July 26, 2021

In Nicaragua, Ortega “prepares the way” for an election without opposition

One by one, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega decided to block the candidacies of the most troublesome opponents in view of the presidential election on November 7. A strategy denounced as a ” Rebellion “ by the independent press and civil society.

The last to bear the brunt of the strategy of the presidential couple made up of the former Sandinista guerrilla Daniel Ortega and his wife and vice-president of the country, Rosario Murillo, to remain in power at all costs, was the candidate Arturo Cruz. Arrested on Saturday June 5 at Managua airport on his return from the United States, he “Is the subject of an investigation by the national police because there are strong indications that he attacked Nicaraguan society and the rights of the people”, said the prosecution.

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Arturo Cruz, 67, who had declared himself a candidate two months ago under the colors of the Citizen’s Alliance for Freedom party (CXL, right), was arrested under a law to “defend the rights of the people” , better known under the name of “guillotine law”, passed in December 2020. This text prevents from standing for elections all those whom the regime considers to be “Traitors to the fatherland”, especially those who “Demand, support and welcome the imposition of sanctions against the State of Nicaragua”.

In a legislative offensive, the executive has passed the National Assembly three other freedom-killing laws since October 2020, intended to muzzle any opposition – that “for the regulation of foreign agents”, the “special law of cyber-crimes” and that providing life imprisonment for “hate crimes”.

“Perverse strategy of the regime”

For the Nicaraguan Human Rights Center, the “Ortega-Murillo dictatorship uses criminal law as an instrument of political persecution”. The arrest of Mr. Cruz, assures the main body for the defense of the victims of the repression, which had its legal status withdrawn in December 2018, “Is part of the regime’s perverse strategy to intimidate those it considers its ‘political enemies’.”

The arrest of Mr. Cruz follows that of another potential candidate, the very popular Cristiana Chamorro, considered the only one capable of uniting the opposition divided into two blocs. Under house arrest since Wednesday, June 2, she is accused of money laundering, a « farce », according to her, intended to oust him from the electoral race.

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