The Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, ruled out on Thursday night that the release of 222 political prisoners in the country was part of a political agreement with the United States in exchange for the lifting of the sanctions imposed against his administration.
In a public appearance, Ortega indicated that the release of the opponents “is a message,” according to him, “of dignity to preserve peace.”
“We already breathe peace, thank God,” said Ortega, after announcing the mass release of political prisoners who were in conditions of torture and isolation, according to human rights organizations. “This is not a barter, we have not asked the US for anything, it is something of dignity, let that be clear”
Ortega, who has been in power for more than 15 years consecutively, revealed that the release was devised by his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, who, according to what he said, asked the United States ambassador in Managua, Kevin Sullivan, that they be accepted in washington.
“We are not asking for the sanctions to be lifted. We are not asking for anything in return. It is a matter of dignity, of patriotism,” Ortega said. “Let them take away their mercenaries, take them away.”
Take away your mercenaries, take them away”
For his part, The US government has expressed his desire that now “a path” be opened that will allow relations between Washington and Managua to improve.
“While we hope that this is a path that the United States and Nicaragua can move forward, we hope to have, we would like to have a better relationship with Nicaragua,” Ned Price, a spokesman for the State Department, said Thursday at a conference.
Among the more than 200 political prisoners released are 7 presidential candidates that they intended to challenge Ortega for power in the 2021 elections; also political analysts, former ambassadors, peasant leaders, university students and members of civil society.
Bishop Rolando Álvarez was sent to jail
The president clarified that Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Álvarezwho directed the Diocese of Matagalpa, refused to be banished from the country, for which he was sent to the prison known as ‘La Modelo’, in Managua.
Álvarez is being prosecuted for the crimes of “treason” and “false news”, the same charges faced by most of the political prisoners released this Thursday.
Source: VOA Español