The Organization of American States, with the decisive support of the United States and several allies in the rest of the continent, will submit for review this Friday, August 12, the persecution of the regime of Daniel Ortega of the Catholic Church in his recent repressive drift.
The Ortega regime closed on august 1 seven stations Catholic radio stations, in what the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, has described through a spokesman as “a new violation of freedom of expression and freedom of religion or worship”.
Since 2018, the regimen of Ortega has increased the repression, increasing the denforced disappearances, summary executions, and intimidation campaigns against journalists, activists, and religious figures, among others. According to the US, there are at least 180 political prisoners in Nicaragua.
Ortega, who has been in power since 2007, has closed so far this year at least 1,200 humanitarian groups and defense of civil liberties and human rights, according to a report on the Central American country of the European Union.
It was the Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Álvarez who denounced in early August that the dictatorship closed five radio stations maintained by his diocese in the Matagalpa area, in the north of the country. In June he was already censored tv channel of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua, according to Efe.
The current crisis worsened with the elections last November, in which Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, were re-elected as president and vice president, among fraud complaints. Seven of Ortega’s rivals were arrested and silenced, and another two had to flee their country due to the threats they received.
The Catholic Church has the most followers in the nation of 6.6 million people. They are, according to the most recent official census, in total, a 58.5% Catholics in Nicaragua. The priest and revolutionary Ernesto Cardenal, one of the greatest exponents of Liberation Theology, became minister of culture with Ortega during his first term. Ortega coordinated a meeting between 1981 and 1984, and then was president until 1990. After leaving power, he returned to perpetuate himself in 2007, after winning elections the previous year.
Borrell has denounced “a new violation of freedom of expression, religion and worship” in the Central American country
In April, the dictatorship expelled the OAS mission in the country, as well as the withdrawal of credentials of its ambassadors to that body, from which it has withdrawn. Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada said then that the OAS is a “diabolical instrument” of “intervention and domination” by the US.
The meeting of the OAS Permanent Council this Friday it is called by Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Peru, the US and Uruguay. In the debate, countries hitherto allied with Ortega, or at least not critical of him, such as Argentina or Mexico, must publicly signify themselves.
The Permanent Council already denounced a year ago that Nicaragua does not comply with the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which recognizes the right of the peoples of the Americas to democracy and the obligation of their governments to promote and defend it. He also asked Ortega to accept an observer mission to reform the electoral system.
That resolution was approved by 25 of the 35 member countries of the OAS. Eight states abstained from voting on it: among them Bolivia, Mexico and Argentina. Nicaraguawhich still had a presence in the OAS at the time, was the only country that voted against. The text urged the Ortega dictatorship to release political prisoners and asked him to accept a mission to reform the electoral system, something the regime immediately opposed.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism