The Nicaraguan Foreign Minister, Denis Moncada Colindres, faithful to the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo; He assured that in the country religious freedom is respected, to priests, Catholic bishops and pastors of any religious denomination. In an interview with Diario El Mundo of El Salvador, the Ortega minister denied that there is religious persecution in the country, but reports from international organizations show the opposite: Ortega persecutes the prophetic voice of the Catholic Church.
“The Nicaraguan government and the Nicaraguan people are respectful of religious freedom, we are respectful of religious leaders, whether they are Catholic, evangelical or of any religious denomination. What the State and the government of Nicaragua do is comply with the constitutional mandate to comply with and enforce the law,” said Moncada.
The official of the dictatorship stated that the laws in Nicaragua “do not establish prerogatives” for any priest or bishop, whether Catholic or of any other religion. He added that, if someone “is acting in violation of the Constitution and the law, state institutions have to function as required by the legal order,” justifying Ortega and Murillo’s decision to order the kidnapping of Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, actions that have generated a wave of condemnations and denunciations from the international community.
“There is a misinterpretation and a misrepresentation of what is happening in Nicaragua in reality. I want to reaffirm that in the Nicaraguan government we are respectful of the law, the Constitution and the fundamental freedoms of priests, bishops, pastors and all religious leaders. The population is also understanding that, if someone violates the law, he cannot be above the law or outside the law, “said the Ortega foreign minister.
Denis Moncada failed to give details about the arrest of Bishop Álvarez, hiding behind the separation of Powers, alluding that this issue corresponds to the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ), but in Nicaragua all the institutions respond to the interests of the dictatorial couple, according to international human rights organizations have denounced.
“The behavior of the authorities is always respectful towards the people who are investigating facts that violate the law, respecting their fundamental rights. I don’t want to get into a field that is specific to research organizations in the country so as not to have criteria that do not correspond to reality,” said Moncada.
When asked about the international condemnation generated by the kidnapping of Bishop Rolando Álvarez, including the resolution of the Organization of American States (OAS), which was approved with the favorable vote of 27 countries, the foreign minister said that the continental organization is an “instrument of the United States (that) always acts in concert, following the mandates of the United States; therefore, if Nicaragua and the Sandinista government do not reach a consensus with Washington, in the OAS, the United States gives its instructions so that they are always accusing and approving negative resolutions against our government».
Moncada denied the journalist’s accusations about the closure of independent media outlets and the imprisonment of men and women of the press. She said that in Nicaragua “we do not have persecution of journalists or a State policy that ignores freedom of expression.” She also snapped at him about the restrictions on income for the international media to document the situation in Nicaragua and Moncada evaded the question to flee from the consultations.
The Catholic Church has been the target of attacks by the regime after mediating a failed national dialogue. Her prophetic voice and support for the people has led her to suffer threats, desecration of temples, persecution of her priests and bishops, and the forced exile of some members of the clergy.
After 16 days under police siege and held in the Episcopal Curia of Matagalpa since August 4, the Police, under the orders of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, stormed the episcopal seat. Police officers broke into the compound at three in the morning. Monsignor Álvarez, five priests and three lay people were present at the site. The bishop was transferred to his family’s house in Managua under “resguardo domiciliar”, in violation of freedom of movement and the blocking of his pastoral work in the Diocese of Matagalpa and Esteli.