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Nicaragua arrests of opposition leaders ‘spells fear,’ critics say

U.S. officials call it a campaign of terror by President Ortega

At least a dozen opposition leaders of President Daniel Ortega, including four presidential hopefuls, have been arrested.
At least a dozen opposition leaders of President Daniel Ortega, including four presidential hopefuls, have been arrested.

At least 12 opposition leaders, including four presidential hopefuls, have now been arrested in Nicaragua.

Both inside and outside of the country, pressure is mounting against President Daniel Ortega, who is in his fourth term in office.

Rosalia Miller, president of the Nicaragua Freedom Coalition, says Ortega and VP and First Lady Rosario Murrillo simply don’t want the competition in the upcoming November elections.

“This spells fear in capital letters,” Miller said. ”The anxiety from Ortega and Murrillo that, in fact, they will lose the election.”

Those arrested have been accused of plotting against Nicaragua’s sovereignty and independence with financial help from foreign powers.

U.S. officials are calling the arrests a campaign of terror, saying the region can not stand by and wait to see who is next.

Dragos Dolanescu, a Costa Rican congressman who happens to be in Miami, says if Nicaragua continues to destabilize, the whole region will suffer. It could possibly spark a migration crisis.

The majority of the Costa Rican congress passed a resolution condemning the arrests.

And foreign ministries from Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala, Panama, Dominican Republic and Spain are uring the Ortega government to release the opposition leaders.

They have expressed: “deep concern over the recent actions taken by the government of Nicaragua against important opposition leaders in that country, which threaten the free exercise of democracy.”


About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.