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Vatican closes embassy in Nicaragua

The Vatican has given up its diplomatic mission in Nicaragua. At the end of this week, the last representative of the Papal States left the nunciature – i.e. the Vatican embassy – of Managua, as the official news portal Vatican News reported today. Monsignor Marcel Diouf has moved to Costa Rica. Nicaragua’s authoritarian President Daniel Ortega recently called for the nunciature to be closed. At the beginning of 2022, the Vatican nuncio had already been expelled from the country.

Ortega takes action against critics

The background to the escalation of diplomatic relations with the Vatican is that the Catholic Church has been a critic of the left-wing Ortega government since 2018. While many opposition figures were killed in Nicaragua, others sought and found shelter and help in places of worship. Ortega therefore described church representatives as terrorists, among other things. Dozens of priests were also arrested or fled abroad.

Bishop jailed for disobedience?

A bishop, Rolando Alvarez, was sentenced to 26 years in prison in February. He was charged with disobedience, undermining national integrity and other offences. Critics spoke of a purely politically motivated process.

The United States and the European Union have repeatedly imposed sanctions on the country’s leadership and the president’s family for the erosion of democracy and civil rights under Ortega.

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