Daniel Ortega’s regime has unleashed its repression against Nicaraguan artists, forcing them into exile, banishing them from their country and applying immigration restrictions. The artist Luis Miguel Lesage denounces that Ortega attacks them because “they are the voice that reaches citizens through music, we are the ones who carry the message,” he said in an interview with Article 66.
“I think what the regime is doing is total cowardice, trying to silence the voices, trying to silence the artists and expel them from the country after having them imprisoned or rather kidnapped. They can expel us and imprison us, but the message will always be getting through,” said the Nicaraguan artist exiled in the United States.
Related news: Music producers banished by Ortega arrive in Germany
The vocalist of the alternative rock band Monroy & Surmenage, as well as Salvador Espinoza and Xóchilt Tapia, managers of the music production company Saxo Producciones, who had been detained since April 12, were forced to leave Nicaragua. In this context, the Italian artist Emilia Arienti and the music producer Leonardo Canales, of Nicaraguan-Costa Rican nationality, and who directed the space La Anteala, were also deported.
«We artists have a moral commitment to our country and that means saying through our art what is happening, freely expressing our thoughts, our ideals and I think (Ortega) is afraid because he knows that we artists are the ones who wore the messages and voices,” said Lesage, who composed a song titled “In the eye of the hurricane,” dedicated to artists forced into exile.
He expresses that the regime has “banished them and expelled them from our place, our place where we were born, but that does not mean that we are not going to continue raising our voices against the injustices that are being committed in Nicaragua; and from wherever we are we will always continue to raise our voices and say the truths that hurt them, because we have a moral commitment to the population not to extinguish the flame of April and not abandon our fight.
Jurists and human rights organizations have denounced that the expulsions of Tapia and Espinoza are illegal. “The categories or legal immigration status of rejection, deportation or expulsion from our territory is not applicable to Nicaraguans and in the case of acquired nationality, it does not proceed without strict compliance with our Political Constitution, international human rights instruments and the General Law. of Migration and Immigration”, denounces Wendy Flores, director of the Nicaraguan Human Rights Collective Never Again.
Music producers Salvador Espinoza and Xóchitl Tapia, owners of Saxo Producciones, decided to go into exile in Germany after Daniel Ortega’s regime expelled them from the country without any justification, they are the only ones who have made their place of asylum public until they are sure.
Lesage affirms that the Ortega-Murillos “want to monopolize art, they want to monopolize artists. I am not an artist from a political party, I am an artist from the people and that is obviously a blow to the dictatorship, therefore we cannot express ourselves freely in the streets and we cannot carry out our activities because they fear that we can do something against they know that we are a power that moves mass through music and that is why they want to turn us off».