The Spanish government yesterday expressed its “deep concern” over the latest arrests of electoral pre-candidates and opposition political actors in Nicaragua and demanded their “immediate release”.
“The State of Nicaragua has an international commitment to respect Human Rights”, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “The Government of Nicaragua is responsible for preserving and guaranteeing the fundamental rights and freedoms of all its citizens, whether or not they are political sympathizers, in accordance with international law and its own Constitution”, it added.
Therefore, “the Government of Spain calls for the immediate release of the detained, imprisoned or held pre-candidates, Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Felix Maradiaga and Juan Sebastian Chamorro, and other opponents, as well as an end to the persecution of political and social actors and independent media”, it concluded.
The Executive of Pedro Sánchez already expressed on June 4 its “concern” for the arrest and disqualification of the pre-candidate and president of the Violeta Barrios Foundation, Cristiana Chamorro Barrios, who appears as the main asset of the opposition to overthrow the president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, in the elections of next November. In a communiqué, the Government also denounced “the continuous harassment of journalists and independent media in Nicaragua” and warned that “these serious facts and the current political dynamics reduce the spaces for dialogue and coexistence in Nicaragua and put at risk the democratic legitimacy of the general elections of next November 7”.
The Nicaraguan National Police raided on June 2 the home of the opposition leader -daughter of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, president of Nicaragua between 1990 and 1997 after defeating the first government of Daniel Ortega at the polls-, after a judge ordered her arrest for the alleged crimes of abusive management and ideological falsehood, among others. Chamorro was arrested hours after going to the headquarters of the Citizens for Liberty (CxL) party to present her candidacy for the presidential elections.
Subsequently, the Police arrested Arturo Cruz, ambassador to the United States for the Ortega government between 2007 and 2009; the academic and presidential aspirant Félix Maradiaga, Juan Sebastián Chamorro, former Vice Minister of Finance and Public Credit and Secretary of Coordination and Strategy during the government of Enrique Bolaños (2002-2007), the economist José Adán Aguerri Chamorro, former president of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep, Nicaragua’s main employers’ organization), and the opposition leader Violeta Granera. All these arrests have been justified for “inciting foreign interference in internal affairs” and for “calling for military interventions” against the government of Sandinista Daniel Ortega.
UN Secretary General António Guterres yesterday called on Nicaragua to release the opposition leaders and condemned the invalidation of the candidacies of opposition leaders in Nicaragua. These events “can seriously undermine confidence in the democratic process ahead of the general elections in November,” he warned.