February 21, 2024

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Colombia strongly condemns Ortega’s latest actions after a lackluster initial response

Colombia strongly condemns Ortega’s latest actions after a lackluster initial response

After the deportation of 222 political prisoners on February 9, the government of Gustavo Pedro has now firmly joined the international condemnation of Daniel Ortega’s regime in Nicaragua. The Foreign Ministry this Thursday condemned the “dictatorial actions of those who recall the worst moments of the Anastasio Somoza dictatorship,” referring to the dictator who was overthrown by the Ortega-led Sandinista revolution in 1979. He described the deportation of enemies as “shocking and inhumane”.

“Colombia has registered arbitrary measures taken by the head of the government of the sister and long-suffering Republic of Nicaragua against the citizens of their country whose only crime is to defend democracy, the right to criticize and universal human rights”. Report.

Another statement lamented the loss of citizenship of 222 detainees evacuated on February 9 and expressed “concern” about the decision to extend the move to another 94 protesters on February 15. The foreign ministry’s tone differed from that used a few days earlier. . “The Government of Colombia calls for confidence-building measures that contribute to national reconciliation, the rule of law and the well-being of the Nicaraguan people,” he announced at the time. According to the text, the Foreign Ministry is “carefully” following Nicaragua’s decisions regarding a critical group of people still in detention.

The Andean country is now asking the international community for various measures. He has asked the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Mirjana Spoljarić, for permission to visit the prisoners still in Nicaragua. “They are the victims. International humanitarian law covers them,” he reasoned. In addition, Colombia urges the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to take action: “The dictatorship imposed on the sister republic has violated the norms. Juice cogens. They are defined as immanent, inviolable, absolute, binding and immutable in essence”.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a special note on the case of Bishop Rolando Alvarez, who was sentenced to 26 years in prison for refusing to board a deportation flight. “He was able to point out that the sacred Nicaraguan does not exist outside the land,” he asserted. According to the text, Alvarez taught the world and dictatorship a lesson with his “patriotic decision.”

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Colombia has strengthened its commitment and granted nationality to all those abused by “Nicaragua’s intolerant force.” “We will be greatly respected,” the statement said. The move comes after weeks of silence, in which other countries such as Spain were surprised to take the initiative. Pedro Sánchez’s government on February 10 granted Spanish citizenship to 222 political prisoners the regime had flown to the United States the day before. Later, on February 17, he extended this initiative to the other 94 enemies who had their nationality revoked on the 15th of that month. Meanwhile, caution was maintained in Latin America.

Chile’s president, Gabriel Boric, finally took regional leadership against Ortega. On February 18, he wrote on Twitter, “The dictator does not know that the homeland is in his heart and in his actions and not lost by decree. His Colombian counterpart, Gustavo Pedro, chose a more moderate message the next day: “Latin America must be a place without political prisoners and social prisoners. The violation of rights must also be condemned by the international community. My solidarity with the 94 Nicaraguans who have been deprived of their nationality.”

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Argentina and Chile on February 21 granted citizenship to writer and former vice president Sergio Ramírez, one of 94 opponents stripped of their nationality in a second round of retaliation. The next day Colombia announced that it would respond to the decision. “Yesterday, in Madrid, Spain, I granted Colombian nationality to a Nicaraguan politician, intellectual and writer, explaining the overall unity of the country and the spirit of President Gustavo Pedro,” announced Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva.

The harshness of Thursday’s statement contrasts with Colombia’s stance over the past year. The Andean nation decided not to attend a meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) on August 12, at which the Nicaraguan government was condemned for human rights abuses. According to the administration, this was for “strategic” reasons and not for “ideological” reasons, as diplomats were negotiating the release of political prisoners at the time, which ultimately failed.

Diplomatic relations between Colombia and Nicaragua were re-established in August 2022 after being interrupted during the administration of Ivan Duque. The two countries have long been at loggerheads over territorial differences in the Caribbean Sea.

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