The human rights activist Bianca Jagger pointed out this Thursday, December 15, before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, of the United States Congress, that the path of dialogue is unfeasible with “a regime that commits crimes against humanity”for which he sued President Joe Biden and Pope Francis “more firmness” against the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo in Nicaragua.
Jagger explained to congressmen that he has implored the Pope Francisco to condemn the Nicaraguan dictator and intercede on behalf of the Bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Estelí, Monsignor Rolando Alvarezcurrently under house arrest and accused of alleged conspiracy and propagation of false news, but assures that he has responded “that a dialogue with the country is necessary”.
“As a human rights defender, all my life, I have always believed that one should follow a path of dialogue”, but when there “some possibilities, not when it comes to a regime that is committing crimes against humanity, and that every day the persecution of the village church and the torture of political prisoners are increasing”he emphatically stated during a session on “The dangerous state of religious freedom in Nicaragua”.
👉🏿You can watch my testimony at the hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the US Congress about ‘The Perilous State of Religious Freedom in Nicaragua https://t.co/6Xsxyjqnd9 via @Youtube
— Bianca Jagger Nicaraguan by the grace of God 🇳🇮 (@BiancaJagger) December 15, 2022
The Nicaraguan activist recalled that only this year Ortega and Murillo expelled the apostolic nuncio from the country, Waldemar Sommertag; they outlawed the Association Missionaries of Charity, of the order of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and expelled 18 missionary nuns; they canceled a dozen Catholic media and they hold a bishop and eleven priests prisoner.
sanctions do not work
Jagger not only questioned the path of dialogue, but also that of the sanctions imposed by the Government of President Biden, which has included Nicaragua on the blacklist of countries that violate religious freedom, has prohibited the entry of hundreds of Nicaraguans and has punished the mining industry.
The activist, who for years has criticized the imposition of financial sanctions on the country, said that she has come to the conclusion that Nicaragua has become a “a big jail, where people suffer”in “a terrorist state” what “he goes after anyone who dares to question what he is doing”.
For that reason, Jagger asked congressmen to go beyond sanctions and not forget about the country, “even if it’s small and doesn’t have oil”because “It is very important from a geopolitical point of view.” due to the Russian military presence.
Democratic Congressman James P. McGovern agreed that “sanctions are a tool, but not a solution”. “We impose sanctions and that’s it. Nothing changes, people suffer”he claimed.
McGovern is in favor of applying reciprocity to Managua, which in October rejected the new ambassador designated by Washington, Hugo Rodríguez.
The Wilson Center Advisor Eddy Acevedowho also participated in the session, proposed that, in addition to expelling the Nicaraguan ambassador to the United States, that country could use its vote and influence to block loans to Nicaragua “unless they promote democracy”.
According to Acevedo’s estimates, since 2018 Ortega has obtained loans worth $1.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Other of Acevedo’s recommendations are to expel Nicaragua from the Free Trade Agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic (DR-CAFTA) and prohibit the importation of bovine meat from regions “where has he been busy” indigenous lands. Recommendations that the congressmen promised to transmit to the White House and the Vatican.