The video, in Spanish and featuring many of Pedro’s superb cartoons, is below:
Pedro’s print interview with Spanish text is here but some key points in English:
CONFIDENCIAL: It is two years after the massacre against the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Do you think the mood in the world has changed? That this made the humour more politically correct?
MOLINA: All over the world, this event made us see that there is a reason to continue doing so and that you can not give in to the outrages and fanaticism of people who do not understand the nature or the intention of humor. The idea, the intention and the reason why we do this, is as alive as ever.
C: After this massacre, a discussion was opened in the world that has to do with the right to blaspheme. Do you think that the theme of religion has to be treated differently in editorial cartooning?
M: I would not say there’s a right to blaspheme, but the right to question everything we see, even our faith. If you as a believer feel your faith questioned by a “dibijuto”, the problem is not the cartoon, it is your faith and you as a believer. Drawing does nothing, but going to kill someone or affect their physical integrity is disproportionate and ridiculous.
C: Let’s talk about Donald Trump, a character who apparently does not like humor. As a cartoonist, what does Trump represent for you?
M: All of us who work in the media, we made the most of the situation we were given. It was a big joke to everyone, no one was truly serious about Trump’s chances of being nominated by the Republican party and much less elected President of the United States. The media underestimate the power of stupidity.
C: How do you see our national politics after twenty years of portraying it through humor?
M: As a country we move very slowly, we have regressed from 2006 to this date in terms of democratic values. I believe that we have not succeeded in getting Nicaraguans out of this vicious circle fueled by “caudillismo:, believing that it is a leader who will solve our problems and who has to tell us what to think and what to do. It seems to me that somehow we have to break those cycles. If this is a cycle, the only thing I do not want is to repeat the bloodshed of the past.
C: What motivates you?
M: The people who truly know me will never say that my cartoons are just funny, but critical. I believe that humor is a defense mechanism to something that affects us, that make us feel unworthy and that life is unfair. Making fun of all these characters who live in ivory towers and bringing them to ground level helps us process their power. I do not always caricature with the intention of people laughing. Often it is to be indignant, to reflect on a reality that is so hard and that should cause us indignation.
C: Let’s talk about fear. In Nicaragua there are many people who decide to keep quiet and not to criticize for fear. Have you felt fear?
M: We are all afraid of what may happen in general, how the country is going. If you have a little vision, you realize that this is not going to end well. They (those in power) are also afraid, of us. What I think is that we have to say things and overcome that fear, because otherwise we are cutting off all rights. What you lose in fear you will gain in freedom.
C: Do you consider that laughter and humor is the best weapon against fear and the excesses of power?
M: It is one of the best weapons. Although I was one of those children in the eighties who was taught how to arm and disarm rifles and to count “three grenades plus three grenades…” Despite that, the only weapon I know how to handle and with which I feel comfortable and not cause harm are pencils, whether digital or wooden.