«Tell my mother to be strong», the message of the political prisoner Yader Vado

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“Tell my mother to be strong, that I love you all and see you soon.” The words are from Yaser Vado González, which he sent to Doña Zenobia González through her defense attorney, a few minutes after hearing the guilty verdict two weeks ago.

Doña Zenobia says that everything she has heard in her life, the message that Yaser sent her “is the most valuable” and she adds that she will never forget it. “I don’t know if it’s because of everything that has happened to us, the time of not seeing him, I don’t know,” she tries to explain. She declares shock. “All this and this result (judicial ruling) has hit us,” she says.

The mother of the 26-year-old prisoner of conscience points out that although everything indicated that they would be found guilty, she had “a small glimmer of hope.” “Like any mother, nobody wants this for a child,” she adds.

Yaser Vado was kidnapped by the regime’s police on November 6, one day before the presidential elections in which Daniel Ortega obtained his fourth consecutive term, under serious questioning of legitimacy.

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At another end of Managua, Don Miguel Parajón, the father of Yader Parajón, the other political prisoner on trial along with Vado, also sadly received the words of his prisoner. “Take good care of yourself,” he says was the message he sent with the defense attorney.

Parajón is an activist from the opposition Blue and White National Unity (UNAB) and was arrested last September when he tried to flee the country due to the government siege. Parajón participated in the protests that broke out in 2018 against the Ortega regime.

A bad month for the country

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Don Miguel declares himself inconsolable. “They blamed me,” he laments. The man cannot hide his sadness from him; he lost a son in the 2018 protests and now another is locked up. “I know he’s going to get out, I’m going to live to see him free. We trust in God,” he notes.

Both Parajón and Vado were found guilty for alleged “conspiracy to undermine national integrity to the detriment of the State of Nicaragua and Nicaraguan society.” Vado has also added “propagation of false news”.

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Both crimes have a deep political background for the opponents. “It should be noted that it is precisely opponents of the regime who are making their debut with these crimes, which were approved for them,” accuses an analyst who asks not to be identified to avoid persecution.

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February was not a good month for many families with relatives fully involved in the crisis that began in April 2018 and that is the date and does not seem to show any path towards a solution. 177 families live the ordeal of the trials that began on February 1 and have not stopped this week. In none, there has been a single finding of innocence.

There is tiredness, but no surrender

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“These have been tired and discouraging days,” says journalist Margin Pozo, wife of sportswriter Miguel Mendoza, who was found guilty on Tuesday, February 8, and whom the Ortega-Murillo government also accuses of “conspiring to undermine national integrity.”

The journalist’s family said that Mendoza faced his trial with serenity and courage. When he had the opportunity, he reminded the judge that he was a sportswriter with more than 30 years of experience. “I am proud to be an independent, honest, and committed journalist with the country,” he told her.

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Next, he made the most important request of his life: “I ask that you allow me to see my daughter.” A few days before, Margin said that the last time she spoke with her husband, he told her that that day she had woken up missing the seven-year-old’s hug more than ever. In recent months, Mendoza got used to not leaving the house if he didn’t hug his daughter before her. “They both got used to the truth,” says Margin. “The girl misses him too and she looks forward to it,” she says.

“Condemned yes, but they transmit forces”

Doña Zenobia describes the legal setback as “shocking and painful.” She qualifies yes, the strength shown by her son as extraordinary. “She has given us a lesson in life, in maturity,” she maintains.

She is impressed by Don Miguel Parajón that her son’s first words after receiving the guilty verdict were a recommendation for him. “He asks Me to take care of me when he is the one in danger… this is very sad,” she shares. “If I have to say something, it is that although these boys are condemned, they transmit strength,” says the father.

Freddy Navas Torres, son of peasant leader and prisoner of conscience Freddy Navas, also highlights the strong behavior of political prisoners. He says that his father has lost 22 pounds in this new confinement, but that he has not gone back a hair in believing that the path he is on is the right one.

“We don’t expect him to be released soon, we know if he will come out,” he says from the forced exile in which he lives with his two brothers. “The last time he talked to my mother, he told us to take care of ourselves and that we had to be brave. It is hard to believe that they are so strong,” said Navas Torres.

Until this Wednesday, February 09, 13 political opponents of the Daniel Ortega regime had been, some found guilty and others sentenced to spend between eight and 13 years behind bars, just for stating that another dictatorship in Nicaragua after the Somoza family, is unacceptable.

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