Can Ortega and Murillo be brought to international justice?

Ortega congratulates "victory” of Lula, opponents divided on his position

The government of President Daniel Ortega, in Nicaragua, joined this Sunday in the congratulations for the victory of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a politician with a leftist ideology who defeated Jair Bolsonaro in a close election.

“Dear Lula, with great joy we celebrate your well-deserved victory, praying to God for health, strength and much love to build together and encouraged the future of your great country”, was part of the official message signed by Ortega and his wife, the vice president Rosario Murillo.

The ideological affinity of Ortega and Lula has generated various positions from the Nicaraguan opposition. Some consider that there could be an “alignment” between Lula and Ortega, who is accused of human rights violations and continuous electoral fraud that have kept him in power for 15 consecutive years.

“Lula’s victory over Bolsonaro in Brazil strengthens the return of a left with bad economic credentials and terrible political performances. It is a left that is silent in the face of crimes by Ortega in Nicaragua and that melts in the face of dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela,” said the former ambassador of Managua to the OAS, Arturo McFields.

Another block considers that Lula could distance himself from Ortega, as other leftist leaders have done, such as Chilean President Gabriel Boricor advocate like the political prisoners in Nicaragua, like the Colombian government led by Gustavo Petro.

“We expect the winner, his position in relation to Nicaragua to remain critical and demanding the release of political prisoners. We do not consider that Lula and his position are different, we have seen governments with tendencies like him and they are critical of Ortega, ”opposition activist Ana Quiros, from the Blue and White National Unity, told the Voice of America.

Nicaragua has been experiencing a political crisis since 2018, after protests against President Daniel Ortega, who is accused of having repressed the demonstrations, leaving more than 300 dead.

Likewise, Ortega has been accused of imprisoning his critics, among them seven presidential hopefuls who are still detained serving sentences for various crimes such as “treason against the fatherland.”

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