Forty years after the revolution in Nicaragua, some 150 immigrants rallied together at the 24th Street BART Plaza, with young and old generations coming together to demand that President Daniel Ortega resign.
“This is what our predecessors were doing back in the ’80s,” Gabriela Aleman said. “This isn’t about parties. This is about the people and the country.”
Attendees held signs in Spanish, waved their national flag and chanted together, “Somoza y Ortega son la misma cosa!”(Ortega and Somoza are the same thing) meaning that President Ortega and Anastasio Somoza, the leader the young Ortega helped overthrow in 1979, are both dictators.
Gabriela Alemán, a member of a youth organization called Chavalo, said a coalition of people and organizers planned the rally on Saturday afternoon. Alemán said it was up to the next generation of Nicaraguan Americans to express their support for a peaceful change in the country.
Valeska Castañeda Puerto, an organizer in the immigrant community from Richmond, said she wanted to come and show solidarity with the Nicaraguan community in San Francisco.
“We’re a product and seeds of the revolution. The government being seen here today does not reflect the values of that struggle,” said Castañeda Puerto.
Many of the original migrants from Nicaragua left the country in the years leading up to the overthrow of former dictator Somoza, after his ouster, and again during the U.S.-backed contra war that helped to end the Sandinista regime. That regime ended after 1990 election of Violeta Chamorro, the wife Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, a well-known newspaper publisher assassinated by Somoza’s men in early 1978.
Ortega resumed office with his election in 2006.