The candidate for the presidency of Nicaragua, Arturo Cruz, was arrested this Saturday after landing at the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport, in Managua, after touring the United States. According to a statement issued by the Nicaraguan Prosecutor’s Office, Cruz was arrested for “having strong indications that he has violated Nicaraguan society and the rights of the people, in accordance with Law No. 1055,” he says. Said law, baptized as ‘Law of defense of the people to independence, sovereignty and self-determination for peace‘, was approved last December by the Ortega government in order to prevent opposition candidates from standing in the elections on November 7. According to the text, said law “prohibits Nicaraguans who lead or finance a coup d’etat, alter the constitutional order, incite foreign interference and promote terrorist acts from running for popularly elected positions.”
🚨URGENT | WE REJECT AND CONDEMN arbitrary detention of the presidential candidate @arturo_cruzs who returned today from the United States and who, according to a statement from the Police, is being investigated for violation of Law 1055. 👇 pic.twitter.com/8pY3i3H9ub
– Cenidh (@cenidh) June 5, 2021
With it, the Sandinista leader raised a political concept to the rank of law: “The traders who denounce the repression in the country at the international level,” the Nicaraguan political scientist and journalist explained to ABC, Edgardo Pinell. According to this law, those who promote protests or ask for international sanctions against the Sandinista regime will be considered “coup plotters,” which would close the door for them to stand in the elections. “I myself in making these statements could be considered an unpatriotic,” Pinell pointed out then. This rule is intended to discredit potential opposition candidates. “It is a law that inhibits, that closes competition, and that dynamites one of the pillars for free, fair and transparent elections,” stressed the political scientist.
The plane landed at 9:00 am at the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport. For two and a half hours he has been held incommunicado and nothing is known about his whereabouts.
– Arturo Cruz (@arturo_cruzs) June 5, 2021
According to the ‘100% news’ media, the police accuse Cruz, a pre-candidate for the platform Citizens for Freedom Alliance, (ACxL), of allegedly organizing, with financing from “foreign powers”, “acts of terrorism and destabilization.” Cruz would be the first opponent to which this law approved in December applies.
This is the second arrest carried out by the Nicaraguan regime of candidates for the Presidency of Nicaragua, for which Ortega is running for the third consecutive reelection. Last Thursday the home of the candidate Cristiana Chamorro was searched, who has been under house arrest since that day accused in an investigation for alleged money laundering through the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation (FVBCH). Accusation by which the candidate, the best placed rival according to the polls to face Ortega, has been disqualified.
This disqualification could not be the only one, since several of the candidates, who participated in the 2018 protests -some, such as Miguel Mora-, they could follow the same fate, or they could be excluded by the very formations by which they appear under pressure from the regime, under the threat of outlawing them as happened three weeks ago with the PRD and the PC.
Complaints from the international community
Cruz’s arrest comes 24 hours after the US demanded the “immediate release” of Chamorro, and denounced the irregularities of the electoral process: “Mrs. Chamorro’s arrest comes amid relentless attacks against presidential candidates who they are in favor of democracy and independent media. The Ortega regime has pledged to ban Chamorro’s participation in the November elections and, in May, unfoundedly canceled the legal status of two opposition political parties. Instead of implementing electoral reforms before the May deadline established by the Organization of American States, President Ortega instituted more restrictions and reduced electoral transparency, “the president said in a statement. State Department spokesman Ned Price.
Some complaints have also been added by the Organization of American States (OAS), the European Union and also Spain, through a quite lukewarm statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that expressed its “concern” over the detention and disqualification of Chamorro.
We demand the release of candidate Arturo Cruz. The manipulation of the security forces and the Justice to imprison opposition candidates is unacceptable, which puts #Nicaragua outside of inter-American and international law. These actions are contrary to free and fair elections https://t.co/brRCGlCf8O
– Luis Almagro (@ Almagro_OEA2015) June 5, 2021
This Saturday, the international community once again raised its voice denouncing what is happening in Nicaragua, which is on the way to perpetuating a dictatorship after Daniel Ortega and his vice president have perverted, in their favor, the instruments of democracy.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism