European Parliament will vote Thursday on a resolution on the Nicaraguan crisis
MEPs demand the release of political prisoners and the end of repression in Nicaragua, as signs of willingness for a national dialogue
By Juan Carlos Bow (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – Six groups in the European Parliament presented their proposals for a resolution on the Nicaraguan crisis, and four of these groups demand specific and individual sanctions against Ortega’s officials. All agree in demanding the release of the political prisoners and the end of the repression in Nicaragua, the same claims that the Civic Alliance makes to continue in a dialogue with the regime.
The proposals were discussed on Wednesday in the European Parliament, from where a draft resolution will come out, to be voted in plenary next Thursday.
With more or less words, most groups request that the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the member countries of the European Union (EU) implement a phased process of specific and individual sanctions—such as visa bans and freezing of assets—against officials of the Nicaraguan Government and citizens responsible for human rights violations in the context of the protests.
The European Parliament members (MEPs) required that the sanctions be to individuals to avoid harming the general population. In an interview with the program “Esta Noche” (Tonight), the Portuguese MEP Ana Maria Gomes said that the sanctions should punish directly the “main people responsible of the Government and the main torturers in prisons or those Police officials responsible.”
The groups that demand sanctions are: European People’s Party (EPP), Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD); Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).
On the other hand, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the Greens/European Free Alliance (Verts-ALE) do not ask for sanctions for Ortega’s officials. However, they condemn “all repressive actions” of the Ortega regime. The MEP Ramon Jauregui, who headed the visits of MEPs to Nicaragua and has warned the regime with sanctions, belongs to the S&D.
The groups EPP, ECR, ALDE and EFDD are among the four main political forces in the European Parliament. Among them they add to 401 MEPs, of the 751 that has the European Parliament. The S&D and Verts/ALE groups together add to 240.
Last February, the President of the Parliament, Antonio Tajani, warned in a letter to the dictator Daniel Ortega, that the European Parliament would ask the European Union to “act in accordance with the gravity of the situation that exists in Nicaragua.”
Release of Political Prisoners
The six groups agree to request the Government of Ortega and Rosario Murillo to release all political prisoners, cease immediately all forms of repression against Nicaraguans, and the restoration of the legal status and assets of national human rights organizations and the return of international human rights organizations to the country.
The EP members consider that executing these three “urgent” measures would be a good sign that the Government has the “willingness” for a national dialogue, which is in an impasse after the Civic Alliance withdrew from the negotiating table until the regime release the more than 600 political prisoners, halts the repression and cease the harassment of relatives of those imprisoned.
The Civic Alliance also demands respect for international standards in the treatment of political prisoners, including the prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and providing speedy medical assistance to inmates.
Paramilitaries of the Government
In their motions for resolution, the MEPs consider that “the actions of the Government, its institutions and paramilitary organizations correspond to a planned strategy to destroy the political opposition that had led the protests last year; they believe that this strategy is applied in a methodical, systematic and selective manner against all leaders, NGOs, media and social movements that seek to express their legitimate demands of freedom and democracy.”
They agree to lament the “suspension” of the Special Follow-up Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI) and the expulsion of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), both ascribed to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).