San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Dear Nicaragua, I Am Done Helping You

Dear Nica Times:

This is an open letter to the people of Nicaragua:

I love your country so much that I have devoted much of my time for decades coming here with medical teams from the United States, bringing medicines and medical equipment and care to some very poor and rural areas of Nicaragua. Those times are now over, and I will go elsewhere. There is much poverty in the world.

The latest riots over the elections have made me very sad. What I see is not a country of Nicaraguans pulling together to make progress, but a country of political bands – or tribes – struggling for power.

How much energy, money and time is being spent trying to make your bands more powerful and richer than the other with pactos and corruption?

The beautiful blue and white Nicaraguan flag is seldom seen these days. You are now known instead by the colors you wear, the colors of your political band, and in the name of your group. And you are willing to kill and maim and steal.

Your elected officials seem to forget that it is your vote that put them in office, and it is your vote that can take them out. Your mayors and president are your servants, they work for you. That is their job for which they are well paid. Why do you not hold them accountable?

The United States is going through very bad times now, and money is very scarce for us. Contributions to do projects in Nicaragua are now at the bottom of the list because of the rudeness to us.

A simple thank you for helping would be wonderful, but instead I get a smile to my face and rude remarks about North Americans and Europeans being “Satans” and “evil.” Your hand is out, expecting “gifts,” and Nicaragua has become dependent on the largesse of the world.

One woman said to me: “You owe us.” Excuse me, but I do not owe you anything!

From now on, there will be not many projects for Nicaragua, not much money being sent back to Nicaragua because money is tight. Investment money will not come here now. The economy here will suffer, and what is happening to us in the United States will soon trickle down to Nicaragua. You cannot ask someone for money and then slap them in the face and call them bad names and expect more.

The well is running dry. It is time for Nicaragua to learn to stand on its own feet, without the USA and without Europe and without Hugo Chávez.

There should be only one flag, the blue and white one. There should be one people, Nicaraguans. There should be accountability, too. But that is up to you.

Lillian King

Boston, Massachusetts, USA


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