Former Magistrate Rafael Solis Warns of Ortega’s Strategies

“There are a hundred political prisoners that won’t be freed under any circumstances,” -Rafael Solis.

Freedom for all the political prisoners. Photo: Carlos Herrera / Confidencial

Solis recommends that the Civic Alliance refuse to return to negotiations until all the political prisoners are free.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Rafael Solis, former magistrate on the Nicaraguan Supreme Court, warned that the Ortega-Murillo regime plans not to liberate “under any circumstances” 100 of the over 500 political prisoners that still remain in the country’s jails. Ortega’s former right-arm man in the Judicial Branch of power revealed that the regime intends to continue holding 100 people in prison under the pretext that they’ve been found guilty of common crimes.

“I’ve learned … from officials of the executive and legislative powers and from the judicial powers as well, pointing out that there’s a list of some 100 political prisoners who for them are common prisoners, and under no circumstances are they going to let them go free, arguing that it’s a matter of common crimes. This confirms the thesis that what the government wants is to gain time and avoid more sanctions,” Solis expressed in a recently disseminated article.

The former justice continued: “Given that the National Dialogue would continue in an undefined way, they (the government) are going to argue in the future that not all of the political prisoners were released due to the Civic Alliance’s lack of compliance and political will in order not to continue discussing the other points pending on the national dialogue agenda, trying to deceive the international community.”

For that reason, Solis cautions that if the Civic Alliance renews their dialogue with the regime without the complete release of the political prisoners, it would amount to “political suicide”. Accordingly, the former magistrate recommended that “pressure should be applied, so that the total liberation of all the political prisoners is accomplished.”  

“The [Civic] Alliance shouldn’t return to the dialogue table, outside of some informal exchanges on the legal figures that are being or will be used, until the total liberation of the political prisoners is complete,” Solis affirmed. “There are a lot of discrepancies regarding the lists and the numbers; on the agreement that once freed they can’t be rearrested; on the return of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, well, there’s very little that the International Red Cross has done,” he added.

Rafael Solis, former chief legal advisor to Daniel Ortega and magistrate of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court.

Solis also believes that the date for the liberation shouldn’t go past May 5, when 45 of the 90 days originally offered by the regime are up.

Currently, the government is holding up the liberation of the political prisoners. The International Red Cross is ready to proceed with the liberation of the first 230 people, in a list agreed upon by both parties.  There’s also a second list of 53 people that the regime doesn’t recognize as political prisoners, as they’ve had common crimes attributed to them. The Civic Alliance counts a total of 779 political prisoners, of which 200 have been released from prison to house arrest.

“I feel that the Civic Alliance should take a hard and firm stance and not return to the National Dialogue until all the political prisoners are free. Otherwise, it would allow a group of them to rot in jail in the inhumane conditions that are found there,” Solis insisted.

The ex-magistrate also commented that it’s not only a matter of having the regime comply with the liberation of the political prisoners, which was the first point agreed upon during the recent negotiations in Managua, but also that they fully restore the citizens’ rights, guarantees and liberties that are established in the Nicaraguan Constitution.

“That topic, regarding which an accord was signed by both parties on Friday, March 29 and on Saturday, March 30, the government violated the agreement by repressing a march that didn’t even reach the assigned starting point at the Centroamerica roundabout that same day,” Solis pointed out.