Opposition organizations, which make up the Platform for Unity for Democracy (PUDE), spoke out about the recent situations around Monsignor Rolando Alvarez, who continues to be a political prisoner of the Nicaraguan regime.
They condemned, at the same time, “the conditional freedom” that the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega would have offered to the bishop of the Diocese of Matagalpa, which consisted of accepting exile; “However, Monsignor Álvarez would have rejected it, for the second time (…) opting to remain imprisoned in the dungeons of the regime, in accompaniment of the long-suffering Nicaraguan people, until he achieved his unconditional freedom and public liberties for the people,” they said.
«The Nicaraguan Catholic people stand by their pastors, Bishop Álvarez and the five priests who continue to be deprived of their liberty; We are also on the side of the dozens of priests, nuns and lay people who have been expelled from the country”, underlined the organizations that signed a statement dated July 6.
Persecution of the Church is a “crime against humanity”
PUDE pointed out that the Ortega-Murillo regime is in “a clear and frank” persecution against the Nicaraguan Catholic Church, constituting a “crime against humanity.”
They add that the rage against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua has manifested itself “not only in the imprisonment of religious, but also with the closure of Catholic radio stations, the closure of Cáritas, the cancellation of bank accounts of members and organizations of the clergy. and the expulsion of the Apostolic Nuncio —Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag—».
They also argue that the rupture of relations with the Vatican and the systematic attack on the free functioning of parochial schools through the surveillance of the Ministry of Education and the freezing of their bank accounts are an arbitrary action, thus considering “a declared war of the dictatorship against Catholicism that has chosen to remain on the side of the Nicaraguan population.
They demand an end to the repression
Given the situation in which the Catholic Church is experiencing, the opposition groups demanded the immediate release “and without conditions” of Bishop Álvarez, as well as that of all the religious detainees.
They also demand the cessation of any form of repression against religious activities, the return of media that have been confiscated; the cessation of financial harassment through the closure of bank accounts and the safe return of the religious who have been expelled and exiled from Nicaragua.
Finally, they called on the international community to “protect and prevent further crimes against humanity against the defenseless and kidnapped population, and initiate universal justice processes” against the Ortega regime.