Nicaraguan novelist Sergio Ramírez Mercado was awarded by the Costa Rica university (UCR) with the recognition Honorary Doctorate for “the literary quality of his writings, an example of the possibility of revolutionizing the structures of language and continuing with his utopias.”
The also essayist took advantage of this act to denounce the political persecution against the leaders of the Catholic Church of Nicaragua by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.
«I want to begin these words by leaning out the window through which the volcanoes and lakes of my country can be seen, as well as its deep pain, on the other side of the border, with the prisons where the cruelty of tyranny has locked up dozens of prisoners. politicians whom I once again ask not to forget in this country, which enjoys the invaluable gifts of freedom,” Ramírez said in his speech.
Likewise, he asked Costa Ricans “not to forget those who from their moral trenches fight for the kidnapped dignity of Nicaragua, such as Monsignor José Rolando Álvarez, on a hunger strike locked up in a church in Managua due to the persecution he suffers, and like Father Harving Padilla , parish priest of the San Juan Bautista church in Masaya, also subjected to persecution».
The author of “Tongolele did not know how to dance” recalled that he arrived in Costa Rica in 1964, when he had just graduated in Nicaragua to join the Central American Higher University Council. «In some way or in many ways I belong to this university, which today honors me like few times in my life by making me part of its academic faculty with this honorary degree. I saw this university grow and evolve », he highlighted.
According to the agreement of the University Council, Sergio Ramírez is an author committed to reality, he appears in the Central American and Latin American scene as a hardworking person who defends his ideals beyond the circumstances. The title was given in recognition of his career as a writer, journalist and politician.
Germán Vidaurre Fallas, director of the University Council, highlighted that the literature of Don Sergio Ramírez Mercado is “abundant, fascinating, loving, powerful and entertaining, for whom the most sacred commandment in the art of storytelling is not to bore you”.
«One of the reasons for the University Council to grant this distinction is because Dr. Sergio Ramírez is an author committed to reality. He appears in the Central American and Latin American scene as a hard-working person who defends his ideals beyond the circumstances. The literary quality of his writings is an example of the possibility of revolutionizing the structures of language and continuing with his utopias; justice, solidarity, equity considered authentic supports of his life, all these characteristics make him an essential actor and reference in the Latin American literary scene and in Latin American literature », he detailed.
«His writing does make the Ortega Murillo regime uncomfortable and that is why he has had to leave Nicaragua, he is repressed according to his own words as a writer because the dictatorship does not tolerate imagination, creative freedom of speech or of the press, he underlines that his commitment as writer is with democracy and freedom”, he remarked.
For his part, Gustavo Gutiérrez Espeleta, rector of the UCR, stated that the university campus is proud to award its “highest distinction” to Sergio Ramírez, who “is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding personalities in Latin America.”
“For our institution and for our country, this recognition symbolizes a well-deserved tribute to a life of struggle to maintain an ethical and firm voice in the face of situations of repression and oppression, especially in our brother country, Nicaragua, but this recognition also celebrates the continuity of this literary creation that evolves from the feeling of a person, to represent the feeling of a nation with it we perceive a testimonial story from fiction and the essay of regional history that as Central Americans we must not forget or make invisible, “he said.
This is the highest distinction granted by the UCR to eminent people in the field of research, teaching, extension, science, arts and letters. In the case of Ramírez, 79, the recognition was given to him for the transcendence of his literary works, which have positioned Central America on the world stage.
The writer is a strong critic of the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega, who accused him in September 2021 of allegedly carrying out “acts that promote and incite hatred and violence” and for having received money from the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation (FVBCH). , issuing an arrest warrant against him. The regime also prohibited the circulation of the novel “Tongolele did not know how to dance”, which portrays the events of 2018 in the country.
Ramírez cataloged that attack against him as “laughable”, since he considers that the charges against him were “taken from the sleeve, from the magician’s hat”.
In September 2021, former Costa Rican presidents Óscar Arias, Rafael Ángel Calderón, Laura Chinchilla, José María Figueres, Abel Pacheco, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez and Luis Guillermo Solís sent a letter to Congress in which they request “that it honor the fight for freedom and declare Sergio Ramírez as an honorary citizen of Costa Rica and as a holder of Costa Rican nationality.”