NGOs in Brazil demand Lula take a firm stand on Ortega

Ten networks of Brazilian organizations in solidarity with Nicaragua demanded in a letter to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva a “clear and consistent” position regarding the Central American country, immersed in a serious human rights situation.

The letter was delivered on Monday, January 23, with a copy to the current Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira. It urged them to be an active voice in the search for ways that lead the regime to respect citizen rights and recover a democratic path for Nicaragua.

The groups signing remind Lula of the “inhuman conditions” of the more than 235 political prisoners in Nicaragua, and the death of retired general Hugo Torres, 73, in February 2022, while in captivity.

“We appeal to the new Brazilian government to indicate a clear position on human rights violations in Nicaragua, in order to add to the denunciations made in international forums, including the United Nations, and encourage the creation of channels of mediation and negotiation for the release of political prisoners and respect for human rights in the Central American country,” the letter states.

Among the signatories is the Catholic Working Youth, the Brazilian Association of Non-Governmental Organizations —one of the largest in that South American country—, and groups made up of political prisoners from Brazil’s dictatorship of the 1970s: RJ-Memoria, Verdad, Justicia and Repair, Fernando Santa Cruz, among others.

They further remind Lula of what he said in his interviews that it is the role of Nicaraguans to seek the best for their country, but they also make him see that those who try to do this are threatened, imprisoned, or forced into exile, and mention that the two attempts at dialogue in 2018 and 2019 were aborted due to Ortega’s non-compliance.

“Thousands of Nicaraguans are fleeing the political, economic, and social crisis, overwhelmed by fear and hopelessness; however, due to the peripheral nature of the country in geopolitics, they remain invisible and silenced. That is why we are looking for allies that can at least shed light on the conflicts that Nicaraguans face, to find strength and solidarity on the path to the recovery of democracy in Nicaragua,” they explained.

The pronouncement of the organizations was delivered, while Lula was heading to the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which is being held in Argentina and in which Nicaragua participates, represented by its Foreign Minister Denis Moncada.

“We believe that the Nicaraguan crisis will not be resolved with simplistic ideological solutions. The Nicaraguan people do not want more violence, they do not want more deaths, they want to live in peace and democracy,” the groups stated in the document, delivered just over twenty days after Lula assumed power, and two weeks since the failed coup attempt carried out by supporters of the extreme right, sympathizers of Jair Bolsonaro.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times

Redacción Confidencial

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