The government of Daniel Ortega showed the Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Álvarez on Saturday, after the opposition issued an alert demanding “a sign of life”, after his health condition was unknown after being sent to the prison known as “La Modelo” more than 25 days ago.
The official media reported that the bishop received a visit from two of his brothers. One of them had requested weeks ago to see him without him having an answer at that time.
“I am with a lot of inner strength, with a lot of peace in the Lord and the Blessed Virgin,” Bishop Álvarez declared to the official media present during the family visit.
“We are glad to see him well, healthy,” said the journalist who approached him.
– Oh yes, do you see me well? healthy? And how is his face doing, answered the bishop.
Álvarez had last been seen in public on February 10, when the Ortega government issued a sentence against him of 26 years and four months in prison for the alleged crimes of treason, among others.
Opponents and human rights organizations had launched an alert since then because the condition of the bishop was unknown.
“Finally, the regime responded to our demands to present proof of Monsignor Álvarez’s life; Let’s keep fighting until we get him released,” Nicaraguan activist Bianca Jagger wrote on Twitter.
According to the former Nicaraguan ambassador to the OAS, Arturo McFields, the “regime staging” of Álvarez is intended to show “a supposed kindness, flexibility and respect for human rights” of the Ortega administration, something that in his opinion “does not exist”.
According to McFields, something important to emphasize is that this week there was a session in the United States Congress on Nicaragua and the following day Secretary Anthony Blinken expressed his support and admiration for Monsignor Rolando Álvarez.
“In a broader context, we realize that pressure works and this regime, without pressure, is not going to make any meaningful change,” McFields said.
Bishop Rolando Álvarez is one of the political prisoners considered to have the greatest weight that Ortega has in the Nicaraguan prison, after having released more than 222 people from the opposition.
Ortega proposed that Álvarez leave the country to be sent to the United States, however the priest refused to do so.
The Sandinista president said in this regard that it was an act of a “deranged.”
“I don’t know what this gentleman thinks, when faced with a decision by the Nicaraguan State, he says that he does not abide by a resolution of a court of justice of the Nicaraguan State that is ordering him to leave the country and, totally, we could not send him.” Ortega assured.
This week Secretary of State Blinken referred to the bishop as a person for whom he felt “deep admiration.”
Pope Francis has also asked for the priest and has compared the Ortega administration to “a Hitler dictatorship.”
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