The formal incursion into the politics of the ex-mission Nicaragua (2017), Berenice Quezada, lasted just 24 hours: on Tuesday night, the Government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo forced him to house for jail time, at the same time as the The Public Ministry disabled his candidacy for the vice presidency of the Republic by the Alianza Ciudadanos por la Libertad (ACxL) party, after his registration with the Electoral Power on Monday. This is yet another blow from the Sandinista regime to the opposition that further decries an electoral process described in advance as “flawed” by the international community.
“We denounce that today at 9:30 pm Berenice Quezada, candidate for the Vice Presidency for the CxL Alliance, was notified at her home by judicial authorities and the Public Ministry accompanied by the Police, that from that moment on she remained in home retention” , denounced the political group, whose decision to participate in elections without conditions of transparency and competitiveness generates more and more blisters between society and another opposition sector that has been excluded by Ortega and Murillo with persecution and jail. “She is without access to telephone communication, with immigration restrictions and inhibited from running for public office of popular election and is currently at home with police custody. We demand freedom and respect for the human rights of Berenice Quezada ”, published ACxL.
Quezada was the formula of Óscar Sobalvarro, former head of the counterrevolution, the guerilla financed by Washington to overthrow the Sandinista government in the 1980s. Both, as candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency, went on August 2 to register their formula with the questioned Electoral Power. Upon leaving the compound, Quezada – a graceful 27-year-old young woman popular among young people thanks to social networks – made statements that annoyed the regime.
“In Nicaragua the (electoral) conditions have never been. The conditions are set by the people. And how do you put them? Going out to vote and how we have done it in the streets; as we did in 2018, in April. On November 7, we have to show that Nicaragua does not want them in power, ”Quezada said, referring to the presidential couple.
It was a forbidden statement for a government that has justified its repressive escalation by invoking nationalism and appealing to the concept of “non-repetition” when referring to the 2018 social unrest. Ortega and Murillo have said that “they will not tolerate terrorism in Nicaragua” or any other alleged “attempted coup”, which is why 32 opposition leaders have been imprisoned, including seven presidential candidates. Most of them raised in their speeches the demand for justice for the victims of the massacre documented by international human rights organizations and a proposal for total regime change in Nicaragua.
In the case of Quezada, almost 24 hours after his registration, a group of Sandinista sympathizers, calling themselves “victims and relatives of the 2018 coup terrorism,” went to the government’s Office for the Defense of Human Rights (PDDH) to request the disqualification of the exmiss, on the grounds that their statements are “an apology for crime and incitement to hatred.”
“The CxL party depends on the will of Ortega and the message sent by the disqualification of Berenice Quezada is that the regime is not willing for anyone to criticize him in anything. In other words, this is the parameter that Ortega put in the campaign. You can’t mention April 2018. You can’t mention the rebellion. You cannot mention the protests or the dead. And just as much as any of the candidates do that, it will inhibit them, “political analyst and former deputy Eliseo Núñez, one of the opponents who criticizes that the regime has imposed an” election to suit “with candidates from his pleasure and without the ability to counterbalance him.
Quezada’s unexpected candidacy
The candidacy for the presidency of Óscar Sobalvarro by ACxL was a surprise. It occurred after the political group decided to register for the electoral process, despite the arrest of all the opposition candidates, including three of its members. “We will run in the elections with the candidate that remains,” said Kitty Monterrey, president of that party.
Members of the Civic Alliance, ACxL’s main partner, criticized that Sobalvarro and the candidates for deputies were elected “unilaterally” and without consultation, violating internal selection agreements of the opposition bloc. As the registration deadline approached this August 2, ACxL launched another surprise with the nomination for the vice presidency of the former Miss Quezada.
ACxL opted for a popular young woman on social networks and without any political background, apart from figures who were within opposition structures, including students who rose up in April 2018. Quezada’s nomination caused controversy among those who recognized her “courage” and those who were not satisfied with a outsider politician, who from her world of the catwalks had approaches with Camila Ortega Murillo, the fashion designer daughter of the presidential couple. However, since the 2018 protests, Quezada identified himself as “blue and white”, the anti-government citizen movement. Since then, he made few publications about the political situation in the country on his social networks.
“It is true that I have no profession in politics, I have never been involved in this. But, as I have always said on my social networks, I want to continue helping my people … that’s why I decided on this social position, I said yes to Nicaragua, because I want (the country) to be free, ”Quezada said before being arrested.
However, beyond the figure of the ex-Miss who is now under house arrest, former deputy Núñez makes an alert call to ACxL: “Ortega is taking the electoral issue to a point that is almost untenable. In the following days, ACxL is going to have to make tough decisions and the issue of electoral participation should already be on the table. It has no candidates. The candidates it puts up have been removed by the regime, as all its pre-candidates have taken away from it. Sobalvarro’s candidacy basically depends on the will of Ortega ”.
After the official registration of candidates, the opposition Blue and White National Unit, composed mainly of the protesters who took to the streets in April 2018, did not know the legitimacy of the electoral process because, in their opinion, it does not comply with “the demands of the citizens. ”Nor“ with international standards ”.
“CxL must understand that the electoral issue is reaching a point where the decision is no longer with whom to move forward. The decision has to be now whether or not to go ahead. What is hurting Ortega the most? ”Núñez asked himself.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.