EU Ambassador to Nicaragua: "We must never take democracy for granted"

EU Ambassador to Nicaragua: “We must never take democracy for granted”

The ambassador of the European Union (EU) in Nicaragua, the German Bettina Muscheidt, asked this Monday never to take “democracy for granted”, in a statement on the occasion of Europe Day, in which she highlighted the value of public freedoms .

“Europe Day is a reminder that we should never take our democracy for granted, while there are so many people in the world who would like to enjoy it simply as I saw it with my fresh eyes,” Muscheidt said in a statement published in the Nicaragua section of the official website of the EU.

The European ambassador, who began her mission in Nicaragua last September, reflected on how she saw daily life in Europe during a recent trip to the old continent, with people openly debating government decisions in public spaces, police protecting a peaceful demonstration, or the fact of being able to buy the newspapers and feel the smell of the paper.

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The scenes that Muscheidt observed in Europe are less frequent in Nicaragua, where people prefer not to criticize the government in public, demonstrations and meetings need permission from the police, and the last paper newspaper that existed stopped circulating in August 2021.

In Europe, “I had an unexpected sense of energy, and not just because of the return of spring air,” Muscheidt continued.

“Strangely, what was familiar to me suddenly seemed fresh and new. In fact, it was as if the familiar had become something very different, with sharp outlines, outlines that are normally erased from memory with the daily grind of life,” she noted.

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The diplomat cited other European experiences that she identified as “authentic expression of a self-confident democratic society.”

Muscheidt has been serving in Nicaragua for eight months, a country that has been going through a sociopolitical crisis since April 2018, when massive anti-government demonstrations were reduced with armed attacks that, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), left at least 355 dead.

The crisis in Nicaragua worsened with the elections last November, in which President Daniel Ortega was re-elected, with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president, with seven of the opposition’s presidential hopefuls in jail and two others in exile, a process whose legitimacy was rejected by the Organization of American States (OAS).

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