TODAY NICARAGUA – Nicaraguan dictator, Daniel Ortega, asserted Thursday that he is not asking the United States to lift the sanctions against officials of his regime, after the release and expulsion to the North American country of 222 political prisoners.
“We are not asking that the sanctions be lifted,” said the former Sandinista guerrilla from the Olof Palme convention center in Managua, where he went flanked by the high military and police command, as well as representatives of the other powers of the State.
“We are not asking for anything in return,” Ortega said at the ceremony broadcast on the national chain, and in which he celebrated that now in Nicaragua there are no longer what he described as “coup plotters,” “terrorists,” or “mercenaries.”
For the Ortega-Murillo regime, the release and expatriation to the United States of the 222 prisoners was a “surprising” event.
A few days ago, Ortega’s wife called the US ambassador in Managua, Kevin Sullivan, and asked Washington to take in the political prisoners.
It’s not about negotiating anything,” Ortega clarified, who now described the prisons as “victims of imperialist policies, who use them, finance them, arm them, and then send them to look for how to destroy the peace of a country, how the one that Nicaragua had been enjoying until April 2018″.
Ortega expressed that he did not expect a positive response from the US to the request, which, he stressed, was done without asking for anything in return.
Read more: Ortega banishes 222 political prisoners from Nicaragua
Ambassador Sullivan first told them that he was going to consult with the White House and then asked them how many they were going to release, and they replied that they were all, including Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Álvarez, who in the end did not agree to get on the plane to be expatriated.
“We don’t want any trace of the empire’s mercenaries to remain in our country,” he added.
The U.S. asked for a list of prisoners and said they would all be taken away on a single flight Thursday.
“Here there has been no negotiation. That must be clear,” he insisted.
The Sandinista dictator indicated that they sent Washington a list of 228 prisoners and the White House vetoed four of them, including Eliseo de Jesús Castro Baltodano, who was imprisoned in the United States and then deported in February 2006 for violence against women.
The other three banned were Walter Antonio Ruiz Rivera, Jaime Enrique Navarrete Blandón and José Manuel Urbina Lara.
“They told us they couldn’t (accept them). They did not give us reasons,” Ortega explained.
The list remained at 224 prisoners, 222 of them traveled, because two of them did not want to get on the plane: Bishop Rolando Álvarez and Fanor Alejandro Ramos, the latter also convicted of drug trafficking.
Ortega unilaterally decided to release the prisoners to send “a message for peace, for stability, so that the Nicaraguan people are convinced that everything we do is to ensure peace,” and that they have not “absolutely asked the US of nothing”.
“This is not a trick; I give you this and you give me that,” said the dictator, for whom the prisoners “are returning to a country where their rulers have used them.”
“Thank God the miracle happened. We have recovered the peace that we are enjoying. Now that the coup plotters, the mercenaries, have left, we breathe peace, thank God,” he concluded.
The Organization of American States (OAS) demanded this Thursday that the Ortega regime restore the rights of the 222 political prisoners expelled to the United States.
Nicaragua has been going through a political and social crisis since April 2018, which has worsened after the controversial general elections of November 7, 2021, in which Ortega was re-elected for a fifth term, fourth in a row and second along with Murillo, with his main contenders in prison or in exile.
With information from Infobae.com and EFE
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