Concern Remains in Chile over Ortega’s Political Prisoners
The Chilean Foreign Minister assured that over the weekend she spoke with several of the former Nicaraguan political prisoners.
HAVANA TIMES – The Chilean Foreign Minister, Antonia Urrejola, assured that the government of Gabriel Boric, continues to be concerned about the existence of political prisoners in Nicaragua, and even more so about the 26-year prison sentence that the Ortega justice system imposed on the critical bishop, Rolando Alvarez, who is incarcerated in the prison known as La Modelo.
“We continue to be very concerned because there are still political prisoners in Nicaragua (…) I have been in touch with human rights organizations to see how many prisoners remain, and we are obviously very concerned about the situation of Monsignor Alvarez who was sentenced to 26 years for treason. I know him personally; he is a priest who during the protests would go outside to defend the demonstrators. He did not want to leave, because he was indeed on the US list, but he did not want to leave. He wanted to stay in Nicaragua, it was a very personal decision,” she told the radio program “Lo que queda del día” (What remains of the day) of the CL Cooperative radio station.
Concerning Nicaragua, Urrejola stressed that, “I have a personal relationship with this serious crisis that Nicaragua has been going through since 2018,” and she recalled that she served as Special Rapporteur for Nicaragua of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
She also assured that over the weekend she spoke with some of the former political prisoners who were exiled to the United States by the Ortega regime. “I personally know many of the political prisoners. I spoke with them over the weekend. Many of them called me. This issue has been permanently present in the political speeches of President (Boric). It is something that the former political prisoners themselves have let me know and I am grateful to the president,” said the foreign minister.
We will continue to “keep a strong voice”
Emphasizing the case of Monsignor Alvarez, Urrejola remarked that the sentence “is a sample of what has been the sentencing of other political prisoners in Nicaragua, in record time, without the right to due process, without access to lawyers. The situation is extremely serious,” Urrejola highlighted.
Likewise, she said that she is undoubtedly happy that the political prisoners are now free in the United States since many of them were “with serious health problems.” “For nearly two years they did not see their relatives, young women with small children who have not seen them. I am happy about the family reunification, but obviously I am concerned that they took away their nationality, and all their civil and political rights. There are reports that they are even erasing their birth certificates from the civil registry.”
The foreign minister assured that the issue of political prisoners “is an issue that we are going to continue monitoring and maintaining the strong voice we have had during this year.”
Almagro holds meeting with released prisoners
In the United States, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, continues to receive former political prisoners. This Monday he held a meeting with political analyst Jose Antonio Peraza, as Almagro informed through his Twitter account.
“I met with Jose Antonio Peraza with whom we analyzed the situation in Nicaragua and he conveyed that the released political prisoners are active and using their freedom to seek solutions to the country’s problems,” the OAS General Secretary shared.
On February 10, Almagro met with the former presidential candidates, Juan Sebastian Chamorro and Felix Maradiaga, who were accompanied by their wives, Victoria Cardenas and Bertha Valle, respectively.
“Their release is great news, but there is still work to be done to recover democracy and freedom. And we cannot forget that there are still political prisoners held in Nicaragua,” said Almagro after the meeting.