The United States condemned on Thursday The A ‘dramatic deterioration’ of human rights in Nicaragua After the arrest of a Catholic bishop criticizing the government of President Daniel Ortega.
White House spokeswoman Karen Jean-Pierre In a press conference, he expressed his regret at the persecution of social leaders, opposition politicians, students and journalists, and stressed that these types of behavior are “unacceptable.” In Washington’s eyes.
“There has been a significant deterioration in respect for democratic principles and human rights by the Nicaraguan regime, including the imprisonment of democratic leaders, members of the political opposition, students and journalists,” White House Press Secretary Karen-Jean-Pierre said.
He said the administration of President Joe Biden “views this as unacceptable and condemns these actions.”
He pointed out in this regard that the US administration, in cooperation with other governments in the international community, They have taken steps to pressure Ortega and promote accountability. I will continue to do soJean-Pierre warned.
After a two-week siege of its facility in Matagalpa, police arrested Bishop Rolando Alvarez, an outspoken critic of Ortega, last Friday. The bishop is accused of “destabilizing” activities and incitement to hatred.
Catholic leaders in Nicaragua have come under increasing pressure from the government since the 2018 protests were crushed in a violent crackdown. Alvarez was critical of the closure of Catholic Church radio and news channels when police ordered his arrest.
At the beginning of the week, Pope Francis broke his silence on Nicaragua to express his “concern” about the tense political situation in that country, but specifically avoided mentioning the arrest of religious people and condemning the repression of Daniel Ortega’s government.
“I am following closely the situation that has arisen in Nicaragua, which includes people and institutions, with concern and pain,” the Pope admitted after Angelos on Sunday in St Peter’s Square.
This was the first time the Pope had spoken publicly on this sensitive topic.Which sparked a strong controversy among observers in the affairs of the Vatican because of the silence of the Pope.
Many have questioned the reasons for the Pope’s silence in Latin America for nearly two weeks over the serious crisis between the Nicaraguan Church and Ortega’s government, which was exacerbated by the arrest on Friday of the Archbishop of Matagalpa, Rolando Alvarez, an outspoken opponent. for the system.
Persecution, raids, imprisonment, shutdown of Catholic media and even exile of religious people These are some of the actions that the Church of that Central American country has suffered in recent years.
Francis, who speaks regularly on many topics, from disasters to personal tragedies, He did not explicitly mention the arrest of the Bishop of Matagalpa, Rolando Alvarezand a group of collaborators who were in the episcopal seat, though he spoke indirectly of the affected “persons and institutions”.
In his message, the Pope explicitly asked the Nicaraguan government for an “open and honest dialogue” to achieve “peaceful and respectful coexistence.”
“I want to express my conviction and hope that through open and honest dialogue the foundations of peaceful coexistence and respect can still be found“, He said.
The Pope’s wisdom and his call for dialogue and avoidance of confrontation with the government is a call to make room for diplomacy and to search for solutions.
“Papal silence does not mean idleness or lack of decision making, no, none of that; This means that work is being done on other planesRodrigo Guerra, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Latin America, explained the week to a Spanish Catholic radio station.
*With information from AFP and EP.
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