Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (Right) and Nicaraguan Vice-President Rosario Murillo (Left). File photo.
Address by President Comandante Daniel Ortega during the celebration of the 43rd Anniversary of the Air Force of the Army of Nicaragua:
Nicaraguan brothers, families of this nation of Dario and Sandino, brothers, compañeros of the Nicaraguan Air Force, which is turning 43 today, an Air Force which, along with the Army, was born with the Revolution. That is why, 43 years ago, the Sandinista People’s Army was born and the Sandinista Air Force was born.
Then, with the passage of time, changes of government, a consensus was reached in the National Assembly so that both the Sandinista Popular Army and the Sandinista National Police were to be called the Nicaraguan Army and the Nicaraguan Police.
However, it is important to underline the origins of the Air Force that was born in the heat of the struggle for self-determination, for independence, for the sovereignty of Nicaragua. It was those flags that flew over the birth of the Nicaraguan Army and the Nicaraguan Air Force, and there was present and is present, the thought, the example of our General Sandino, present throughout Nicaragua, and of course present in the Nicaraguan Air Force…
Today is a day when we are honored to be commemorating the 43rd anniversary of the Air Force, and with it the 43rd anniversary of our army, the Nicaraguan Army, the People’s Army.
How much joy it gives us when we listen to the reports of the head of the army, General Avilés, summarizing the many tasks of the Air Force and the relations the Air Force maintains in the region. And we clearly see it is an Air Force with a role of service for peace, of service for integration.
Yes, because integration is something indispensable and something inescapable for our nations, and so the Army practices it, the Air Force practices it. Beyond political or ideological differences, there is a sense of responsibility that, united, fighting for the well being of our peoples, we do much more than we could do each on our own.
These are times that call for integration. Today more than ever they call for integration in Central America, here in Latin America and the Caribbean, and in that integration process, along the way, even before the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, there was ALBA.
The ALBA dawn was like a bridge that appeared, inspired by our Brother Comandante Hugo Chávez, by Fidel, the bridge that opens up with a spirit of solidarity, a spirit of developing collaboration, cooperation, taking into account the asymmetries between our countries.
At no time was ALBA considered as simply a trade project, but rather as a project full of humanism, full of solidarity, full of love, and naturally that did not go down well with imperialism. Since ALBA brings benefits to the most impoverished peoples of this region, with no conditions, both to Central America and to the sisters and brothers of the Caribbean, many benefit from it.
Then the empire trying to destroy ALBA, and in doing so, to affect the poorest people of our region; because the empire has not been able to provide the levels of unconditional cooperation ALBA has provided, made possible by the Bolivarian Revolution of our peoples, despite the empire being a thousand times more powerful in economic terms, in financial terms, than Venezuela [or] Cuba. And all of this undoubtedly has contributed, despite the blows that the empire has given against ALBA, to the benefits brought by ALBA, the fruits.
And here we cannot forget, we can never forget, that in 2006, when there was a third neoliberal government ruling in our country under the tutelage of the United States government, [that] illiteracy, poverty, [and] hunger had multiplied, education and health had been privatized, and the works that we had been developing since the triumph of the Revolution had been abandoned. They were simply governments that thought only about strengthening, enriching… a minority.
They also did not care about the country, they committed acts they did not understand, through their ambition they did not realize that they were putting the knife into themselves, when the energy services in our country began to disappear. Yes, it is incredible, but the energy services were disappearing because they were wanted to get wealthy at any cost, they neither sought to, nor did they, invest in the energy sector. And already by 2006, with the third neoliberal government in Nicaragua, we had blackouts every day, energy plants were paralyzed, economic activity affected… Everyone! In other words, if there is no energy, a country simply goes under.
And we were aware… that we were fighting for the government in the election battle of the year 2006. That was a terrible challenge, a huge challenge, because the country was without electrical power, and we were looking for how to get closer to people or governments that could contribute in that sector with Nicaragua, on the basis of which we hoped… to win those elections and get into government for the year 2007.
So, as a result of the relationship that had begun with President Chávez, we went on to propose some programs to bring energy to at least some sectors, such as municipalities, [by] twinning municipalities, looking for how to bring energy projects to the municipalities. And before we triumphed in the elections, the first agreement with Venezuela was already signed. We signed it in Caracas with Comandante Chávez. He was a light in the darkness at the time.
Well, we won the elections, we came into government, and we found that the problem was present there. It’s true, a first step had been taken in that agreement with Venezuela within the framework of Petrocaribe, it was the generous attitude of Venezuela to supply fuel for energy under very fair, favorable conditions.
No country, no capitalist government in the world offered us that kind of cooperation, not to their neighboring countries, nor to the African peoples who had been subjected and enslaved by them. And here in Latin America it was the same: there was no government, no great power—the United States with all its power was not willing to provide cooperation, to share bread. It was not willing to love others, the United States cared little about the tragedy our peoples were experiencing in Latin America and the Caribbean.
And we won the elections, and President Chávez came for the inauguration, and right there we signed up to ALBA and Petrocaribe. I remember speaking with him and saying “the big problem we have here is that there is no power, no power plants.” There was no investment in generating plants, and the power plants that existed were already outdated, and that was the big problem that we mentioned.
What was the answer he gave us? Immediately came some generating plants that had actually been contracted for Venezuela, part of a process in which Cuba and Venezuela were combining efforts to bring generating plants for Venezuela and for Cuba.
And Chávez told me, like a good brother and a good Christian, “we can solve this right now, we have plants going to Venezuela, we have them there in Cuba, we are going to bring them now to Nicaragua so you can count on having the energy to be able to guarantee the basic, minimum activities of this people.”
And so, from word to action, and it was incredible how the power plants arrived, and how the Nicaraguan people breathed a sigh of relief, and how the pro-imperialist capitalists who did not worry about investing in power plants breathed a sigh of relief after having been in government for 17 years, in power. And of course the United States was not willing to provide this cooperation to this people, only a revolution with a truly generous soul, a revolution like the Bolivarian Revolution, could behave in that way.
At that time, he didn’t ask us for money or guarantees, or for us to sign a contract to guarantee that the plants will be paid for later… No, they were just brought here! And the plants came, and that is what has allowed Nicaragua to make its way as it has been doing, so that Nicaragua could grow as it had been growing, totally in peace, such that Nicaragua achieved a great alliance between workers, people, [and] entrepreneurs.
Because it was possible to have that basic instrument enabling a country to get going, and that gave us the strength to be able to make that great alliance, to develop the country, to combat poverty, to strengthen the institutions of the Nicaraguan state, including the Army, the Police, the Air Force, the Navy, counting of course on the cooperation of other brotherly peoples already in those areas.
There has always been invaluable cooperation ever since the triumph of the Revolution, cooperation in all fields that we added to another Revolution: the October Revolution, the first revolution that occurred in the world and, in the midst of all the antagonisms, in the midst of the harassment, in the middle of the blockade, because with all the counter-revolution that had thrown itself against the October Revolution, we found ourselves together with the Soviet Union, led by Russia.
There a fraternal relationship was established, with no conditions, including cooperation so as to be able to have the basic tools for the Army, and thus too for the Air Force, for all the Armed Forces, for the various different forces of our Army, to have means for defense. They were not means to attack anyone, they were not means to attack any other country, it was simply to guarantee the defense of our country, which was then threatened again by the United States government.
There have been two extraordinary moments in our history: one being the invaluable cooperation of the Russian people, then part of the Soviet Union, and now in this new stage we have had the invaluable cooperation of the Revolutionary Bolivarian Republic led by Comandante Hugo Chávez. And now too, in this new stage, as one might expect, we have linked up again with the Russian Federation, we have linked up again, and it was normal that we should link up with a sense of cooperation, a sense of friendship.
When has the United States ever donated wheat? No, they sell it on the market. The brothers and sisters of the Russian Federation have donated wheat to this people.
Here, in those 17 years of neoliberal governments, the public transport vehicle fleet was never renewed and was totally destroyed. There too, the Russian Federation gave us cooperation, sharing with Mexico also in cooperation, for which we are ever grateful to the people and government of Mexico, and thus we reactivated with the Russian Federation, that earlier relationship, historic, respectful, fraternal, and naturally fighting both of us for peace in the world, fighting for the defense of the sovereignty of peoples, fighting for the rights of peoples, of nations.
And today, beloved sister and brother Nicaraguans, beloved families, in a world that goes from one explosion to another as we have seen, and as I said on one occasion, this has to do with birth of a new order being born into the world, one that is burying imperialism, burying the colonialists, and opening up a democracy of nations, a multipolar world that is becoming clearer in many ways.
We see initiatives springing up in different spaces, and we see another side to US imperialism, trying to maintain its hegemony at all costs, even at the risk of damaging its own economy; but in their arrogant attitude they need to feel they can still maintain their hegemony, that they can and must defend their hegemony, when what they are doing is sinking themselves, and they are going under, such that they are causing great harm to the United States’ people.
And with all the sanctions that have been imposed on the Russian Federation, which is waging a just war against fascism, against the Nazism installed as a result of the coup in Ukraine, they are destroying the European economy, and NATO too, as is clear with each aggressive action, with all the multiple decisions that have been taken in attempting to destroy the Russian Federation.
They also aim to try to destroy the People’s Republic of China, because they see those two countries as the two great powers that are already leaving them behind, in terms of development, in terms of science, in terms of technology. And so they have moved against the Russian Federation, and thus Russia is fighting gain the battle against fascism. Fascism did not disappear with the fall of the Reichstag, where the first to arrive were the soldiers of the Red Army who hoisted their flag there where the command of the tyrant Hitler had been.
Fascism left behind its roots and is entrenched in some European countries, and it is entrenched in American society, and it is entrenched there in Ukraine, yes, a fascist government. And even though there is a situation affecting the richest countries, affecting all of humanity, affecting the world economy, the American empire does not care, thinking that its strength is so great that it will manage to get ahead by overrunning and destroying the world.
And it is clear to all who can see in the insane way the US is launching aggression against the People’s Republic of China. What harm has the People’s Republic of China done to the United States? What harm has the People’s Republic of China done to the peoples of the world? What harm has the People’s Republic of China done to the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, of Africa, of Asia?
The self-same ideologues of imperialism state that what worries them is that they see the People’s Republic of China bringing benefits to these peoples and they feel that there they are losing the power to keep these peoples enslaved. They say it very clearly, namely they are upset, outraged, because the People’s Republic of China is making available billions in Africa, in Asia, in Latin America.
These are investments for the development of our peoples. Ah, they see that as bad for them, but why can’t they do the same? Why can’t they bring those investments? Why have they never brought investment with the same conditions that the People’s Republic of China is making available?
Instead, in a real act of madness, they launch themselves against the People’s Republic of China, simply because it is a power that is growing, without harming anyone, and the US mounts a challenge, a provocation, earlier today, when we saw a high official of the US State, the government of the United States, in an arrogant attitude of invasion… And it is an act of invasion!
That’s in the blood of the Yankee empire, the practice of invasion, and they announce, here I come! Here I come! They feel they have the right to invade a territory even knowing very well, because they were party to the agreements, party to the resolutions that were taken at the United Nations when they agreed on the existence of one China.
But they disagreed fundamentally, and the proof is that now we see them launching a provocation, and it is a provocation, because a power like the United States is invading, entering another country with its official plane, one of the highest ranking officials of the United States is entering, just because she decided to do so and government of the United States is endorsing that and applauding, since of course she is part of the government, that she set out in her plane, sure that the People’s Republic of China was not going to do what the United States does, launching a drone at them to destroy the plane. Because the US is accustomed to launching drones everywhere, killing people.
A drone was launched at our brother Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela during an event where all the ministers, officials, Army commanders who were with Nicolás presiding over the event, were going to get blown up. And that was the US.
And now they are launching drones again in Afghanistan and boasting that they sent a drone, killing a leader that they describe as a terrorist. After they left, fleeing Afghanistan, after they signed agreements right there that this practice was going to disappear, now they come along as if they need more blood now, so they launched the drone and the cowboy appears bragging about it.
And as I was telling you, they launched the plane knowing very well that the brothers and sisters of the People’s Republic of China are not terrorists and were not going to shoot down that plane or send a drone against it. An act of arrogance, of trying to reaffirm that they are the dominant power, and remain the dominant power setting out to destroy the Russian Federation when in fact they are destroying the countries of the European Union, destroying the economy, destroying trade and they are destroying the possibility even of living, because Winter comes and they may well have no heat. In other words, the situation exposes them to death.
And this step they have taken today, which of course we have condemned, is an act one can only describe as insane, of those who feel that their empire is collapsing; they are like the insane actions of Hitler, by people feel that they’re still an Empire, and so they look for ways to strengthen their positions lunging to challenge the People’s Republic of China, to invade, and it is an invasion, what occurred today, that is an invasion, it is an offense, a crime, both an offense and a crime, it is an invasion.
We are sure, indeed, that the strength, the age-old intelligence, of the Chinese People, and the experience there under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, prevails there, and we are sure that they will know how to give the right answer, one that will strengthen the People’s Republic of China even more and will weaken even more the hegemony that the US government is trying to maintain at all costs.
And here Nicaragua is a small nation, but they are always fighting with Nicaragua with their habitual arrogance, on the one hand they send us messages, though they are not interested in opening up communication, for several months now. But since we know them very well, which is why I keep recalling Sandino’s story, one of dialogue, peace, communication, for what? So they could murder him. So we have preferred to keep our distance from the messages that have been sent to us.
And indeed they sent a messenger who was here in Nicaragua, they did not do it officially, but a State Department functionary was here, who now wanted a meeting, and he was told that he would have to come through the official channels, it would have to be a communication via our Ambassador there in Washington and of course through the US Embassy here, so as to be able to receive an emissary but not in the way he came, since he came clandestinely.
Then they said they are going to appoint a new Ambassador, and they sent the proposal for who would be the new Ambassador… well, based on what one could read in the profile of the candidate to be Ambassador, we said, let’s give him the agrément.
So they went then to Congress with the agrément, because without that they could not take the proposal to Congress, but we had given the agrément for the candidate to be an ambassador in Nicaragua to present to Congress, and, well he started talking as if he was William Walker, as if he was going to be the governor of Nicaragua, coming here to put an end to the government of Nicaragua. Yes, speaking calmly as you like to the US Congress!
So then we immediately informed them we were withdrawing the agrément, because it is basic, we already know that any Yankee ambassador comes here with conspiratorial purposes, they are always conspiring, but really, as the song says, “outside, outside let them say what they like, but here on Nicaraguan soil, our flag is respected.”
These issues are basic, they are in the rules of the Vienna Accords as every ambassador knows, and however much they represent a government that wants to destroy the very government with which they are establishing communication, it behooves any ambassador to at least take care not to send aggressive, disrespectful messages to that country.
Of course, they conspire yes, in the embassies they conspire, they meet, they do what they do there, we know that perfectly well, but well, at least the principle is respected, but here was someone not yet come to the country and he has already started raving. Well, let him stay outside, outside, shouting whatever he wants, but here on Nicaraguan soil our flag is respected…Yes, our flag is respected!
Now, I don’t know to what extent, I can’t confirm the information, but they were reporting on Voice of America that they had interviewed a State Department official who said they are going to keep this fellow as ambassador. Are they going to want to put him in a little plane like they the one they sent to Taiwan? How far will the arrogance, the madness of these people go?
They have to learn respect, the United States has to learn to respect all the peoples of the world, if they want to be respected themselves; meanwhile, the struggle will continue.
And as I said, in the midst of all these explosions of violence that are present everywhere on our planet, the economic stress, the tensions around fuel, tensions around food, that is, all the major symptoms of stress in the world in these times, in the midst of all this, taking shape, a new world is being born and this new world is going to be a democratic world, where there will be respect between nations, where there will be cooperation between the nations, where there will be no threats among nations. I am certain, quite sure, that this world is being built, it is already being forged, it is being forged now, and that this world is going to bring peace, stability, to humanity.
Beloved brothers and sisters, beloved compañeros and compañeras, let us continue with our efforts, with the tasks that you carry out every day, contributing to the forging of this new world. Our grain of sand, yes, we offer it from Nicaragua, contributing to the forging of this new world.
Long live the 43rd Anniversary
of the Nicaraguan Air Force!
Long live the 43rd Anniversary
of the Nicaraguan Army!
And Long live blessed Nicaragua,
Remarks by Rosario Murillo, vice president of Nicaragua, after the celebration of the 43rd Anniversary of the Nicaraguan Air Force:
A very good evening, compañeras, compañeros, and a very good evening, beloved families of Nicaragua. An embrace to the households, the homes, the communities, the neighborhoods, where we know that you have been following this important and historic act. An embrace because we are together always, looking forward and making our future, the one we all deserve.
Today marks 43 Years of our heroic brilliant Air Force, part now of the Army of Nicaragua, an Army that is the people themselves in uniform, the Air Force of the people of Nicaragua. And it is true that when we say that the Air Force is a demand of our people, we know it, we feel it, we live it, especially in difficult times when we face climatic events, what we call natural disasters, when we work hard so that valuable Nicaraguan lives are not taken from us.
Comandante Daniel has taken us on a journey through these historic times, emphasizing in these historic times everything it takes for the new world to be born, and emphasizing the courage of those peoples who fight and who give of themselves, because we do fight and we do give of ourselves, so that this new world is born.
And as he said, Nicaragua, a small country but full of patriotism and conscious of the importance of defending sovereignty, national dignity, plays its part. That is why we are quick and eloquent in pronouncing our opposition in the face of aggression, interventions, invasions, as our Comandante Daniel said, because we have also suffered them, and when I say suffered, I mean faced, fought and defeated them, because here the imperialists of the Earth have always been defeated.
A small country, but great in spirit, great in courage, in honor, in honor, glory and victories! That is our historical memory and it has only been increasing, because, believe me, with every aggression of the imperialists out to destroy the world when the peoples do not allow it, that strengthens our souls every day, strengthens us because we know we must continue fighting… striving for peace!
We have fought and defended peace at all times, and we have always won. And, given a world that has fallen, destroyed by them, one where the very same imperialists of the Earth have buried their daggers, of avarice, greed, selfishness and eagerness to dominate, without even realizing it, because they really are insane, not even realizing how all of that is blowing back, how all of that is going against them, and how that is all very clearly seen in the everyday life of millions of poor people in the United States and in Europe, created by their system that devours human beings, destroys human beings.
Here we live a simple life, here we are used to hearing one thing said one day and something different another day, but here we are also well aware of the firmness, fierceness, love, passion, enthusiasm that we are familiar with and have ourselves.
How much love, how much passion, how much enthusiasm for life was bequeathed to us by the prince of peace, of love. Christ Jesus taught us to be great in love, courageous, and to defeat hatred, the hatred we still see today appear from time to time. And the most incredible thing, hate coming from mouths of people who are supposed to spread messages of love, of Christianity, of solidarity.
We can well believe it, because we have suffered, suffered and fought also those who have been vociferous, believing themselves to be “pastors”, against our people and families, and the right of families to live peacefully, working, prospering and achieving wellbeing.
That hatred still appears, but we are strong and powerful, because we are full of love, and with love we overcome hatred. Because love is stronger, love throughout our history, love for Nicaragua, love for the nation, love, respect for our sense of national dignity is what prevails and has prevailed. And the demons, those who are full of hatred, the sour, the acidic, the bitter, they fall by the wayside, they disappear, because the wind lifts them away, they are already part of what the wind carries away, and did carry away.
Here we are in a blessed Nicaragua, full of patriotism, full of idealism, full of values, always free, always one family, always aware that our strength is our faith, our spirit, and all we have inherited from great love. The love that is stronger than hate, the love that builds, that does not destroy.
So today, on the 43rd anniversary of the people’s Air Force of the Army of Nicaragua, we feel proud, content, pleased to be celebrating together with the strength of victories, and to be celebrating together with the vision of the future that characterizes us. We do not look back, but seek to build, and we look forward to continue building what we are: a brave people, a people of honor, glory and victories!
An embrace to all the compañeros and compañeras of the Air Force, of the Nicaraguan Army, an embrace to all those of the Naval Force that soon we will also be celebrating, and to the Army in general… the army of our people, an army that defends our national sovereignty as we all defend it, because we love our blessed and always free Nicaragua! And that phrase of Sandino that we say every day, “always further on”, illuminates us like the sun that never sets!
An embrace for all, compañeros and compañeras. Let us head onwards!
This article was republished from Orinoco tribune.