Here is the story of how it all began from the founder of SAVEMNF.org, Rev. Josephenie Robertson
Miskitu Matriarch in Exile from Yapti Tasbia
“In 1957, the leaders of our nation at the time were my
brothers and uncles who were killed by the Somoza
Government, a tactical blow to weaken our fight for
independence. Upon the demand of the Council of Elders,
the approval of the Miskitu Royal family of Kuum,
and the Miskitu people at large, I declared the independence
of the Miskitu Nation from Nicaragua and Honduras.
After dedicating my life as a civil rights leader and activist
to ensure the fair treatment, dignity of life and
sovereignty of my people, I faced the unimaginable.
In 1960, I was threatened with a 72-hour execution or exile order,
with imprisonment or death upon return.
Within 6 hours, I vacated my home, leaving my beloved family,
friends, and nation. I left with the belief that I would be
of better service to my people alive.
Not one day has passed in which I have stopped pursuing
the full sovereignty and international right to
self-determination for the Miskitu People.”
Rev. Josephenie Robertson
This autobiography begins with an indigenous princess from a wealthy kingdom.
Rev. Josephenie Hendy Hebbert Clarence Tawaska De Robertson, Matriarch of the Miskitu Nation, was born in Silver City, Mosquitia on December 10th, 1943. She grew up with her mother, the Crown Princess of Miskitu Nation and father, originally from Sudan. Her parents and the elders taught her the oral history of their nation. Her grandfather, Sir. Andrew Hebbert Sumito Sumu, was a historian and curator of the First Miskitu Library, which was later burned as ordered by President Somaza. Her home was filled with love and respect–a stark contrast to the oppression and neglect by ruling governments both in Nicaragua and Honduras. Her mother was a midwife and holistic healer who traveled from town to town helping those in need. Her family – specifically her brothers -were the heirs of the Miskitu Kingdom.
Her kingdom has been living under oppression and threat of “extermination” since 1894. She dared to speak out against her oppressors and rebuked the atrocities committed against her nation. Her bravery was ill received and the Somoza government (Nicaragua) jailed her. She was given the choice of death or exile. To save her life so that she could continue to fight for her people, she went into exile—57 years and counting. The princess, now an exiled matriarch, continues addressing the plight of the Miskitu Nation. Her mission is to strive for a free and independent nation for her people, to reclaim the territorial rights to mineral resources such as gold, silver, pearls, mahogany, cedar, rubber, and lumber for the empowerment and prosperity of the Miskitu Nation.
In 1957, after being jailed once, rather than deterring her efforts, it deepened her conviction and she continued awakening her people to their rights. Again she was arrested and was put in front of a firing squad, given the option to be exiled permanently or face execution. She fled for Guatemala (where she worked for president Arana and met my Father, a French/ Haitian/Arab exiled by François Duvalier who also worked for Arana) with the belief that she would be of better service to her people alive. She has relentlessly pursued the full sovereignty and international right to self- determination for the Miskitu People.
The Nicaraguan Revolution encompassed the rising opposition to the Somoza dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s. The Miskitu Nation’s plight for political freedom, human rights and the expansion of personal liberties has long been thwarted by widespread discrimination on behalf of governments, private organizations, and individuals with special interests.
Her 2014 book, Yapti Tasbia: The Miskitu Motherland, acts as a guide to her people in their struggle. By presenting the state of affairs and sovereignty of the inhabitants of the nation she implores her people to demand their rights through the international referendum or plebiscite decolonization process.
I have dedicated my life to see her mission through. I have returned to the coast of Nicaragua on four missions to provide 2.5 tons of donated dry foods, medical supplies, computers, cell phones and clothing to our endangered Miskitu people. I and my fellow SaveMNF.org ambassadors have faced the murderous Colonos and ironically been granted audience to hear their justification for greed and genocide against my people. The need is urgent. The struggle is overwhelming. Together, we can stand up to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, the billionaire chairman of HKND Group, Wang Jing, and countless other foreign investors who plan to obliterate the watersheds, Rainforests, and inhabitants of the Nicaraguan Coast.
-ERCELL VALCINA MONICA HENDY CLARENCE TAWSKA FLEURIMA