Sergio Ramírez: The Sandinista fugitive – RegeneraciónMX

The writer Sergio Ramírez visits Jaliscience exiled from his country for the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega (and Rosario Murillo). His crime: Writing. Tongolele did not know how to dance

Sergio Ramirez The Sandinista fugitive RegeneracionMX

By Mauricio Elí

RegeneraciónMx.- “The ambition of a tyranny is that your own country becomes strange to you, but then one returns to poetry.” The 2021 edition of the Guadalajara International Book Fair began with solemnity, in the voice of the writer Sergio Ramírez (Managua, 1942), who developed his speech through the poem High treason by José Emilio Pacheco when we have the information

Visit the Jaliscience capital exiled from his country by the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega (and Rosario Murillo). His crime: Writing. Tongolele did not know how to dance (Alfaguara, 2021) would be the text that would cost him an arrest warrant – which prevents him from returning to his native Managua – accused of “incitement to hatred and violence, undermining national integrity and others that I have not had time to read” , denounced the Cervantes Prize.

«”mother, what could you give from your small belly / so many blonde beauties and tropical treasure / so many azure lake / so much gold rose / so many sweet pigeons, so many zahareño tigers … “, He says Ruben Dario. Three or four rivers, lake of blues, tigers and doves, the house you were born in, the house you lived in, the streets you walked, the books you left behind. And since today we are among books, in this great cathedral that is assembled and disassembled every year, and there is its permanence of decades in world culture, I can only think of the library that I have left behind in Nicaragua, a house within a house, built over many years, since my unrepentant love of reading led me to collect books, “recalls the novelist.

Ramírez’s presence could not go unnoticed. The Hispanic world reacted immediately to the persecution of Ortega against whoever was his right hand in the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in the 1980s, a movement from which both the dictator and the writer, vice president of their country between 1985 and 1990, would emanate.

“In 1977, the Somoza family accused me through their own Prosecutor’s Office, and before their own judges, of crimes similar to those of today: terrorism, illicit association to commit a crime, and undermining order and peace, when I I was fighting against that dictatorship just as I am now fighting against this other one ”.

The letters do not like the Nicaraguan dictatorial couple.

FIL was not spared the national evil eye either. An irate López Obrador criticized the meeting and described it – what a novelty – as conservative.

“I am not generalizing, but every time Vargas Llosa arrives, he receives special treatment and it would be good if they reported how much they pay him, that is: historically how much they have allocated to Vargas Llosa,” questioned the Mexican president. FIL reversed: “We want to emphasize that neither Mario Vargas Llosa, nor any of the authors who have accompanied us in these 35 years of activity, have been paid a single penny in fees.”

And, being able to criticize Vargas Llosa for his support for Keiko Fujimori or for the laugh that inclusive language started in an interview with Jorge Ramos, they decide to do it for the best he has given the world: his participation in the fairs that promote the best of literature, and his books that won him the Nobel Prize in 2010, the Cervantes in 1994 and the Prince of Asturias in 1986 (today the Princess of Asturias).

On the other side of the ring are, for example, those who for purely advertising purposes write history without knowing it, or at least without reviewing it. There circulates a rather tendentious book that replicates lies under the shield of “promoting women in Mexican history.” When the author was questioned by some of his chosen ones – with data and not with pamphlets -, he preferred silence.

Those who edit these texts should do well to ask what journalists question ourselves. If the president of Mexico is right in something, it is that transparency is for everyone, mainly for those who have a public voice, and in that sense we must also observe the balances in FIL more carefully. Because the idea is to put plurality at the center, not to build new intellectual “Toby clubs”.

“Getting a library that becomes a true lush forest takes time, or takes a lifetime,” said Ramírez at the inauguration. That forest, so similar to that of Birnam from Otello, it moves and scares those who prefer complicit silence.

They do not find that in Ramírez, yesterday Ortega’s vice president and today, his harshest critic. They could not – nor will they – cover him with a “Tree of Life” as Murillo tried with Sandino. As garish as the color is, that silhouette is there, in La Loma, resisting as the letters of Nicaragua and Latin America resist, while the powerful voice of the now Honoris Causa of the University of Costa Rica crosses the continent.

Much in common those who detest letters have much in common. The first thing is that they don’t understand them. Then, the few that do understand are repulsive to them because, unfortunately, they are found in journalism and that autocrats do not like.

“We must end all newspapers, because you cannot make a revolution with freedom of the press,” said Ernesto Guevara. In Mexico, the question is, “Do they just kill journalists?”

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Sergio Ramírez: The Sandinista fugitive – RegeneraciónMX