In a secretly negotiated deal with Washington, The government of Nicaragua released 222 political prisoners on Thursday and sent them on a plane to the United States, where they will receive asylum for two years.
It is one of the largest prisoner releases involving the United States, senior Joe Biden administration officials involved in the matter said. “It is a first step towards the restoration of democracythey said from the State Department, although they indicated they would encourage “further steps” by the Nicaraguan government to restore democracy and freedoms to that country.
The regime led by Daniel Ortega has asked for nothing in return, officials said, but has agreed to release the prisoners as a way to signal a desire to resume ties with the United States, which has imposed sanctions on Managua as the regime transformed a dictatorship and intensified attacks against the opposition, the church and human rights organizations.
The US government sent a charter flight to the capital of Nicaragua, which took off this Thursday around 7:45 (10:45 in Argentina) to take the prisoners to Washington, where the plane was due to land around noon , local time. Local.
A total of 224 political prisoners were offered refuge in the United States, but two declined.
The State Department said Ortega’s regime “decided unilaterally to release 222 people it had imprisoned, including a US citizen.” The United States will receive them and they will remain here on probation for two years, the US government said.
All those who were released and left the country voluntarily consented to travel. The United States government has made medical and legal assistance available to these people.”
The president of the First Section of the Managua Court of Appeal, Magistrate Octavio Rothschuh Andino, confirmed that 222 people were “deported” to the United States.
The magistrate read a statement on the “immediate and already effective deportation of 222 people convicted of having committed acts that undermine the independence, sovereignty and self-determination of the people, for inciting violence, terrorism and economic destabilisation”.
“They were sent on a private flight to Washington,” confirmed Berta Valle, wife of imprisoned opponent Félix Maradiaga, who said that the US State Department has made available to relatives of imprisoned, and now released, opponents a number phone number for them to contact.
The names of those released were not disclosed.
Former Nicaraguan ambassador to the OAS Arturo McFields, who switched to opposition while in office in Washington, said clarion That “It is not a liberation but an exile, an exile”.
“This does not erase the 350 murders of the dictatorship. We must not lose sight of him, it continues to be a dictatorship in which there are no free elections, Ortega decides who dies, decides who is imprisoned or released. There are no human rights organizations, there is no freedom of expression, there is no separation of powers. We can’t lose sight of it.”
McFields has noticed this “They should have the right to live in peace in their country, but since there is no democracy they have to leave. In a normal country they should go home to embrace their children with a state that guarantees their rights. They leave their country because there are no guarantees of respect for human rights. These problems continue to be faced by a Latin American left unaware of and subjected to the terrible violations of human rights. This includes Mexico, Argentina and even Bolivia and Brazil which have been omitted and subdued to human rights violations”.
The former Nicaraguan ambassador stressed that at the recent CELAC meeting in Buenos Aires “there was no mention of the release of prisoners in Nicaragua. We live in difficult times in terms of democracy and the best photograph of this is CELAC”.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.