Felix Maradiaga, Nicaraguan opposition leader and human rights activist, addressed the 11th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below.

For links to other speakers’ quotes, videos, photos, livestream, and more, click here.

To watch the video in the original Spanish, click here.

11th Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Main Event, Tuesday, March 26, 2019

On human rights abuses in Nicaragua:

“It was the case of the child Conrado Alvaro, who was shot in the neck as he carried water to students protesting in Managua on April 20. While he shouted ‘It pains me to breathe,’ his companions tried to save his life, but the Ortega regime had already ordered that the wounded of the protests were not to be treated in public hospitals.”

“Franco Valdivia—another university student, singer and father of a girl – was killed with a high-precision shot in his eye. In one of Franco’s songs, he tells us ‘I want death to return to me what life has taken from me…’”

“In little more than ten months, more than 82,000 Nicaraguans have been exiled, more than 2,000 political prisoners have passed through the prisons, of which more than 650 are still under arbitrary arrest. They still remain in jail…”

Call for help from the international community:

“I come before you, with a great weight in my heart for the sacred respect to that bloodshed, in order to ask you: Do not leave us alone. Help us in our determination to build a peace with freedom. That peace is only possible with the right to memory, truth and justice.”

On authoritarianism:

“A lesson learned from the Nicaraguan odyssey is that the apparent stability that many authoritarian regimes claim to assure is a single illusion when there is an absence of freedoms.”

“Peace without freedom, is the peace of the grave.”

UN Opening Event, Monday, March 25, 2019


“Since April 2018, very few people around the world doubt that Nicaragua is a dictatorship.”

“I come here with a conviction and hope that the world will continue to support the struggle of my people to build a free and open society.”

“I strongly believe that civil resistance and nonviolence are the only direct ways available in today’s world to consolidate democracy.”

Felix Maradiaga at UN opening of 2019 Geneva Summit