Nicaragua Frees Hundreds of Prisoners, Deports Them to US
Nicaragua's government on Thursday freed 222 dissident prisoners and deported them to the US in an unexpected operation that reportedly came as they were stripped of their political rights and citizenship after being declared 'traitors.'...
- Nicaragua's government on Thursday freed 222 dissident prisoners and deported them to the US in an unexpected operation that reportedly came as they were stripped of their political rights and citizenship after being declared 'traitors.'1
- The prisoners — who include seven former presidential candidates, influential journalists, and civil society leaders — were put on a chartered flight in Managua and landed at Dulles International Airport as the US agreed to take them in.2
- A US Dept. of State spokesperson asserted that all those that left Nicaragua had voluntarily consented to travel to the US, where they were admitted under two-year humanitarian parole and had access to legal and medical assistance.3
- While senior US officials claimed that the move may indicate that Managua wishes for a fresh start with the US, it remains unclear whether the ruling Ortega family will relinquish some power and allow more dissent.4
- This comes as both the EU and the US have recently imposed new sanctions on the Nicaraguan Pres. Daniel Ortega's government for allegedly carrying out unjustified arrests in the lead-up to the 2021 elections.5
- Once a revolutionary icon, Ortega has been in power since 2007 and won another five-year term in the 2021 elections that US Pres. Biden deemed rigged, as several opposition leaders were detained in the second crackdown since the 2018 uprising against Nicaragua's leader.6
Sources: 1Washington Post, 2Wall Street Journal, 3FOX News, 4New York Times, 5Al Jazeera and 6Guardian.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Telesur english. All 222 of the US-backed activists intentionally betrayed their country, instigating violence, terrorism, and economic destabilization in Nicaragua as they sought to sell its sovereignty and self-determination for personal gains. They do not deserve to be recognized as Nicaraguans, nor should they live in the Latin American nation.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by CNN. Ortega's regime may have unilaterally decided to release the individuals and send them to the US, but this was not a gesture of goodwill toward them or Washington. It dehumanizes dissent and implies that opponents are not Nicaraguans domestically while creating a bureaucratic and legal problem in the US. These dissidents have now become stateless.