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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

PIP condemns Nicaraguan regime over widening civil rights crackdown


Fernando Martín García, Puerto Rican Independence Party Secretary of International Affairs

By The Star Staff


After decades of support, the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) on Thursday virtually broke ties with Nicaragua’s governing regime led by President Daniel Ortega because of its crackdown on civil rights.


“Given the recent events in Nicaragua that have culminated in the decision of the government of that country to dissolve the Jesuits Society and the consequent intervention by the government in the colleges and universities administered by the Jesuit order and the confiscation of their assets, the Puerto Rican Independence Party wants to record its firmest protest and its rejection of the worsening of the authoritarian and arbitrary drift that has been characterizing the decisions of the Nicaraguan government,” PIP Secretary of International Affairs Fernando Martín García said.


In the past, the PIP has been a vocal supporter of the Sandinista regime. In 2015, Ortega appointed former PIP President Rubén Berríos as its adviser on international policy. However, the government has engaged in violations of civil rights.


The Nicaraguan government on Aug. 15 expropriated the Jesuit Central American University (UCA) and changed its name two days later. Ortega’s government sent police and prosecutors on Aug. 19 to evict six Jesuits living in an adjacent residence, although it belongs to the Jesuit order, not the UCA.


Over the past few years, the regime has cracked down on the Catholic Church, arresting priests, expelling missionaries, shutting down Catholic radio stations, closing down another Catholic university, and banning a Catholic procession and pilgrimage in a cathedral where the priest prayed for the nation.


Martín García said the international community – particularly the Latin American community – must promote dialogue mechanisms in Nicaragua that lead that country to a situation where the freedoms recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are respected.


“The existing opposition to the current government of Nicaragua cannot justify the increasing repression of public liberties that the current government has been increasingly carrying out since the bloody episodes of government protests in 2018,” he said.


“The time has come when those of us who have been in solidarity with Nicaragua, and with the outstanding achievements and successes of the Sandinista Revolution, publicly convey – and not only in private – our dismay at the degradation of the quality of life in Nicaragua, as well as the discredit that these developments bring to progressive causes throughout Latin America,” the PIP executive president said.

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