The Cardinal of Managua (Nicaragua), Leopoldo Brenes Solorzano. | Photo:  Mayela Lopez, La Nacion
The Cardinal of Managua (Nicaragua), Leopoldo Brenes Solorzano. | Photo: Mayela Lopez, La Nacion

In celebration of the Virgen de los Ángeles or La Negrita as she is popularly known on Saturday (August 2), the Cardinal of Managua (Nicaragua), Leopoldo Brenes Solorzano, called for dialogue between the leaders of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, to iron out the political differences between the two countries.

“We have many things in common, that issues divide us. We are brothers and only through dialogue disputes can be settled, ” said the prelate during his homily.

Joining Brenes in a call for dialogue was the Cardinal of Cartago (Costa Rica), José Francisco Ulloa, who said the two countries share a devotion for La Negrita.

“There’s blood values that unite us. The mission of the Church is to seek peace among people and nations through diaolgue,” said Ulloa.

Costa Rica and Nicaragua are locked into a legal battle since 2010, a dispute over the border swamp lands of Isla Calero in the Caribbean coast.

In two days is the deadline for Nicaragua to submit its second and final written argument to the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ), for its lawsuit against Costa Rica, for the construction of the border trail, the Juan Rafael Mora Porras or La Trocha.

This action is separate, yet connected, to the dispute before the ICJ over the alleged invasion by Nicaragua of Costa Rican territory and Costa Rica’s claim of environmental damage of the area by Nicaraguan troops.

“We are aware of the lack of dialogue and tension between the governors. However, the purpose of the Catholic Church is to seek consensus,” said the Cardinal.

Despite the rains and cool (cold) weather of Cartago, thousands of faithful remained on the outside of the Cathedral to celebrate Mass.

The Cardinal guest commented on the number of young people taking part in the annual tradition.

Traditionally, the faithful come to Cartago each year to ask La Negrita for a favour, a blessing or to give thanks for favours bestowed on them.

Not referring to the Nicaragua issue brought up by the two Cardinals, President Luis Guillermo Solís stressed the the defense of the rights of women, and made a call for peace in the world and an end to the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

“May God f=give us the wisdom to make the best decisions. The Virgen de los Angeles to pray for us,” were the words of the President, in a brief speech, uttering the last sentence in Latin.

Source: La Nacion