Friday 29 September 2023

Nicaraguan opposition leader fled to Costa Rica to avoid arrest

The politician went into exile after her party, the CxL, was disqualified on Friday by the Electoral Court of Nicaragua, dominated by the ruling party, to participate in the November 7 elections.

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29 September 2023 - At The Banks - Source: BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – The president of the Ciudadanos por la Libertad (CxL) de Nicaragua – Nicaraguan Citizens for Freedom party, Carmella Rogers, known as Kitty Monterrey, 71, fled to Costa Rica on Monday, fearing to swell the list of opponents detained by the Daniel Ortega government.

Kitty Monterry, 71, “No one is safe anymore. (Staying) made no sense, they were going to put me to jail or deport me,” she said during an interview on Costa Rica’s Telenoticias, where she fled to after having been in hiding in Nicaragua for several days. Photo La Prensa

Monterrey, who appeared this Tuesday in an interview with journalist Ignacio Santos, on Telenoticias, said that in Nicaragua “anyone who is identified and blacklisted is already at risk of going to jail.

She added, she knew that  “everything that has happened and that we are in the middle of a dictatorship, and it is already known that with them (Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo) they do not reason” so she decided to hide until he saw how he could leave the country.

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She left through blind spots on the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border and is now in Costa Rica.

On Friday, August 6, the Daniel Ortega regime, through the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE), stripped CxL of legal status, after a challenge by the Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC).

Days before, Berenice Quesada, the CxL’s vice-president nominee was put under house arrest. See Ortega regime arrests former Miss Nicaragua running for vice president

On Sunday, August 8, in a press release on Sunday, August 8, by way of its official online portal,, the regime made official the cancellation of the registration of Kitty Monterrey as a Nicaraguan citizen, which she was granted on June 7, 2005, as well as the cancellation of her Nicaraguan passport, her birth certificate and her cedula (citizen identity card).

In addition, Nicaragua’s immigration reported canceling her passport, claiming it had been obtained fraudulently.

So Monterrey was left with only US citizenship and possibly she would be expelled from the country or kidnapped, like other opponents.

“(Staying) made no sense, they were going to put me to jail or deport me”Kitty Monterrey

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In the interview with Teletica, Monterrey spoke about what the cancellation of the legal status of CxL meant for her: “I cannot stop saying that it was hard, because, although there were different strategies, at least ours was to continue on the civic path, which is a very difficult fight, but it is the only possible fight that we saw at this stage.

“We understand that there is a dictatorship and we also understood that it was going to be difficult. Possibly they were preparing a fraud, but not for that reason we should not continue to do everything possible to stay within the civic path. I get the news on television and on top of that I get the news that I am no longer Nicaraguan overnight,” she said.

On the other hand, she maintained, as she has done on other occasions, that, being the daughter of a Nicaraguan, under the law she also has the right to Nicaraguan nationality.

“I have had my Nicaraguan citizenship for years. The proof of this is that when I was proposed to be a CSE (elections court) magistrate, the Sandinista Front prevented me. So it’s nothing new and when she founded the new party (CxL) four years ago they could have said the same thing and they didn’t. It is nothing more than their pretext, nothing more,” she argued.

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Monterrey admitted that she felt threatened.

“There, anyone who is identified and put on a blacklist is already at risk of going to jail. And unfortunately, I take the opportunity to say it, because precisely yesterday Mauricio Díaz, who chairs the Party’s International Relations Commission, was arrested. He was the Nicaraguan ambassador to Costa Rica.

“So no one is sure anymore, there was no point. Furthermore, (despite) having taken away my Nicaraguan citizenship, I will never stop being Nicaraguan. A role is a role and I will continue fighting for Nicaragua. That does not end here. But it didn’t make sense (to stay) because one of the two would happen, either take me to jail or they were going to deport me, so why stay in Nicaragua,” she said.

At the end of the interview, the president of CxL said that she will dedicate herself to see what strategy they will put into practice to fight and continue fighting until Daniel Ortega is out of power.

Living in Nicaragua today, according to Monterrey, “Social networks are one thing. The reality in Nicaragua is different. Living in the interior of the country is different from what is lived in the streets of the capital at night. The realities are different. It is very difficult for people to understand that it is not that we are divided, but that there have been a series of different opinions, but it has not been possible to have a consensus,” she said.

Asked what she thinks about Daniel Ortega now that CxL is out of the electoral contest and after the message from the Catholic Church on Tuesday, in which it affirmed that there are no conditions to hold democratic elections in the country, Monterrey pointed out that “he (Ortega) is betting on that continuity and possibly on being magnanimous (in quotation marks), and after November to see what the world does with him in power, obviously, because he is going to be re-elected, because obviously it is a farce that is going to happen, and therefore we will see, the importance will be to see what the international community does”.

Desire stay in Costa Rica

Kitty Monterrey, now only with her American nationality, plans to stay in Costa Rica, to continue helping in Nicaragua.

“Now I am only American and I will have to see with the American embassy here how to legalize my stay because in effect I plan to stay in Costa Rica if that’s possible. I want to be close to my country and I want to continue helping,” she said.

At the end of the interview, the president of CxL said that she will dedicate herself to see what strategy they will put into practice to fight and continue fighting until Daniel Ortega is out of power.

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