Nicaraguan opponents remind Petro of his criticism of Ortega

Nicaraguan opponents remind Petro of his criticism of Ortega

A conglomerate of more than 20 Nicaraguan opposition organizations, both within the country and in exile, congratulated to the elected president of Colombia, Gustavo Petroand they called on him “to continue with his critical position towards the dictatorship” of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.

Last November, after Ortega and Murillo were re-elected as president and vice president of Nicaragua with their rivals in prison or in exile, Petro, 62, stated that “that is not democracy.”

In a press release, the organizations listed a series of critical statements by Petro about the Nicaraguan situation: “When a candidate, who at the same time is president…puts his opponents in prison and persecutes his opponents and the ‘chuza’ (injures or injures), because that is not democracy. I would not recognize them (the elections in Nicaragua)”, said the then Colombian presidential candidate, on November 10, 2021.

Days later, on November 23 of the same year, Petro commented: “Daniel Ortega has imprisoned hundreds of political leaders. Ortega has transformed a libertarian dream into a banana dictatorship,” according to the statement.

According to the list of organizations, Petro’s criticisms predate the “electoral farce” in Nicaragua in 2021. On July 26, 2018 —one of the harshest months of the repression against the civilian population—, Gustavo Petro assured: “In Venezuela as in Nicaragua… what is there is the use of rhetoric… to cover up an oligarchy that steals the state, a minority that governs for itself and violates the rights of the majority.”

Opposition organizations, including the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, groups of political prisoners, exiles, victims of armed attacks, among others, said they trust that Petro, “from his position as president of Colombia, will continue with their efforts in favor of democracy and human rights in Nicaragua”.

In addition, they urged him “to continue with his efforts in favor of the immediate release of the more than 180 political prisoners and to support the reestablishment of democracy in Nicaragua.”

Ortega congratulates him

“With all due respect and much affection to your people, we salute your electoral victory today, June 19,” Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega —who has described Colombia as a “narco-state”— wrote in a message to Petro.

“That in our Caribbean America we continue to strengthen a history as our people expect and deserve,” said Ortega, in his letter to the president-elect of Colombia, which was also signed by his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.

After obtaining 50.45% of the total votes, compared to 47.30% for his rival, Rodolfo Hernández, Petro became the first left-wing candidate to win a presidential election in Colombia.

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