The charitable organization was included in a list of 101 associations and foundations, which this week were closed down by Daniel Ortega’s parliament.
HAVANA TIMES – The Missionaries of Charity Association, founded in Nicaragua by Mother Theresa of Calcutta and ordered closed by the government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, has ceased its charitable and religious work and its nuns are preparing to leave the country, sources from that congregation informed EFE news agency. Exiled bishop Silvio Baez, confirmed it through his Twitter account.
The authorities notified the nuns of foreign origin, who manage the charitable centers, that they must leave Nicaragua and they are preparing their belongings to make the trip, said a nun, who asked not to be identified.
“I am very sad that the dictatorship has forced the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity of Theresa of Calcutta to leave the country. Nothing justifies depriving the poor of charitable care. I am a witness to the loving service the sisters provided. God bless them,” regretted Monsignor Baez.
The Parliament, controlled by Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista Front, annulled on Wednesday the legal status of 101 non-profits, among which are the Missionaries of Charity Association, which has a day-care center, a home for abused or abandoned girls, and a home for the elderly.
No authorization to care for girls or the elderly
According to a report of the Office of Registration and Control of Non-Profit Organizations of the Ministry of the Interior, the Missionaries of Charity “did not comply with their obligations” in conformity to the law that regulates them, and the Money Laundering Law, Financing of Terrorism and Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Among other reasons to shut their operations, the Ministry of the Interior stated that the Missionaries of Charity are not accredited by the Ministry of the Family to operate a nursery, child development center, home for girls or retirement home, nor do they have authorization from the Ministry of Education to carry out learning reinforcement.
Created in 1988 after Mother Theresa’s visit
The Missionaries of Charity Association was created on August 16, 1988, during the first Sandinista regime (1979-1990), and its opening followed a visit to Nicaragua by Mother Theresa of Calcutta, during which she met with Daniel Ortega, who was also the president at the time.
The nuns of the Mother Theresa of Calcutta Order managed the Immaculate Heart of Mary Home in the city of Granada, in which they shelter abandoned adolescent girls or victims of abuse, to whom they provide psychological assistance and comprehensive education.
In addition to regular classes, they taught music, theatre, sewing, cosmetology, and other skills to help them reintegrate into society.
The nuns also attended a home for the elderly in Managua, providing them with food, clothing and other care.
They also implemented a project in which they provided school reinforcement to students at risk, mostly children of working women in the popular markets.
Furthermore, they had a day care center where they cared for dozens of children from low-income families, whose parents—mainly single mothers and market vendors, street vendors, or self-employed–, cannot afford to pay for the care of their children.
With this new onslaught banning civilian associations and organizations, the regime has closed 770 NGOs since November 29, 2018, until the end of June. Since the beginning of 2022, 696 organizations were stripped of legal status.