Brazil breaks silence on Nicaraguan repression and calls for dialogue with the regime

President Lula at a public ceremony in Brasilia at the 2nd ADRIANO MACHADO (REUTERS)

Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva was in the US capital on an official visit the day 222 Nicaraguan opponents were released from prison and exiled, unaware that they were being sent to Washington to meet with his counterpart Joe Biden. Since that day, the Lula government has been silent about this and about Daniel Ortega’s subsequent repressive measures against opponents. After Brazil failed to join the 55 countries that had joined a report denouncing crimes against humanity, Brazil broke its silence on Tuesday and proposed to the UN to “open a dialogue with the government of Nicaragua” to open, said the ambassador at the headquarters of this body. Geneva, Switzerland).

The forum chosen by Brazil to position itself for the Central American country was the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Ambassador Tovar Nunes took advantage of a meeting dedicated to Nicaragua to read the brief statement. In it, the Brazilian diplomat calls for a “constructive approach” that also includes a dialogue with Ortega “and all relevant actors”. Brazil also expresses concern over “reports of serious human rights violations and restrictions on democratic space, in particular summary executions, arbitrary arrests and torture”.

The executive branch led by Lula also offers to host Nicaraguan dissidents who have been declared stateless by President Ortega. It is a candidacy that Spain and the main Latin American governments have been anticipating in recent weeks.

Chile, led by President Gabriel Boric, was the first Latin American power to openly and harshly condemn the latest wave of repression. As the days passed, Mexico and Colombia hardened their initial indifference. And Argentina opened its arms to the stateless two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Lula and his chancellor, Mauro Vieira, remained silent.

With this statement to the UN, Lula’s Brazil takes a stand, having distanced itself a few days ago from the statement condemning the regime and joining the report of a group of specialists accusing various Nicaraguan institutions of crimes against humanity, including President Ortega and his Vice President and wife Rosario Murillo. “Brazil believes that the path of dialogue should be taken and did not see this as an option in the texts it did not adhere to,” State Department sources said.

In introducing the report, lead expert Jan-Michel Simon compared the Nicaraguan regime to Nazism and said that “using the judicial system against political opponents as it happened in Nicaragua is exactly what the Nazi regime did.

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Brazilian diplomacy seems determined to establish an independent profile that remains true to its traditional neutrality. Two Iranian naval ships docked in Rio de Janeiro these days, despite pressure from the United States. And in the war in Ukraine, the Latin American superpower has condemned the invasion but has refused to arm the Ukrainians to comply with sanctions and is seeking help from China and other countries to push through a negotiated settlement.

In these first months of his third term, Lula prefers to speak publicly about the repression and lack of freedoms in Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba, which are the source of harsh internal criticism in Brazil. In addition, Nicaragua played a leading role in Brazil’s election campaign through former President Jair Bolsonaro, who made Ortega’s attacks on Catholic priests and nuns one of his campaign arguments and warned Lula not to go down that path.

Nearly a month has passed since these 222 opponents were awakened in their cells, put on a plane, deported to Washington, and their citizenships stripped away. Spain immediately offered them to become Spaniards. The Nicaraguan authorities did not stop there. They deprived the nationality of another hundred, including the writer Sergio Ramírez and the poet Gioconda Belli, and dispossessed the homes of other exiles.

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Source: La Neta Neta

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