Leaving Managua

Robert Allen, Rosario Ortega, Unrecalled Kind Person, Alice, Daniel Ortega
Managua, Nicaragua, mid- Eighties


Leaving Managua

©2017 by Alice Walker

You were never to know,
until now perhaps,
that I was weeping
as my compañero and I
left Managua
all those years ago.
We had witnessed the graceful dignity of your people
that they held inviolate
against the brutality inflicted on them
by our country.
How many wounded children
can the eyes hold?
How many stressed revolutionaries
can the heart bear?
So much weeping, Daniel.
And more, to know you would
be crushed.
That “they” would find a way
to do this.  No matter
what you did, or that
Fidel had pinned a star
for valor
on your chest.
Where are your nine sons, Daniel?
Where is my sister, Rosario,
who worked to nourish the people’s spirit
with enough heart
for twenty women?
I have to marvel
to think how news
comes to us now:
Having been thoroughly
humiliated and defeated
by the forces that
love to crush
you are once again
in “power.”
What does it mean, Daniel, or must I say:
Mr. President?
Well, if we are to believe
Bianca Jagger
(now marching with the farmers)
you have lost your way.
You want to build a canal
right through the people’s
drinking water.
You want to displace
farmers whose parents
believed their children would have food
and schools
because of the revolution.
Daniel, come back.  Come back to the people
who are working with the earth,
not killing it for something to do,
and for money they certainly do not need.
Support the farmers of your country
as they always in the past
supported you.
There is no future in a world
without Nature and the skill
to encourage it
to share
its gifts.

Wake up, Daniel, my brother.  No more Coca-Cola for you!


(When Robert Allen and I visited the Ortegas at their home I was struck by the fact that the refrigerator was literally crammed with cans of Coca-Cola.) Which even at the time- and it was very hot – seemed incongruous with revolution. Many of my family and community in the South lost their teeth to this drink. And of course, to its rival, Pepsi.)

See: Blood On the Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Wilson,  by Brian Wilson.

Brian lost his legs when the train he was trying to stop, to prevent it  carrying weapons to the Contra (Reagan’s “heroes”) who were fighting the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, ran over him.   Robert Allen and Belvie Rooks and I had been arrested earlier, trying to stop the flow of weapons whose destination was the maiming and killing of people and Life.  Daniel Ortega claimed Brian as a brother. Surely you recall this, Daniel.  What would Brian think?

See also: Open Veins of Latin America, by Eduardo Galeano.

See article re: Bianca Jagger and opposition to the canal http://www.havanatimes.org