Silence among Latin American powers: Chile, the only that openly condemn Daniel Ortega’s latest offensive
Of the five main powers in Latin America, all of which are governed by the left, the executive of Gabriel Boric in Chile has openly expressed its repudiation of what has happened in Nicaragua after President Daniel Ortega stripped 94 opposition members of their Nicaraguan nationality and banished 222 political prisoners to the United States, declaring them stateless.
The Government of Gustavo Petro in Colombia has only expressed its concern. The foreign ministries of Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Brazil were consulted. The administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador merely issued a vague statement on the protection of human rights, while the governments of Alberto Fernández in Argentina and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil chose silence.
Nicaragua has been going through a political and social crisis since April 2018, which has been accentuated after the controversial general elections of November 7, 2021, in which Ortega was re-elected for a fifth term, fourth consecutive and second together with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, with his main contenders in prison or in exile.
Chile’s harsh criticism of Ortega and Murillo’s drift is not new. Boric has spoken out on several occasions about the abuses and repression of the regime in Nicaragua, and his Foreign Minister, Antonia Urrejola, monitored the Central American country’s democratic deterioration and violations of rights between 2018 and 2021 from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The foreign minister publicly denounced the situation on Thursday without mincing her words. Every day it is increasingly becoming a totalitarian dictatorship, she maintained, condemning the persecution of any type of Nicaraguan dissidence. Not only are they stripping them of their nationality and confiscating their assets, but they have also been declared fugitives from justice, the foreign minister told the press at the Palacio de La Moneda.
Ortega responded to his Chilean counterpart Gabriel Boric and reffered him as a lap dog and to the US State Department’s top official for Latin America, Brian Nichols, as a poor Black man for demanding the release of political prisoners in the Central American country.
During an event marking the 43rd anniversary of the National Police and broadcast on radio and television, Ortega said it has become fashionable to demand the release of political prisoners in Nicaragua at international forums, specifically mentioning the case of the Chilean president, who did so during the UN General Assembly.
”The government that wants to receive applause from the Yankee empire (the United States) and some governments of the European Union go out there, like lapdogs, and talk about putting political prisoners in Nicaragua in freedom, criticized the Sandinista leader.
Then, suddenly, (Boric demands the release of political prisoners in Nicaragua) and has a number of prisoners from the previous government, young people who were protesting in the streets seeking profound change in Chile, he said.
The international community
Among the exiles, we have writers like Gioconda Belli, Sergio Ramírez, journalists, women human rights defenders, feminists, many of whom are still in the country. There are still at least 30 political prisoners. We find it of the utmost seriousness, of the utmost gravity, emphasized the foreign minister. The commitment made by the left-wing administration is to continue denouncing the situation created by the Ortega regime and to take the appropriate actions to support the persecuted and democratization in Nicaragua. We hope that the rest of the international community will rise to the occasion, Urrejola pointed out.
On the other hand, the Uruguayan Government issued, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a statement condemning the recent decisions adopted by the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua that provide for the deprivation of freedom for political, social and cultural references of the country and violate their citizens’ rights in perpetuity.
This violation of individual liberties clearly violates international law, the Inter-American legal system and the democratic values promoted by the Latin American community, added the communiqué on Friday night. The note was titled Attack on individual liberties.
Weeks ago, President Boric called for the release of the opposition members who are still being held in an undignified manner” in Nicaragua, during his intervention at the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Buenos Aires. The same call was made last September at the United Nations General Assembly, where he called for working to ensure that, in no place in the world, having different ideas from the current government can lead to persecution or human rights violations. However, the Chilean president has not made any public statements about the Ortega regime’s latest measures.
With more restrained language, the government of Gustavo Petro in Colombia has also expressed its concern on Friday over the recent offensive against the Nicaraguan opposition. These measures violate the right to nationality, provided for in a set of international legal instruments, including, among others, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the American Convention on Human Rights, of which Nicaragua is a party, the Colombian Foreign Ministry stated in a communiqué. In the case of Bogotá, there are added complications in the bilateral relationship with Managua, since the two countries are involved in a territorial dispute over the sovereignty of the waters surrounding the archipelago of San Andrés and Providencia.