By: Cristiana Guevara-Mena
Asphyxia occurs when oxygen stops flowing to the lungs or bronchi by a blockage in the throat or trachea. The causes of chocking include drowning, gas poisoning, and strangulation, among other reasons. When we speak of Nicaragua, we don’t necessarily refer to the lack of air that we breathe through our noses, but to the cost of life that is increasingly being strangled by the high costs of self-censorship, fear, moral degradation, misery. The aforementioned factors that stifle the human being in all possible levels also go beyond economics. There is such a shortage of everything that is essential that even the present text lacks spaces. What horror! This asphyxia attacks us all without exception in this country, from the simplest to the highest government leaders, including even the church institutions and the private enterprises. The government increasingly bombards us with mediocre propaganda to mask the serious crisis of its ridiculous mixture of a government-party state. They have no other choice but to cling to power by putting their unconditionally loyal dogs in the institutions they have pillaged because otherwise their power is unsustainable. The supply of Venezuelan oil is almost nonexistent, so they have had to invent the illusion of an inter-oceanic canal to justify any kind of fraud and embezzlement of huge amounts of funds to support the little power they have. The money is running out and we all shout in despair because we are sinking in the mud like quicksand. If we move we sink faster and if we don’t move we sink the same, until we come to the point of being completely underground. If we're lucky, only the tips of the index and middle fingers will be on the surface of the earth facing the sun. Not even raising the nose for breathing will be enough because the air space is being reduced. The Catholic Church is enclosed in its own frame of forty by thirty centimeters on the wall. They are painted, almost motionless, stuck on that canvas that paints a colorful altar of priests with cassocks that now premieres the color red. The inability or unwillingness to do something for the people besides showing off their colors as a portrait, is slowly choking them. They cannot later complain about losing parishioners because of their lack of credibility and outward courage. This complex of holiness by resorting to their "good children" will not help them much. The suffocation doesn’t pardon them either. In a pigpen of private enterprise there is a horde of hogs with an insatiable hunger for money without the care from where it comes, if the money is dirty, bloody, or taken from the ribs of whomever. They eat anything that smells like money. Locked in their pigsty they increasingly feel squeezed by the voracious fattening of their bellies and their bank accounts. In the end they have no interest in the space for breathing. As long as their bellies are still in the task of fattening they don’t care if they are stuck against each other or unable to move. The journalists, media, at least the few remaining that are decent - if there are any left – have their space of freedom of expression reduced. The government owns almost all media, or if not, they own a percentage of shares that limits the intensity of the opposition voice. How do they survive with so little mental oxygen? Could they still be alive with a rope so tight around their neck? They are on the verge of breaking their neck. You cannot see the difference between the censored by force or the self-censored by intimidation. Let us not forget the vast majority of the population that are helpless and orphan of authentic representation. You cannot stretch the minimum wage like rubber so that their bellies no longer wrench with hunger. The cost of a bite of food is skyrocketing and the mind does not give you a chance to think of nice concepts like "citizenship" or "human rights." How do you eat that? Unfortunately that does not feed five children of a single mother. And this unimportant writer has the spaces to publish her ideas increasingly reduced despite that she manages to type on a typewriter that has fallen into contemporary disuse. There are some cases where people are squeezed so tightly that they explode like pimples and fly to various foreign countries because they could not handle the scarcity any longer. Life is escaping and we force our breath like an asthma attack. We are running out of oxygen as everyone drowns equally without exception. And you, esteemed reader, were you able to breathe while reading this text? We feel the sand and the mud coming to the shoulders. Even this text lacks separation of paragraphs, there is no space anywhere! We have no air to scream in despair! How long will we continue living this way? What else has to happen for us to react and change our reality? Why do we have to endure so much misery? We are fed up. It's time for the truth, we sink, time to breathe deep at the count of three ... one, two, three, iiiighh!