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Kitty Monterrey goes into exile in Costa Rica

"Either they were going to put me to jail or deport me"

TODAY NICARAGUA – The president of Ciudadanos por la Libertad (CxL) party, Carmella Maria Rogers Amburn, known as Kitty Monterrey, appeared at noon on Tuesday, August 10, on the newscast Telenoticias on Costa Rica’s television channel 7, in San José, four days after the Supreme Electoral Council canceled the legal status of her party and your Nicaraguan identity card will be annulled.

Kitty Monterrey, 71, “Either they were going to put me to jail or deport me” 

The 71-year-old Monterrey, now in exile, assured that she feared for her life after former Foreign Minister Mauricio Díaz, who presided over the party’s international relations commission, was arrested after a summons from the Public Ministry last Friday.

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Monterrey left for Costa Rica this Monday. She said that she will now seek to fix her immigration situation with the help of the US authorities since she is the daughter of an American father and a Nicaraguan mother. She said that she will stay in Costa Rica with the intention of continuing the democratic struggle in Nicaragua.

Monterrey reported that she realized that the legal status of CxL had been canceled through television, in the same way about the cancellation of her Nicaraguan citizenship, identity card (cedula), and passport.

Read more: Ministerio de Gobernación presenta documentación sobre la Sra. Carmela Rogers Amburn

“I decided to hide until I saw how I could leave the country (…) Of course I did, (I felt threatened). There (Nicaragua), anyone who is identified or put on a blacklist is already someone who is at risk of going to jail. No one is sure anymore. Besides, having taken away my Nicaraguan citizenship, I will never stop being Nicaraguan, a role is a role, I will continue fighting for Nicaragua, that does not end here. But it didn’t make sense (to stay in Nicaragua), because one of two: either they were going to take me to jail or they were going to deport me, so why stay in Nicaragua,” expressed Monterrey.

“We saw no other option but to continue in the elections”

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The president of CxL also took advantage of the interview to justify the permanence of her party in the electoral process despite the fact that the dictatorship did not offer any kind of guarantee of transparency and claimed that “we did not see any other option but to continue in it.”

She also added that there was a “unification” of the opposition “around the Citizen Alliance.”

“When all those who are imprisoned were, in some way, pre-candidates registered in this Alliance of Citizens for Freedom or aspiring to it, there was really a unification of the opposition around what the Citizen Alliance was and we always said ‘ we go with the one that remains. ‘ Then we changed that and said ‘with the one who dares’, because we were getting less and less. But we didn’t see, we don’t see any other option other than the civic path,” she said.

Read more: Nicaraguan opposition leader fled to Costa Rica to avoid arrest

According to her, they continued in the electoral process because they could not “turn off the light” and accept that Ortega was going to govern forever, an action that earned them criticism from different sectors who alleged that CxL was legitimizing the irregular electoral process that the regime of Ortega was riding.

“The detention of Berenice Quezada affected me a lot,” Monterrey said, referred to the house arrest to which the candidate for the vice president of CxL, Berenice Quezada, a former beauty queen, was subjected to a call for Nicaraguans to go out to vote en masse, as they demonstrated in the year 2018, when the socio-political crisis broke out.

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Read more: Ortega regime arrests former Miss Nicaragua running for vice president

That expression earned her that the Public Ministry inhibited her as her candidate, after a group of Ortega supporters denounced her for being affected by her statements.

“She is no longer under house arrest, thank God. It affected me personally a lot because she was not a political person, she had never been involved in politics and we felt a huge responsibility. And I felt (the responsibility) for having destroyed the life of a young woman who wanted was to represent a new generation. Thank God what they did to her was only to completely inhibit her and restrict any political participation in exchange for her being able to enjoy freedom and she is free now,” she explained.

She also justified the lack of actions of CxL in favor of Quezada, claiming that any “too public” action that they did could have more serious consequences for the former vice-presidential candidate.

“I do not consider myself a victim”

She also said, in response to an article written by Fernando Malespín in CONFIDENCIAL, in which he refers that CxL wins, because they went from villains to victims, instead of being opposition to Daniel Ortega.

Monterrey: “I don’t consider myself a victim. And I think that would be a serious mistake and that we now, in exile, consider ourselves victims. But what are but a victim of a dictatorship? That is why he had to flee his country yesterday (Monday).”

Monterrey also gave her version of the opposition’s lack of political unity and argued that the problem with the National Coalition is that it did not have a base because it was built “from the top down.”

According to the president of CxL, “this is the third party that has been taken from us, we have been an opposition for 16 years with a solid and properly structured base. Unfortunately, when the National Coalition and the different organizations were formed, they were national level organizations without a broad structure, a base that could really become an organization that faces a dictatorship. (…) It is not that we did not want unity, it is that we prefer not to get into a problem, that in the end we were right, she broke it. And we had the doors open for them to join an alliance”.

The cancellation of the legal status of CxL

On August 8, the Ortega regime sent a letter to the diplomatic corps residing in the country and to the foreign press in which it attached resolutions from the Ministry of the Interior, Directorate of Migration and Immigration, Attorney General’s Office, Supreme Electoral Council, Registry Central of the Civil Status of People and even the Nicaraguan Consulate in San Francisco, United States, to justify the cancellation actions against Monterrey.

The expedited process on August 6, occurred after the president of the Constitutional Liberal Party (PLC), María Haydée Osuna, denounced the CxL Party, for alleged violations of the Electoral Law. This action led to the presidential candidate of the PLC, Milton Arcia, resigning from his position, and, consequently, Walter Espinoza was appointed to run in the elections on November 7.

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