Nicaragüenses permiso especial para entrar a Europa

State workers denounce “selective” permits to leave Nicaragua, while the majority are prohibited from doing so

“Guillermo” remembers that on the last working day of 2022 his boss warned him again: “Don’t even try, because they won’t let you out.” It wasn’t the first time he’d told her. On a couple of occasions, when he insisted on permission to visit his sister in the United States, the answer was always the same.

“Although I have a middle management position, it seems that they are afraid that I will stay in the United States and denounce them. I don’t really know what I could say, so they wouldn’t let me go, ”she details.

For more than seven years he has worked in the Ministry of Health (Minsa) and he finds the level of paranoia that the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo has with the majority of state workers “incredible”. “Since there have been many resignations and many who have left the country, I suppose they are afraid that we will all leave and that the exhaustion that exists among public workers will become evident,” she says.

Other colleagues, of this man in his early 30s, have tried to request permits to travel outside the country to visit friends, relatives or for tourism, and they have suffered the same fate. “A colleague was told that she had to send a letter explaining everything, but that it was a long process and that from above (referring to other authorities) they would decide if she could travel”, recalls “Guillermo”. The answer for his colleague never came.

“Only some can leave Nicaragua”

For “Guillermo” there is no logical explanation as to who can leave the country and who cannot. During the Christmas and New Year holidays, he thought they could go out without a problem, but the warning was the same. “You don’t leave with your suitcases because there have been cases of people who arrive at the airport and their passports are taken away and they are told they can’t leave,” he says.

“We have also heard of state workers who went to the United States without a problem, but they are close to the bosses. We found out because they uploaded photos on their social networks, ”she details.

However, it has also been known that family members and high-ranking officials from different State institutions, such as the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) have been prevented from leaving Nicaragua. There is never an explanation, they are only told that they cannot travel. Some have had their passports taken away.

“They don’t want us to go anywhere”

“Paula” says that it was a martyrdom to get a passport. She had to stand in line for hours in Managua to be able to apply for it for the first time. Although she asked for support from “a friend of the party”, he ignored her.

“Nobody wants to get burned because saying to leave the country seems to be a sin within the ranks of the Government,” he says. In the end, she had no problem getting her travel document, but her boss told her that in order to leave she had to give details of where she was going, for how long, and the reason. “Somehow she persuaded me that it was a bad idea to leave, because then I can be frowned upon at work,” she says.

However, she knows of some colleagues from the Ministry of Education, who are daughters or relatives of ministers, deputies or magistrates “who leave and nobody says anything to them.” “Some of these people have even stayed abroad without having given up,” she confesses.

“The permits seem to be selective, but the reality is that they don’t want us to go anywhere because they fear that we will be a new voice of denunciation at the international level,” reflects “Paula.”

Force them to ask for permission

In August 2022, a statement from the National Council of Universities (CNU) circulated in which workers were informed that if they wished to travel abroad they should inform “seven days in advance” of the reasons for the trip, the country where they are going , as well as the date of departure and entry to Nicaragua.

The document signed by Jaime López Lowery, technical secretary of the CNU, indicates that based on the “foundation in numeral 14 of article 58 of Law No. 89, amended by the Ministry of Law No. 1114, published in La Gaceta No. 66 of April 6, 2022, and with the interest of knowing the migratory movement of the teaching, administrative and managerial staff of that educational community, as well as the academic and scientific staff that the university receives on the occasion of events and/or for the carrying out of activities contemplated in the plans, programs and projects that they carry out, we kindly request that they inform us of the entrances and exits of the country at least seven days in advance”.

“This same thing happens in many other public institutions,” says “Leonela”, a worker in the Judiciary. She wanted to travel shortly before November 2021 and was told that she could not.

“Since that year I have been insisting on permission to travel outside the country because I always took advantage of vacations to see new places or visit relatives and I have not been able to,” he says.

The first excuse they gave him was that he couldn’t go out because “the presidential votes were coming up.” But then, the excuses are “is that you are close to that official.” In 2022, the argument was that there were municipal votes. “And so they take me, giving me long,” she details.

At the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) the order is clear. “No one can go free,” says “Roberto”, a worker from the south of the country. Although there are people who have gone through blind spots to desert “because it is not easy to resign and not raise suspicions.”

“You can’t even go to Costa Rica where almost all of us have relatives,” says this young man who has been in that State institution for twelve years.

“Even if they don’t say it,” he says, “the reality is that we are all in a kind of Nicaragua jail and we are prisoners of a regime that sees everyone as enemies, including its allies and workers.”

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