The administrator of the United States Agency (USA) for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, considered this Friday that the president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, will stop at nothing to suppress the voices and democratic aspirations of the Nicaraguan people.
Power made this statement when commenting on the charges that the Nicaraguan Public Ministry has made against Bishop Rolando Álvarez, a very critical critic of the Ortega government and who was accused of the crimes of conspiracy to undermine national integrity and propagation of false news. through information and communication technologies to the detriment of the State and Nicaraguan society.
“These charges are part of an offensive against the Catholic Church that has resulted in the harassment, forced exile and imprisonment of numerous religious leaders,” said the USAID administrator, in a message sent to journalists by the press office. from the US Embassy in Nicaragua.
“The Ortega regime will stop at nothing to suppress the voices and democratic aspirations of the Nicaraguan people,” added the (US) official.
Two days ago, the main person in charge of the US Department of State for Latin America, Brian Nichols, called the accusation against Bishop Álvarez a “cynical act of a totalitarian state”, whom he highlighted “is a spiritual leader for millions of Nicaraguans and defender of dialogue and reconciliation” and that “represents the best of the Nicaraguan people.”
The 56-year-old hierarch, bishop of the diocese of Matagalpa, apostolic administrator of the diocese of Estelí, both in northern Nicaragua, will be seated in the dock on January 10, 2023, in an initial hearing.
The exiled Nicaraguan priest Uriel Antonio Vallejos is accused in the same case.
Álvarez is the first bishop arrested and accused since Ortega returned to power in Nicaragua in 2007 after coordinating a Government Junta from 1979 to 1985 and presiding over the country for the first time from 1985 to 1990.
The Nicaraguan Police, led by Francisco Díaz, Ortega’s in-law, accuses the high-ranking officer of trying to “organize violent groups,” allegedly “with the purpose of destabilizing the State of Nicaragua and attacking the constitutional authorities.”
The arrest and accusation against the Nicaraguan bishop, seven other priests and two other collaborators is the most recent chapter in a particularly turbulent year for the Nicaraguan Catholic Church with the Ortega government, which it has branded as “coup plotters” and “terrorists.” ” to the hierarchs.
Relations between the Sandinistas and the Catholic Church in Nicaragua have been marked by friction and mistrust in the last 43 years.
The Catholic community represents 58.5% of the 6.6 million inhabitants of Nicaragua, according to the last national census.