• Reina Sofía Award. "For vindicating the dignity of people and the fight against tyranny"
  • Challenge to the dictatorship. Gioconda Belli tears up her Nicaraguan passport live
  • In exile. "Daniel Ortega has been the traitor of Nicaragua's revolution"

Between Spain and the United States, the poet and storyteller Gioconda Belli (Managua, 1948) cushions writing the second exile of her life. The first was by the work and grace of the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza in the 70s of the twentieth century. The second, for the betrayal of a comrade in the Sandinista Revolution, of which he was a part: Daniel Ortega. In the twenty-first century, Belli is a despatriated woman from whom just over two years ago, the current tyrant of Nicaragua snatched the passport along with 90 other citizens, including her son and brother.

Based in Madrid, Gioconda Belli continues to write and take a position against corruption in her country, against the dictatorship there, against the imposed silence. And he does it out loud. And he explains it in a novel. And he rebels in poems. On this side of his work he is now awarded the XXXII Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry, endowed with 42,000 euros and jointly convened by National Heritage and the University of Salamanca. The jury defends in its writing "values such as the dignity of the person, the fight against tyranny and the maintenance of a coherent position at all times."

She maintains the pulse of a woman of the left, a well-educated feminist, a voice that bursts through the margins of history claiming the center of the displaced. Here it goes like this:

After so much political and personal adventure, what does poetry still give you? Poetry connects me to the depths of my intimacy and allows me to be who I am and say it as I feel it. If I were a plant, I would say that it is the sap that makes me alive and able to flourish.In what way can a poem change things? The strength of poetry lies in creating a direct communication with the feelings of others. That is why it can be like a flash that arrives without filters and moves the recipient. Poetry can cause the sudden illumination of a feeling with which others can identify. I think it appeals to common humanity and to the notion that we are together in this adventure that is life. That transmits strength and breaks the loneliness that often makes us feel powerless. I am in my second exile, depatriated by another dictatorship. They have wanted to take away my homeland and my nationality, but they can do nothing against that Nicaraguan essence that I have and will have and that is the source of my poetry and my words. I feel this award as a recognition of the strength of the unwavering freedom with which I have written and write, a freedom that no tyranny can take away from me. It comes to me as a deep embrace of this country where I live now and that has been linked to the poetry of Nicaragua since Rubén Darío. I am happy to be the third Nicaraguan to receive it. Before it was awarded to Ernesto Cardenal and Claribel Alegría. That continuity of the poetic tradition unites me to the best of my country.How is your life since exile? There is no banishment when one has the roots well planted. Nicaragua is so small that it is a portable country. I am well in Spain because I am in my language, which is the homeland of my words and because here I have received that tenderness of the peoples that is solidarity. I might get depressed, but I prefer to live this time as a life opportunity. Dictatorships end. I lived it once and I know that it will end too.What reasons did they cite to strip her of her nationality? They overrode the Constitution and laws; and without trial, evidence, or possibility of defense they declared me, along with more than 300 people, as a traitor to the homeland and also confiscated my property and even my retirement pension along with 94 other people, including my son Camilo and my brother Humberto. In Nicaragua there is a couple who have believed themselves omnipotent and who act out of revenge against those who have pointed out their crimes and abuses. They are hindered by the word and the truth, and they are isolating themselves and erecting a wall of silence to cover the violence and illegality of their regime. Dead or alive I will return.How does the left remain its place in the world? What unites me to the left is the promise of social justice. Inequality is a deadly epidemic and in Latin America I identify with the left from that perspective, because the right is the cause of that inequality. However, the left has also wanted to achieve social justice in exchange for the freedom of the people, with authoritarian methods and crushing democracy. I have fought against that and I argue that the left needs to review and reflect a lot to continue to exist as a democratic alternative. Her poetry is also an expression of a necessary feminism that raises its voice... I am a woman and I write from my experience as a woman, from my body of woman, with the joy and pain that represents. My poetry is a celebration of the abilities and sensibilities that make being a woman wonderful. I think it was revolutionary, when I started, to make myself a subject of my sexuality and speak from the power that this gives me and that opposes the look that sees us women as sexual and marginal objects. It is a poetry that defends equality and that confronts, but also loves men.What are the next steps of this other revolution? It's all said in my novel The Country of Women. There I talk about the Party of the Erotic Left and its feminine utopia, in a key of humor and love. It is a fun and serious novel at the same time. I recommend it.

  • Nicaragua
  • Feminism
  • literature
  • poetry
  • Articles Antonio Lucas

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