RICO’s DIGEST – Earlier this year I was prohibited entry into Nicaragua. Though the motives were unclear, the majority of the hour-long discussion with the immigration official centered around my work as the publisher of Qcostarica.com and Todaynicaragua.com.
The encounter was very cordial. I was never denied entry but politely asked that it would be best if I did not, that I should apply the recently implemented requirement of having to pre-apply, a visa as you will, for all foreigners who want to visit Nicaragua.
While there have been many other reports of such, I feel today I continue in good company with the prohibited entry into Nicaragua of the EFE Agency delegate in Managua, the Nicaraguan Luis Felipe Palacios, returning home from a work trip.
“The forced exile is another attempt to silence dissidents and intimidate anyone who might criticize the regime,” a United States State Department spokesman told EFE, in their condemnation of Nicaragua.
Palacios, a 44-year-old journalist, had attended the commemorative events in Panama for the 50th anniversary of EFE’s presence in Central America.
Avianca Airlines informed the journalist about the ban before his flight. “We inform you that the request for entry has not been authorized by the Nicaraguan immigration authorities. You will not be allowed to board,” according to the email sent to the EFE journalist in Nicaragua by Avianca Airlines.
In my case, traveling as a Costa Rican, which I had done prior to the pandemic, was to visit my wife’s family, my in-laws.
After our chat, the immigration official politely told me that I would be accompanied back to the Costa Rican side of the border, while my wife could continue her travel. She refused to enter.
I am but a little cog in the scheme of life. My websites pose no significant impact or threat to the regime of dictator, sorry president, Daniel Ortega.
The U.S. spokesman told EFE that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Nicaragua is a party, establishes that “no one can be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter their own country.”
“The United States condemns Nicaragua’s decision to prohibit EFE correspondent and Nicaraguan journalist Luis Felipe Palacios from returning to his home in Managua after a trip abroad,” the same source stressed.
He considered that this is a new chapter in “the repressive trend against journalists and the free press” in Nicaragua, which until now has included the closure of media outlets and the intimidation, exile and imprisonment of reporters.
He affirmed that the United States is committed to “a return to democracy and respect for human rights” in Nicaragua and promised to use “the available diplomatic and economic tools” so that the government of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, render accounts.
I have since applied for authorization to enter. That was back in March. My application is still pending.