QCOSTARICA – The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, described the persecution of Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega against opponents as reprehensible after the government system controlled by the Sandinista leader arrested four presidential candidates in the last eight days.
“Regarding the situation in Nicaragua, I have to say that it is regrettable, reprehensible. What is happening in the neighboring country is terrible. It cannot be that four candidates facing an electoral process in November are detained,” Alvarado condemned this Wednesday.
“The international community must be guaranteed the physical integrity of these people and the international community must give a coordinated response.
“In this sense, today I contacted OAS (Organization of American States) Secretary Almagro to inform me of what actions the is considering adopting. We have to give a close evaluation of that situation,” he added.
On Tuesday, the Nicaraguan National Police, controlled by Ortega, arrested the candidates Félix Maradiaga and Juan Sebastián Chamorro.
Last week, opposition candidate Cristiana Chamorro, daughter of Nicaragua’s president Violeta Chamorro (1990 to 1997) was detained and currently continues under house arrest. Days later, another opposition candidate Arturo Cruz, was also arrested.
The four, who aspire to participate in the presidential election on November 7, are accused by the Public Ministry (Attorney General) of committing various crimes, that include money laundering, ideological falsehoods to the detriment of the State of Nicaragua and Nicaraguan society.
In the case of Chamorro, she is also accused of abusive management of resources of the international cooperation through the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation to promote independent journalism.
Arturo Cruz, who served as Ortega’s ambassador to the United States between 2007 and 2009, is singled out by the Ortega regime for lobbying the United States for economic sanctions against the Nicaraguan government.
The former diplomat is also accused by the Public Ministry of alleged acts that undermine society and the rights of the people to independence, sovereignty and self-determination, according to a law recently approved by the Congress dominated by Ortega.
Félix Maradiaga and Juan Chamorro are accused of carrying out acts against sovereignty, terrorism and applauding sanctions and acts that undermine independence, thus inciting foreign interference in internal affairs and requesting military interventions, detailed a statement from the National Police.
All of those detained, except for Cristiana Chamorro, have been accused of plotting against Nicaragua’s sovereignty and independence and of organizing terrorist acts with financial help from foreign powers and detained under a controversial treason law passed in December by Nicaragua’s National Assembly dominated by Ortega allies.
Under the law, that the government says aims to protect “the independence, the sovereignty and self-determination” of Nicaragua, the government has the power to ban candidates from running for office if they are deemed to be traitors to Nicaragua. Anyone designated a traitor can be sent to prison for up to 15 years.
But critics say the law is designed to stop opposition politicians from standing in the election.