On the bicentennial of Nicaragua’s independence, Secretary of State Antony Blinken lamented this Tuesday in a release that because of Daniel Ortega the Central American nation “is entering a new dark era” due to its constant attacks on the free press, students and political rivals.
Blinken stressed that this day should be “a time to celebrate freedom and the historic achievement of self-government.” However, he also assured that in Nicaragua “the freedom for which so many Nicaraguans fought for so long is slipping into a new dark era.”
During Ortega’s administration, more than 30 opponents, students, journalists, and human rights activists have been imprisoned in what the Secretary of State classified as the closure of all spaces of political competition and public discourse in Nicaragua.
In addition, Blinken praised all those Nicaraguans who have lobbied against the Ortega government. “EE. The US commemorates the bicentennial of Nicaragua by supporting all Nicaraguans who demand their democratic freedoms ”.
The US government has imposed several rounds of economic sanctions and visa restrictions on Nicaraguan senior officials and direct relatives of Ortega, including his children.
Nicaragua is experiencing a socio-political crisis that erupted in 2018, when Nicaraguans came out to protest against President Ortega, in power since 2007, and who will seek a new reelection in the general elections next November.
More than 4.7 million Nicaraguans are summoned to participate in the elections on November 7 in which the president will be elected, 92 disputed by the National Assembly and 20 by the Central American Parliament.
Among the prisoners there are seven aspiring candidates for the Presidency, while among the exiles is the 2017 Cervantes Prize and former vice president of Nicaragua in the first Sandinista government (1979-1990), Sergio Ramírez, a critic of Ortega whom the Prosecutor’s Office accuses of “carrying out acts that encourage and incite hatred and violence.”
Since 2018, 328 deaths have been registered, at least 103,000 exiles and hundreds of opponents imprisoned in Nicaragua, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Acnudh) .
With information from EFE and Europa Press.
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