EU Calls on Ortega to Release Prisoners & Open to Dialogue

Joseph Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs. Photo: EFE.

Joseph Borrell rejects accusations of the Ortega regime against Spain, which he considers “unacceptable.”

By Octavio Enríquez (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – Joseph Borrell, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union, this Sunday asked President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo for the release of all political prisoners; urging them, as he had done on August 9, to stop the “spiral of systemic repression” that the country is experiencing and, furthermore, to open up a dialogue.

In his statement published on his Twitter account, Borrell supported Spain, a country that called its Ambassador in Nicaragua home for consultations on Tuesday, August 10, a victim of attacks by the regime that has sent insulting diplomatic notes in recent weeks to members of the international community that have criticized it.

On August 9, Borrell had regretted the annulment of the legal status of the political party Citizens for Freedom (CxL), which he considers crushed the prospects for a credible and legitimate electoral process.

EU united in support of human rights

Borrell now describes as “unacceptable” and “unjustifiable” the accusations of Managua in the case of Spain and ratified that “the EU is united in condemning the systemic repression by the Nicaraguan authorities and in the defense of democracy, the rule of law, critical but respectful of human rights dialogue.”

Since last May, Nicaragua has experienced a repressive escalation that has left 32 detainees, including opposition leaders, peasants, students, and seven candidates for the presidency. The last abucted was the general manager of La Prensa newspaper, Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro, who is being investigated in the process opened against the newspaper for alleged “money laundering” and “customs fraud.”

For disrespecting the rights of Nicaraguan citizens, on August 2, the EU added to the list of those sanctioned vice-president Rosario Murillo, her son Juan Carlos Ortega Murillo, the economic advisor to the presidency Bayardo Arce, the president of the Assembly Gustavo Porras, the Attorney General Ana Julia Guido, the president of the Supreme Court of Justice Alba Luz Ramos and two police chiefs. With these officials there are now 14 people with restrictive measures after the deterioration of the political situation in Nicaragua, according to an official statement.

For its part, Managua called home its ambassadors in Colombia, Argentina, México, and Costa Rica for consultations in response to the measures taken by those countries, which, for their part, called home their representatives on Nicaraguan soil, concerned about the human rights situation in the Central American country.

A career diplomat, consulted by Confidencial on the condition of anonymity, explained that the vulgar language used by Nicaragua is unprecedented in the country’s history and the only thing it produces is a greater isolation of the regime and exhibits “the quality of ruler” that Daniel Ortega is, expressing “foul language” in state communications that should be diplomatic.

Bauza regrets the case of La Prensa

Criticism in Europe has continued against the Nicaraguan government. On Saturday August 14, when the general manager of La Prensa was taken prisoner after a raid on the newspaper, the European legislator Jose Ramón Bauza affirmed on his Twitter account that he was sure that the first published front page of the newspaper (when operating again) would be that of the fall of the dictatorship.

In his last statements, however, the Nicaraguan ruler has rejected the “interventionism” of the countries that have questioned him for the constant abuses, among them the EU, the United States and Canada, which have also imposed sanctions.

From Ortega’s point of view, this “defense against imperialist interests” is one of the pillars of his attack against opponents amid the repressive escalation, because he considers them an instrument of “colonial interests.”

Since 2018, the regime maintains that it was the victim of a “failed coup d’état,” however, international human rights organizations documented serious violations against citizens who protested against the Government, as a result of the excessive use of force by the Police and paramilitaries.

Among the insults uttered by the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry to Spain are several qualifiers, the main one considers the European questioning as a repeated interference, of “unprecedented colonial pretensions 200 years after independence.”

“The day will come when their angry, ludicrous, pretentious, and fallacious utterances will give rise to others, fraternal, respectful and truthful. We are sure that a better world is possible, and we work towards that,” said the Nicaraguan regime, referring to Spain.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.