Bianca Jagger.

Bianca Jagger.

Photo credit: Janet Donovan

President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua was the conversational focal point at a dinner in honor of human rights defender Bianca Jagger at the home of Laurie Knight of the NBWA in downtown Washington, DC.  “Many people remember him as the leader of the Sandinistas who was regarded as a leftist leader who fought the Contra war and overthrew the Somoza regime which was a dynasty, a brutal dynasty,” she told Hollywood on the Potomac.  “He has become as brutal. I’ve been a human rights defendant for the last more than 30 years of my life and feel betrayed by this man who once was a leader of the revolution and to think he has become worse than the Somoza.”

Bianca established The Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation in 2005 which is dedicated to defending human rights, ending violence against women and girls, addressing the threat of climate change, supporting the rights of indigenous peoples and defending the rights of future generations.

 Bianca Jagger and Laurie Knight

“I’m here to get attention. I’m here to try to find ways in which members of Congress and the Senate could be effective. I’m here to find ways in which the administration could as well find ways of helping the Nicaraguan people. Recently, Nikki Haley, The Ambassador to the UN, brought the issue of Nicaragua to the Security Council even though Nicaragua is a small country. I’ve been meeting today with the Secretary for the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights and I met today with the Secretary General of the OAS. Recently, 19 countries among the Latin American countries condemned Nicaragua.”

Susan McCue, Bianca Jagger and Michael Isikoff, Chief Investigative Correspondent at Yahoo! News

“The people who began this nonviolent revolution are students and he has had a relentless, brutal persecution of the students,” Jagger explained. “There are students who are in jail today. There are students who have been killed. Students have been kidnapped. Students have been tortured, but you have as well, poor farmers. He’s persecuting the Catholic church, the bishops of Nicaragua. He has desecrated churches. You have 25 thousand people who have left Nicaragua to go to the neighboring country in Costa Rica and the High Commission for Human Rights have sent a delegation of the government and issued a very, very important report. When I say the high commission, it’s the UN High Commission of Human Rights who have issued a very, very thorough and important report and he threw them out, which is unprecedented.”

Steve Clemons, Editor-at-Large of The Atlantic with Bianca Jagger

“To oust Daniel Ortega is not so easy. First of all, this is not an armed revolution. This is a nonviolent resistance. And two, through the period he has been in power, he has been able to dismantle the legal institution and as well damage the political parties. So today you don’t have political leaders. The leaders have been the church, the students, the poor farmers, and the human rights defenders. The moment anyone who wears the blue and white  Nicaraguan flag – because it has become a symbol of resistance in Nicaragua – is put in jail or shot or killed or is persecuted. People are trying to use things to express the repudiation of this government like balloons, blue and white, kids and people are being put in jail for using the balloons.”

“Since April to today, 400 people have been assassinated, nearly 4,000 wounded people, there are at least 300 political prisoners, and you have hundreds who have disappeared.”