Pope says Daniel Ortega is ‘a glitch’

Nicaragua is facing a wave of condemnation from the international community for the authoritarian drift of CEO Ortega, who rules with his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.

Via AFP

Pope Francis on Friday called Nicaragua a “shameless dictatorship” and declared President Daniel Ortega to be “deficient” in an interview with Argentina’s online newspaper InfoBay.

The pope’s remarks come a few days after the Central American country’s government decided to close two universities linked to the Catholic Church.

“With great respect, I have no choice but to think about the imbalance in the person who leads,” Francisco said, referring to Ortega, who has been in power since 2007 and was successively re-elected in a disputed election.

In the interview, the Argentine pope referred, without naming him, to Catholic Bishop Rolando Alvarez, who was sentenced in February to 26 years in prison for undermining national unity, among other charges.

“There we have a bishop in prison, a very serious and very capable man. He wanted to testify and did not accept a ban.”

The Bishop of Matagalpa, 56 years old, has been detained since last August on charges of conspiracy and refused to deport him to the United States with the release of 222 other dissidents and expelled them from the country for being “traitors to the homeland.”

“It is something outside of what we are experiencing, it seems as if it brings the communist dictatorship of 1917 or the Hitlerite dictatorship of 1935, and it is the same here (…) They are a kind of insolent dictatorship,” added the Holy Father.

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Nicaragua is facing a wave of condemnation from the international community for the authoritarian drift of CEO Ortega, who rules with his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.

Hundreds of dissidents have been arrested in the country in the course of the crackdown that followed massive anti-government protests in 2018.

Since then, the government has also clashed with the church realm and church leaders who have criticized its policies.

Almost a year ago, the government expelled, for example, the Apostolic Nuncio Waldemar Stanislav Sommertag.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of the Interior (Interior) revoked the legal status of the University of Juan Pablo II – affiliated with the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua – and the Autonomous Christian University of Nicaragua (UCAN) for allegedly “breaching” of the laws.

On the same day, the Official Gazette also announced the dissolution of the Catholic Charities Caritas Nicaragua and Caritas Diocesana de Jinotega.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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