Sunday, March 06, 2005

More On Dora María Tellez

On Friday, I posted
on the absurdity of the US State Department's refusal to give a visa to Dora María Tellez, the Nicaraguan historian, so she could serve as a professor at Harvard this spring. She is accused on being involved in "terrorist activities" during her time as a participant in the Sandinista-led overthrow of the brutal Samoza dictatorship.

The story seems to have hit a chord in the blogosphere. Michael, at Heliolith, carries a long commentary in Spanish and English. He points us to the blog of María Lourdes Pallais at MPL's Grand Station where you can read (in Spanish) the text of a letter that Dora María has written to Harvard. Michael has provided a translation. It's worthy of a long quote to get a measure of this heroine of the Nicaraguan revolution:
I understand perfectly that my presence in the United States would not be desirable in accordance with the criteria of the official dignitaries of the State Department and that they can unmake a visa, but nonetheless, I cannot accept under any circumstances the categorization of terrorist, that in a legal document of the U.S. Government, has been made against me. The facts of my live are and have been public. The Somoza dictatorship condemned me to 7 years in prison, accusing me of "illicit association to deliquency" for being a soldier for the Sandinista National Liberation Front, and for participating actively in the armed political struggle for its downfall, something of which I feel profoundly proud. I feel proud of having fought in the Northern Front of Carlos Fonseca, of having participated in the taking of the National Palace, of having guided the Western Front "Rigoberto López Pérez" and of having been in charge of the insurrection of León for the toppling of the dictatorship. Would these be the crimes of terrorism that the U.S. Government is accusing me of? Or is it the Progressive Sandinista Movement, the legally established political party in Nicaragua that I currently sit on, that has been included in the North-American list of terrorist organizations? This accusation that the US Government is making against me attacks my human rights, and I cannot but consider it as a threat upon my life, my security, my integrity, and my tranquility.
Also from the same MLP post, Michael translates part of an eloquent letter from Dora María's compatriot, Andrés Pérez Baltodano:

The United States trivializes its own definition of terrorism by the way with which it applies this concept against common reason and the dignity of people.
There are other postings and comments on this story here
and here.


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