inside, or that there were new-born infants there, that happened in Venezuela.
If we can take something away from this, it is that we have matured greatly, not because we have read about fascism, or been told about it but because we have seen fascism face to face, looking it in the eye. And our Peoples are seeing definitively not just that we reject it, because that’s very clear, but also that we have to dedicate our whole lives so that fascist governments never again rule over any People anywhere
We have started a march of no return which is the march towards socialism, the march for our Peoples. Today we are here because for us to be revolutionaries is to defend the Sandinista cause. Being revolutionary is to defend the Bolivarian cause, the cause of Cuba, of our Peoples united. That is why we are here.
There’s a saying that “Alone I travel faster but together we travel further” and that unity is what we seek, so as to reach the place foreseen by our political guides : our Bolívar, our Sandino, our Daniel Ortega, our Hugo Chávez, our Compañera Rosario, our President Nicolás Maduro, our Bolivarian and Sandinista guides together with our Peoples who clearly direct the mandate each one of our leaders has so as to reach where we want to arrive and where we dream of reaching.
Alberto Mora: People have denounced or expressed that what happened was a structured plan, covertly designed beforehand over many years by the United States together with internal collaborators. That situation, as you said to start with, has been designed for other countries using the same format. So it’s very easy to identify, observe, see. It’s impossible not to see that, in fact, it was a plan to overthrow the constitutional government, which is what is happening to other Peoples, including the Venezuelan people.
Render Peña: Consider quickly, just for a minute or two, a Venezuelan experience. After the physical departure of Comandante Hugo Chávez on March 5th 2013, we were permitted maybe one or two months of mourning, but the national and international right wing offensive began immediately. To begin with they left it to the national right wing alone, obviously with financial support, and during 2013, 2014 and early 2015 the right wing used a plan called “The Exit” and that plan brought the “guarimbas” to Venezuela and the roadblocks and barricades to Nicaragua and with them came deaths and disappearances.
Their plan is not for Peace but to use whatever means and sadly they use violence, because they don’t have the votes. When they test their support they are always wiped out by the People’s vote who decide to have government leaders from the People. Because Daniel Ortega is from the People, President Nicolas Maduro is from the People. But immediately that happened, in 2013, 2014, North American imperialism intervened.
The same happens in Nicaragua. Since no right wing exists capable of confronting compañero Daniel Ortega via elections, the mercenaries appear, foreign intervention appears, to try and torpedo the progress of our Peoples. No one can deny in Nicaragua what the whole world recognizes, and this is important, I’m talking as a Venezuelan, the whole world recognizes the advances of Nicaragua on different fronts, be they social, political or economic, Nicaragua has had sustained growth.
No reason exists, no understandable or justifiable reason, to believe there was a spontaneous uprising by Nicaragua’s People to take political power….none! Because Nicaragua is taking the path to prosperity. Nicaragua is following a path not to circumstantial prosperity but to definitive, permanent prosperity.
How is it possible that some kind of torpedo stops that happening? Simple. For the mere fact that it was happening and before that prosperity was definitively reached, they had to cut off this route that Comandante Daniel was following with his People.
But in Venezuela, which is the experience I want to get across, since 2015 and the unilateral sanctions against our country, here in Nicaragua you have a great advantage for which I congratulate you, namely that 90% of what you consume Nicaragua produces itself. Here there really is food sovereignty.
In our country, since our income is basically from oil we have a total dependence on oil related income, so that the unilateral sanctions have affected us a lot.
We are in a very complex situation, but the right wing in Venezuela has been pulverized and that is when North American imperialism has intervened frontally with its principal figurehead Donald Trump. Based on that, we can now say there is no national political opposition, but we have a much more perverse opposition ,which is the international opposition, which has many years experience of overthrowing governments, many years experience of torpedoing the routes to contentment that different Peoples choose to follow.
But if we are sure of anything it is that we, Nicaragua’s People, Venezuela’s Bolivarian People, Nicaragua’s Sandinista People, will defeat every mean spirited attack from the centers of power against our Peoples because we have decided now and forever to be free.
In 2012, Comandante Hugo Chávez used a phrase, an expression referring to our Youth and he said that we are the best generation to walk these lands in the last 500 years of history. He wasn’t talking about what we have done but about what we are about to do. That definitive construction of the Sandinista revolution and the Bolivarian revolution is a matter Latin America’s youth has pending with the world and it is the main legacy we are determined to leave.
Alberto Mora: Many thanks
Render Peña : Thank you and thanks to the people of Nicaragua.
Alberto Mora : We’re pleased now to be able to talk to Compañero César Trompiz, Rector of Venezuela’s Bolivarian University and President of the Ayacucho Foundation. Thanks for letting us talk to you for a few minutes. We want to talk about the Peace and Solidarity Forum taking place in our country with the chance to participate of sisters and brothers from overseas, like yourself from the People of Venezuela, from the Bolivarian Revolution.
What do you think about what you have learned from the presentations our visiting sisters and brothers have made about what really happened in our country during this failed coup attempt, practically omitted by the mainstream media, who to the contrary orchestrated a mendacious media campaign around the events that took place in our country?
César Trompiz: Firstly, I’m grateful for the invitation to this Forum of Peace and Solidarity with Nicaragua. For Venezuela, Comandante Chávez taught us to love the Sandinista cause, to respect the Sandinista Front for National Liberation and this beautiful People that is also a revolutionary and Bolivarian people.
Our President Nicolás Maduro Moros has sent us here with the mission of embracing the Sandinista cause, embracing Nicaragua’s People and expressing our solidarity for building Peace, for preserving the Peace made possible by Comandante Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario, in permanent struggle, accompanied by a People and Movement respectful of Human Rights.
In this Forum we have been able to note with much detail how the imperialist recipe is being applied in Nicaragua against the legitimate government of the Sandinista Front, against the whole people and against the Peace of Nicaragua’s People.
We are facing a model of political management by the North Americans of the construction of fascism. On finding it impossible to take power via elections, they are trying to sow hatred and division among our People and they want to make people think hatred and division is what overthrows nationalist and revolutionary movements, movements of national dignity, that do not follow the line of the White House and the State Department. But the effects of that outbreak of fascism financed by the North Americans are division, destruction of our economies, destruction of solidarity between our countries and an attack on our Peoples’ identity.
I think that Nicaragua and the Sandinista movement, the Government of Peace and Reconciliation are giving an exemplary display of how to take on that challenge above all by permanently maintaining a discourse and action with Peace and Reconciliation as our main banner, rather than declaring war on the fascists, while at the same time knowing how to denounce the big lies they tell about Nicaragua at a global level.
The right wing media in Venezuela continue saying that it is impossible to walk the streets in Nicaragua, that it’s impossible to invest in Nicaragua, saying that it’s a Central American war zone, almost that airplanes cannot fly here. So there is still an operation to lie about Nicaragua and make it a target of the Organization of American States, of the White House, of Donald Trump’s Administration none of whom know what to do about the grave humanitarian crisis they have started around the world except to focus their aggression on countries choosing different answers to global challenges.
I think we have to encourage permanent awareness of this, because it is an enemy always reinventing itself and this moment of reinvention takes place via an outbreak of fascism. President Nicolas Maduro denounced this back in 2013. One has to remember that Venezuela has gone through four years of roadblocks, barricades, guarimbas, aggression, persecution of the Bolivarian Chavista Movement and all the lies the media publish about repression.
So really a number of things you find when you go to Venezuela, you find also when you go to Nicaragua. There’s a media reality and there’s a reality on the streets. The reality on the streets is what Sandinismo has achieved, what Nicaragua’s revolution has achieved.
But I can transfer that to Caracas. You can walk through Caracas with no problem. Do we have economic difficulties? Of course! They have spent four years attacking the economy as well as blockading us via the North American sanctions, the financial sanctions. How could we not have economic problems when the North Americans have deliberately brought them about?
Today the La Prensa newspaper came out accusing the Sandinista Revolution of having damaged trade. But when you look at the figures on a graph, the tipping point is April when they began boycotting national life, trying to cause damage and affect normal life.
I think we are learning a lot in this Forum of Peace and Solidarity and we are learning tangible truths from the people who suffered aggression, this fascist aggression, led here in Nicaragua by paid mercenaries on behalf of North American interests.
And when we listen to the women and men compañeros it’s as if we are sitting the through the repeat of a film because saying they did something different here from what they did in Caracas would be untrue. It’s exactly the same! The methods are the same, the arguments are the same, the lies are the same, even some of the people are the very same.
There in Venezuela it’s the Episcopal Conference too, it’s the cassock, as Comandante Chávez said, “the cassock with devils underneath” who offend the goodness and beauty of the Catholic Church, offend the goodness and beauty of the faith of Catholic people and try to manipulate faith so as to damage society. These are the same actors perhaps in different coutnries, but with the same sources of finance.
That is why one must have great unity of national awareness, revolutionary unity, the solidarity based unity of our people and great faith in Peace as the permanent task our Comandantes have taken as the just, modern, necessary way to maintain our countries.
Alberto Mora : How do you see the spirit of Nicaraguans?
César Trompiz : Reinforced! I feel that Nicaragua has its spirit reinforced. I think Nicaragua has a spirit of struggle. I think Nicaraguan youth and Nicaraguan students have great dignity and trust in Sandinismo as the driver of Peace and the builder of prosperity for their People
I was in the National Autonomous University this morning and yesterday I was in the streets of Managua, today I’ll be going somewhere else. I went to the beautiful monument to Comandante Chávez, which our People very much appreciate. And here one can breathe the desire to overcome this boycott, the sabotage, this new coup attempt. One can breathe the collective need to maintain solidarity and national unity for the common good. That is what one feels in the street here in Nicaragua.
I think that furthermore it brings all of us in Latin America to reflect deeply, to always maintain unity and awareness above all the lies imperialism throws out via different media. We must never permit Left Movements, Popular Movements to ever doubt our leaders, our Comandantes. Leaders like President Maduro are coherent. A leader like Comandante Ortega, like Compañera Rosario are deeply coherent. We must never let them divide us! Because that is what imperialism tries to do, divide, set the People against themselves, sow doubt about our Comandantes and leaders. We must never do that!
I feel that solidarity, that Love, that enthusiasm Nicaragua has will allow it to overcome this moment and the moments soon to come. Because one must have deep awareness that imperialism is not going to stop, imperialism hates independence. Imperialism hates the prosperity of Peoples and that is what we are building, independence with prosperity and that’s what we have to continue building collectively.
Alberto Mora: Many thanks César, much appreciated. Now we welcome and look forward to conversing this morning with Compañero Marco Esteban Caballero Montaño, a journalist from Bolivia participating in the Forum for Peace and Solidarity with Nicaragua here in Managua. Thank you for talking to us Marco.
We want to start first with your impressions after having had the chance to know what happened in the country during the failed coup attempt. We should ask about this because we know the media cover-up there has been about what happened in Nicaragua and the interest multinational companies involved have in concealing the truth so as to present lies as if they were true. As a journalist you know that very well. What’s your impression of all this?
Marco Esteban Caballero : I believe there have been Peace Commissions established in several countries and this will allow the truth about the events of the 18 of April and the months following to be known.
Nevertheless, I think that more has to be done to socialize and demonstrate the truth of what has happened, in the countries where there are solidarity groups for peace in Nicaragua there is also reactionary journalism, journalism that spreads misinformation. There are instruments of the system known for their 'light' programming and other categories of programming which have a big audience.
Obviously the social class of the population that participates in the processes of change, is enriched by the presences various social categories, from that of political thought to the spiritual. There is the presence of the humble, the workers, the people. In Bolivia for example, there are the excluded who are now the included thanks to the leadership of our brother, President Evo Morales.
What is the reason for this unexplained aggression to explode in Nicaragua? Where has this ever been seen before? In the 21 st century we thought that we had left behind such atrocities. Therefore we are hearing what I had heard in Bolivia, for example, from the pastors, Evangelicals, because there are different kinds of evangelical pastors! There are those who support Bolsonero for example! What are the spiritual and Christian principles of these pastors in relation to those pastors who, participating in the Peace Forums with such solidarity, return love for violence? These important values have been lost in these Christians and religious. In this case, it is necessary to continue to preach, to continue to inform and socialize the information about what has really happened in Nicaragua.
Tomorrow it will be our turn, as Bolivians. There has all ready been aggression, the Vice President has been attacked as well as community and union leaders, attacked and beaten. It's the reactionary right's screenplay which they have to follow in order to attack the People.
They believe that its the only way to frighten us, by attacking us, however here in the presentations we are seeing demonstrated courage of our sister and brothers, the revolutionaries of the FSLN, the courage of our indigenous people and campesinos, the courage of Venezuelan brothers and sisters when the guarimbas attack and burn, the courage of our Cuban brothers and sisters. President Maduro's mandate has been to return love for aggression and this is what the young Chavistas do.
We have an enormous virtue, so much to give, therefore this is not where this will end. We have so much to give, too much to give, too much to say, too much love to express from our Christian vision, which is also revolutionary.
The Sandinista movement was born with liberation theology, and we could say that this comes to refresh us, as it is still alive in what the Evangelical pastors and Catholic priests preach, those who are participating. There are Catholics from the Base communities among those assisting at the Forum, obviously those who give the best impression, as well as bringing what true Christians are always looking to do, make themselves strong spiritually.
What can they do against this? You who are Christians and some of you who aren't? Christ has always said that strength is in spirituality, the true word, which after these difficult times, after all this terrible aggression, that we can hardly believe in a civilized world, gives us strength to confront all the confusion of the Left.
We believe that they are completely disoriented, the so called Left that supports the violence and the the subversion. It's difficult to believe isn't it? People who have been educated in the world of the academic Left find themselves on the other side of the fence!
Well, I believe that this forum is demonstrating a political line, which is a political line of Life. It is another way to to do politics which is also going to resound and embed itself in all of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Alberto Mora : Maybe we have to understand that all countries applying historic processes for the benefit of the poorest sectors of the population will become the focus of the attention of the USA and their politics of aggression?
Marco Esteban Caballero: Of course, and the worst of it is that ,when there appears one of these citizens of the world, like our President Evo Morales, they don't recognize his work, they only become more aggressive. What can we do about this? I believe that we have to continue to preach the truth, proposing Love and this sense of the spirituality of life.
Our people, of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Cuba, in their revolutions have demonstrated this other way of life. In Bolivia, when we present our policy of Living Well, we are saying, there is another way to live, taking into consideration everything around you.
In other words, we don't believe in objects, we are all subjects, and we reject the academic categories of subject-object. No. In reality, we are all subjects, and we must respect and consider and of course, love, all.
Alberto Mora: Marco, thank you.
Marco Esteban Caballero: Thank you for the interview