In Nicaragua the media that don’t belong to the government or the presidential family are overflowing with voices demanding the exit of President Daniel Ortega, but there are very few individual Sandinista voices there. The responsibility for such views falls mainly on the Sandinista Front Party and the public officials. They won’t talk to reporters. There’s generally only an official version, delivered directly by the Vice President Rosario Murillo, using the government’s own communications media.
That’s why an interview with Jacinto Suarez merits a higher profile. Suarez is one of the most influential men in the FSLN. He presides over the Foreign Relations Commission of the Nicaraguan Congress, but he’s also the man in charge of the party’s international relations, and as such, the Sandinista’s representative before the Sao Paulo Forum.
Suarez’ closeness to President Ortega dates back to childhood. They were both born and raised in the same neighborhoods of Managua, and Suarez joined the Sandinista guerrilla movements at 15. At 19 he was arrested and shared a prison cell with Ortega until both were freed in 1974. From then on, he was assigned duties in the area of international relations.
He’s served as the assistant foreign minister, head of intelligence, ambassador to Moscow and the Executive Secretary to the general command of the Sandinista Front. He is, then, a man close to the beleaguered Comandante and president of Nicaragua,
Suarez is a man of few words, of limited body language, but with the voice of command. He’s upset by what he considers an intent to stage a Coup, not only against Ortega but against the Nicaraguan people. Sure of his convictions, he accuses the oligarchy, the United States, and the drug traffickers of stirring up this conspiracy against them.
This interview took place in his office, a small house next to the headquarters of Albanisa, decorated with posters from the revolution and portraits of Carlos Fonseca, one of the founders of the Sandinista Front.