National Reconciliation of the Nicaraguan Family
Acceptance Statement by President-elect Violeta Barrios de Chamorro February 27, 1990
Brother and Sister Nicaraguans, Compatriots:
We Nicaraguans should congratulate ourselves. This electoral victory is not only a victory for the National Opposition Union, but for all people who have set a magnificent civic example for the world.
I received today a letter from Dr. Mariano Fiallos Oyanguren, President of the Supreme Electoral Council, informing me that I am the President-elect of all Nicaraguans.
Last night, President Daniel Ortega came to my house, accompanied by the heads of the Observer Missions, to congratulate me and assure me that the Sandinista National Liberation Front will abide by the sovereign will of the Nicaraguan people expressed in the February 25 elections.
I appreciate President Ortega’s noble gesture in complying with a tradition in all democratic societies that the loser concedes defeat even before the final report of the Supreme Electoral Council.
I want to affirm my commitment to respect the will of the minority, the 40 percent of our people who voted for the Sandinista National Liberation Front, and express my desire to be President of all Nicaraguans. I will honor my solemn commitment to achieve national reconciliation of the Nicaraguan family.
I trust that the Sandinista Front, as the second political force in the nation, will maintain a responsible and constructive attitude toward national interests, such as the reconstruction of the country and the social harmony that must reign to realize the aspirations of all our people.
I received the support of the majority of the Nicaraguan people, who desire peace, national reconciliation and economic recovery. To achieve these, all Nicaraguans must integrate peacefully into national life, to construct together a democratic Nicaragua.
Thus, the accords of the Central American presidents must be fulfilled in their entirety, including the Tela Accord, which calls on the Nicaraguan Resistance to demobilize rapidly and immediately and to repatriate under the protection of the International Support and Verification Commission.
The original causes of the civil war in Nicaragua have disappeared; there is no more reason for war. Thus, those who have picked up arms must leave them, return peacefully to Nicaragua with their families and work for the reconstruction of our country.
We have achieved this first great democratic election in the country’s history and together we have the patriotic duty to move forward to consolidate the bases of democracy in Nicaragua.
We have shattered the black tradition of our history in which governments changed only by bullets and not by ballots. We are creating history and I trust that it will produce, God willing, the first peaceful transition of power to an opposition government in the history of Nicaragua on April 25.
I want to confirm that this election will produce no exiles, no political prisoners, no confiscations. There are no winners or losers.
I will faithfully fulfill the National Opposition Union’s Government Program, which is a program of national salvation, reconciliation, reconstruction and not of revenge.
On February 25, the people elected me President of all Nicaraguans, with Dr. Godoy as Vice President. But this will not be a victory of Virgilio and Violeta, but of Nicaragua, because we are all its sons and daughters. Together we have given Nicaragua its first step toward the construction of democracy.
This is the triumph of the common citizen, of the great majority of Nicaraguans who civically chose the option of democratic change.
In such moments of great emotion, I can’t help but remember my husband, Pedro Joaquín, who, with the valiant example of his life, sowed the seeds for the democracy in which today, 12 years after his assassination, we see his republican ideas germinating. For him, and in his memory, I embarked on this great libertarian crusade. I will continue struggling, with the help of God and the Blessed Virgin, until I fulfill all my commitments.
It is only right to congratulate President Ortega for having permitted a free election in Nicaragua, for having invited the largest number of foreign observers in the history of any electoral process, and for having respected the sovereign will of the people by recognizing the victory of the National Opposition Union.
Also, I want to thank the world for having loaned us your eyes and ears in the form of thousands of observers whose presence gave the Nicaraguan people confidence and legitimated the process.
The Supreme Electoral Council and its president, Dr. Mariano Fiallos, deserve merit also, for having conducted this electoral process with appropriate impartiality.
Central America has also triumphed because, by Nicaragua taking this gigantic step toward a durable peace and internal reconciliation, Central Americans can live in more tranquility. I want to assure my Central American brothers that during my government I will promote the process of economic, political and cultural integration of our peoples, so that together we can help each other resolve our problems.
We have today successfully crowned the efforts of the Central American Presidents who approached the task of finding a political solution to regional conflicts with the signing of Esquipulas II and subsequent accords.
Today we have also crowned the aspirations of the people of Costa Rica and their President, Oscar Arias Sánchez, who initiated the Peace Plan and earned the Nobel Peace Prize. I want to take this opportunity to recognize President Arias’ efforts in the name of the Nicaraguan people.
I also want to congratulate President Cerezo and President Azcona. I want to give special recognition to the great democrat who was concerned with the success of the Peace Plan and who recently died in El Salvador. I refer to President Napoleón Duarte, may he rest in peace.
I want to congratulate the great pastor of the Nicaraguan people, Cardinal Obando, because his course of civic action found an echo in the conscience of all Nicaraguans and in the peaceful electoral process.
This is a day of triumph. Triumphant today are all people who wish for peace, reconciliation and liberty. Triumphant today are the workers who don’t want to live in misery. Triumphant the mothers who don’t want to lose their sons in military service. Triumphant the youths who now will have the opportunity to study and serve the country with their creative talent.
Peace in the whole world is strengthened by the crowning success of this election. Democracy is the best guarantee of a firm, durable peace, and Nicaragua has risen on this great wave of democratic change that is engulfing the world.
Democracy begins with respect and tolerance. Thus, my first act of government will be a general amnesty as we undertake a new era of reconciliation and progress in our suffering Nicaragua.
In this solemn moment, I turn my eyes to God with gratitude and with the entreaty that He bless and enlighten our new change.
Long live the people of Nicaragua! Long live liberty!
Long live democracy! Nicaragua will again be a republic!