President Daniel Ortega on Thursday met with Nicaragua’s Catholic bishops to discuss reviving the stalled national dialogue to calm the political crisis and violence gripping the country.
The Thursday afternoon talks held high hopes for many. But both sides came out from the closed-door meeting without anything. No one is heading back to the dialogue table.
“El Presidente” told the bishops he will take a couple of days to respond to the proposal by the Conferencia Episcopal de Nicaragua (CEN) – Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference.
“The president asked us a couple of days to reflect on the content of the letter and give us an answer,” said Monsignor Silvio Báez, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua.
“The CEN letter contains the proposals for democratization and the constitutional reforms that are required to achieve this,” said Bishop Báez, who was the only one who spoke with the journalists, after the brief reading of the CEN statement.
“Depending on the response of the president, it will be decided if the dialogue continues, we expect an answer soon,” said Báez.
The meeting was held “in an atmosphere of serenity, openness and sincerity,” says the statement of the Catholic prelates.
“We have delivered the proposal that reflects the feelings of many sectors of Nicaraguan society and expresses the desire of the majority of the population, and we expect the written response as soon as possible,” read Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, president of the CEN.
“The bishops communicate to the Nicaraguan people, that we concluded a conversation with the President of the Republic, we have done so as pastors of the people of God, seeking new horizons for our country,” the statement said.
The CEN called off the dialogue after an impasse was reached in the third session of the talks. President Ortega was present only in the first day, sending a delegation representing his government in the subsequent days.