By James Blears
Back in April, the Nicaraguan Government announced cuts in social security payments, and nationwide protests ensued. These austerity measures were rescinded, but the protests extended with calls for President Daniel Ortega, who's in his fourth term, to step down and for elections to follow. He says he'll serve his full term until the next elections in 2021.
Security Forces were deployed, and sustained clashes then followed. The Church continues in its efforts to initiate talks between the two bitterly entrenched sides to resolve the crippling ongoing crisis.
As part of its Independence Day message, trying and willing to bridge the gulf of differences, the Bishops Conference is urging unity, leading to healing of divisions, stating that, "fire does not go out with fire."
It elaborates further, by encouraging: "let's dream of a country where people are the center of our concern and work, where the greatest interest doesn't have to be money, but the growth of the people and the happiness of their families, providing a table for everyone. Let's dream of a reconciled country. Truth and forgiveness are the foundation and path to peace."
So the key to reconciliation in Nicaragua is an unlocking and softening of hardened hearts, tempered by the humility of compromise for the good of everyone. This realization leading to meaningful talks is precisely what the Bishops Conference is asking both sides to consider, realize, see, work towards and achieve by dissolving pride and self interest.