Daniel Ortega escalates the diplomatic crisis with the European Union and the United States | International

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Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.JAIRO CAJINA (AFP)

Daniel Ortega has intensified the diplomatic crisis of his Government with Europe and the United States with the diplomatic rupture with the Netherlands on Friday night, when, enraged, he attacked that country and accused it of "interfering, interventionist and neo-colonialist". In that same speech, offered in the context of the 43rd anniversary of the founding of the repressive National Police, the Sandinista leader endorsed his rejection of the United States ambassador, Hugo Rodríguez, proposed and ratified by the Senate in Washington that same day. “Outside, outside, he stands outside yelling whatever he wants! But here, on Nicaraguan land, our flag is respected,” he shouted.

The diplomatic rupture with the Netherlands, which was ratified by the Foreign Ministry after Ortega's harangue, occurs in the same week that the European Union (EU) ambassador, Bettina Muscheidt, was de facto expelled. The president alleged that "The Netherlands has offended Nicaraguans with alleged threats and suspension of works such as hospitals for indigenous and Afro-descendant communities." “We do not want relations with that interventionist government!” He insisted and charged the concurrent ambassador, Marie-Chrístine Théodore Thérése Pirenne, with recriminations of “neo-colonial” and “pro-imperial”.

The former opposition deputy Eliseo Núñez told EL PAÍS that in the rupture of relations with the Netherlands there are "unhealthy feelings", but above all "a flight forward". "Ortega's strategy is to escalate the crisis to a point where only the use of force will solve it, but he knows very well that the use of force is not one of the options that the international community is going to take."

“It is a reverse game… Everyone believed that they could take Ortega to the brink of the abyss, but he has taken the international community to that brink and corners it in two options: either there is a total international economic closure, which makes collapse Nicaragua, or sit back and wait to see what happens, because the use of force is not contemplated. And Ortega knows that both decisions are not easy to make. So we stay in a stand-by that the dictator occupies to stay in power”, analyzes Núñez, exiled in Costa Rica.

Ortega revealed in his speech an alleged meeting that the foreign minister, Denis Moncada, had with the ambassador of the Netherlands. According to the president, at that meeting the diplomat said that the cooperation for the construction of a hospital in the forgotten Caribbean of Nicaragua, valued at 21.5 million dollars, would be suspended. "And we go on [el Gobierno sandinista] inaugurating hospitals, even when sometimes human misery jumps out. The human misery of a European country, Holland! ”, She launched.

Diplomatic sources commented to EL PAÍS that what Ortega did not say was that the cooperation of the Netherlands was interrupted by "mishandling of funds, little transparency, and the serious human rights situation that Nicaragua is going through."

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“The Netherlands regrets Nicaragua's disproportionate decision to break diplomatic relations. We take a firm position on the deterioration of democratic structures and human rights violations in Nicaragua. But a critical discussion is always better than ending relations," said Wopke Hoekstra, the Dutch foreign minister. “Other countries have also noted difficulties in maintaining an open dialogue with Nicaragua. We will discuss our next steps with the European Union.”

closed to dialogue

The official explanation for the break with the Netherlands that the Government of Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, has used against all the nations that criticize the abuses and demand the release of political prisoners has been the same in general terms: “Interference, interventionism, imperialism”.

On Thursday, in another speech, the Sandinista caudillo attacked the Vatican, Chilean President Gabriel Boric, and Brian Nichols, White House Under Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, whom he called "bulldog dog face" and " poor black." While Boric and other Latin American leaders, who have called for the release of political prisoners, were branded as "lapdogs" by the United States and the European Union.

In recent months, Ortega and Murillo have also rejected all the proposals for a dialogue put forward by Pope Francis, the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, and the United States government itself. The rejection of Ambassador Hugo Rodríguez completely strains Managua's relationship with Washington, since the diplomat obtained Ortega's favor when he was nominated by Joe Biden. However, the Sandinistas closed the door when Rodríguez told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he was going to continue denouncing the abuses of power by the Ortega administration, "in order to help Nicaraguans who suffer abuses of their rights." .

“The United States has spoken out against these abuses and, if confirmed, I will continue to do so, not because we intend to determine the internal affairs of Nicaragua, but because it is our commitment under the Inter-American Charter, which both the United States and Nicaragua signed in 2001,” Rodriguez said. It was a statement that angered the Ortega-Murillo family and they immediately vetoed it for "interfering and disrespectful."

Despite the rejection, the Biden government maintained the appointment and the Senate ratified its ambassador this Friday, who was once again repelled in Managua. “The candidate for ambassador to Nicaragua appeared before the Senate, and what did he do? Insulting, disrespecting and speaking as if William Walker (filibuster) was coming here again, to take over Nicaragua (...) so we immediately said: Get out, get out, stay out, and out there let him continue shouting whatever he wants”, Ortega insisted.

Some analysts believe that Washington is seeking to exhaust a path through Ambassador Rodríguez to set a precedent and "justify" any type of future action against the regime, which can go beyond international sanctions and turn, for example, towards the expulsion of Nicaragua. of the country of the free trade agreement DR-CAFTA.

"Ortega maintained a vulgar, racist and blasphemous speech this week, but beyond this way of expressing himself, it is a narrative that is aligned with Russia's foreign policy," Arturo McFields, recent former ambassador of the Sandinista regime to Russia, told EL PAÍS. the Organization of American States (OAS). “Right now, Russia is facing NATO, the United States and the European Union. He is parasitically bowing down to the foreign policy of Moscow and China,” he stated.

McFields recalled that Nicaragua was one of the seven countries that opposed the president of Ukraine, Volodímir Zelenski, intervening telematically in the United Nations General Assembly. "I believe that in the next few days Ortega is going to break diplomatic relations with other countries of the European Union," said McFields.

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