Elthon Rivera: “The opportunity to be a professional was taken away from me again”

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Rivera, until more than 15 days ago, was an active student at the Paulo Freire University, in his last year of Political Science, he was about to graduate, but his plans fell apart, due to an “arbitrary” decision by the government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, confiscate universities, management carried out by the Ministry of the Interior and approved by the National Assembly.

This story of Rivera is the same as that of many young university students in Nicaragua

¿What happened?

The National Assembly, at the request of the Ministry of the Interior, withdrew the operating license of the Paulo Freire University (UPF), Rivera’s university campus, as well as the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (Upoli), considered one of the bastions of the university struggle in the context of April 2018, also to the Catholic University of the Dry Tropics (Ucatse), the Nicaraguan University of Humanistic Studies (Uneh), and the Popular University of Nicaragua (Uponic). The next day they ordered the closure of another seven private universities, bringing the number of houses of higher education illegal since last December to a total of 14.

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According to the Ministry of the Interior (Migob), these universities failed to comply with their obligations, including not reporting their financial statements according to fiscal periods, with detailed breakdowns of income, expenses, trial balance, details of donations (origin and final beneficiary), among others.

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My day started at 3 in the morning, sheltered in a small lodging room, ready to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I tried to stay in Nicaragua as long as I could, but due to the imminent risk to my integrity, I had to leave the country, Elthon Rivera wrote on Twitter.

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That was the trigger for leaving the country immediately for this young university student, and he was motivated by the desire not to be snatched away from finishing a university degree, even if it is far from his country. “I am already located and safe. Thanks to those who accompanied me with their prayers and good wishes. I know a challenge full of uncertainties is coming, but I am ready to face it, ”he assured on his social network.nn

Two careers cut short by the Ortega government

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Rivera is 27 years old, he is a university human rights activist. InterTextual spoke with him to hear his testimony now that the university that opened its doors to give him a second chance to become a professional has been confiscated.

Near the end of his fifth-year Medicine degree, he was one of the students expelled for participating in the demonstrations against the government of Ortega and Murillo. The Paulo Freire University gave him the opportunity to continue his studies and in his last year of Political Science, again about to graduate, the government truncates this second opportunity, confiscating his Alma Mater.

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The young man points out, “although the CNU (National Council of Universities), promises that it will integrate the students that will give them continuity of studies, that does not apply to populations like me who have a history of expulsion or cases with the CNU or with the government as such”.

No right to enter state universities

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The government wants to obstruct the opportunity for thinking youth to continue studying.

“Students with opposition leaders and human rights defenders will not be able to enter universities that were confiscated by the government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo,” Rivera recently adds to this. “Many students and activists who had already seen the impossibility of continuing in state universities, either out of fear or because they had a real case like those expelled, had opted for private universities”.

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The Paulo Freire University (UPF), where Rivera was, was one of the few universities that opened its doors to students who were expelled from other public universities, “it opened its doors, without any political interest or political distinction, rather than the intent to provide higher education. says the young man.

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In his Twitter account, Rivera, very indignant, due to his situation as a student, expressed “the opportunity to be a professional was taken from me again, first they expelled me from medicine at UNAN and now they remove the status of my new university where I was studying Political Science.” Education in Nicaragua is serious, he asserts.

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A follower of Rivera replied to the Tweet: “Nicaragua has been serious in education for many years. Unfortunately, the new generations will inherit poverty and destruction in knowledge. Something that cannot be reversed”.

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The young man affirms Intertextual. That the university youth is aware that, passing these universities to the domain of the state, they will not be able to choose to continue their careers, plus those who have already been expelled by a previous one; because the government’s plan is also indoctrination, that’s why the attack on the universities.

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“This is an attack that is directed at Nicaraguan higher education in an attempt by the government to dominate everything… It goes beyond a persecution of students and activists, to carry out its indoctrination plan,” says the university student.

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The recent young man who could not complete his Medicine degree anywhere else, “universities prior to the closure of his legal personality and some that retain legal status did not give me enrollment,” he assures.

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What is currently happening with universities and education is a great damage being done to Nicaraguan society.

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Elthon Rivera, in addition to being an active university student, continued his activism within a program to help university students expelled from their careers, they helped guarantee scholarships so that young people did not pay a single penny at university with the purpose of helping them to complete the races, these efforts “without any political interest. “The university did not intervene, it was simply a center where higher education was given, he adds.

Leave the country

“I was at risk and I had to leave the country,” the young man, who does not lose hope of continuing to study, from exile, tells our media.

It won’t be in vain, rest assured. My fight continues no matter where I am, in fact, with greater freedom and greater power. I’ll do what I couldn’t do there. Write on Twitter already being in a safe place.

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Searching among Rivera’s publications we enter the link of a writing written by him, very nice, where as a metaphor, he explains what happens with the education of the country that saw him born and where he could not, no matter how much he wanted to be a professional, we want to leave part of that writing entitled “Between weeds and snakes.”

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We leave the link for you to read in full https://t.co/Mq9BwmRjYx

Be like the plants that seek the sun

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But if we are still a living garden that resists among weeds, we must follow the trail of the sun’s rays until we reach them; nourish our minds, our civic and democratic values ​​and that together we produce in the garden the change that is needed, cleaning the weeds, expelling the snakes.

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Let us be the plants that seek the sun of freedom, that make their way through the undergrowth to let wisdom

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flourish; let us bear fruits and seeds capable of enriching our surroundings.

Today where manipulation abounds, let us be resistance, resilience and action, and defend, like any other resource, the power of education.

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