The electoral victory of the leftist candidate of the Historical Pact, Gustavo Petro, in Colombia, was unanimously applauded by both the government of President Daniel Ortega and the country’s opposition groups. However, the opposition has urged the former guerrilla to continue criticizing him against “the Sandinista dictatorship.
Daniel Ortega issued a brief press release on Sunday night, after the results were known, “welcome Petro’s electoral victory” and indicated that he hoped to “continue strengthening a history as our peoples deserve.”
Petro had tried to distance himself from Ortega, -also a former leftist guerrilla- since 2018 when the protests against his government broke out and left more than 300 dead.
“In Venezuela as in Nicaragua there is no socialism, what there is is the use of a leftist rhetoric of the 20th century to cover up an oligarchy that steals the state, a minority that governs for itself and violates the rights of the majority” Petro wrote about it on his Twitter account in July 2018.
In the same way, he referred in November 2021 to the former guerrilla Dora María Téllez after being imprisoned and said that Ortega “had transformed a libertarian dream into a banana dictatorship.”
Opponents also congratulated Petro and, alluding to his previous comments, have urged him to maintain “his position critical of the Ortega and Murillo dictatorship.” They have also requested to continue their efforts in favor of the immediate release of “the more than 180 political prisoners.”
The opposition organizations, which number more than twelve, affirmed that they trust that the new president “from his position as president of Colombia” will continue in favor of democracy and human rights.
Petro inherits bilateral relationship at its worst
Relations between Colombia and Nicaragua have been at their worst in recent years. The rhetoric and actions rose in tone during the outgoing government of Iván Duque.
In February 2022, Ortega withdrew diplomatic credentials to the Colombian ambassador in Nicaragua, Alfredo Rangel, accusing him of “meddling”.
Duque said that the accusations sought to distract the attention of the international community from “the critical human rights situation and the violations suffered by Nicaraguan citizens, political parties and opponents of the Ortega regime.”
Similarly, constant litigation between the two countries in the International Court of Justice in The Hague further deteriorated relations.