Miguel Roque Silva, center, hoists the Nicaraguan flag into the air at a rally for peace on Saturday. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

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.

Hundreds of members of the Nicaraguan American community chanting “Ortega y Somoza son la misma cosa” (Ortega and Somoza are the same thing.) Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.
Rally attendees hiding in the shade. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

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 voiced their support for the student and youth movements in Nicaragua, claiming that they are being persecuted by the government for lawful protests. The sign reads “They weren’t delinquents, they were students! Justice!” Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.
Olga Mar listens to a testimony by a member of the Nicaraguan community. Hundreds of immigrants from Nicaragua rallied at the 24th street BART plaza Saturday to demand peace in the Central American country. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

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.

Rafael Antonio Castillo sits down on a vent in the BART plaza. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.
Aileen Lawlor, right, paints a Nicaraguan flag on the cheek of Alaina Noguera, left. Lawlor spends six months in Nicaragua with her husband and another six months in the United States. She said she wouldn’t let political crackdowns scare her from going back. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

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2 Comments

  1. Good article and fotos, however, the caption for one says folks are ‘hiding’ in the shade and it looks more like they’re standing in the shade to get outta the sun and not avoiding attn.

  2. Great Work over all the solidarity theWe need nicaraguans keep going we need that to kick out the succesor of Somoza.WE NEED DEMOCRACY IN OUR COUNTRY.THANKS BEAUTIFUL WORK.

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