On the day 222 Nicaraguan dissidents were released from prison and deported, unaware they were being sent to Washington, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made an official visit to the US capital to meet with his rival, Joe Biden. Since then, Lula’s government has maintained a thunderous silence about it and the subsequent repressive measures taken by Daniel Ortega against opponents. Far from joining the 55 countries that adhere to a declaration condemning crimes against humanity, Brazil broke its silence on Tuesday and proposed opening “a dialogue with the Nicaraguan government” before the UN, its ambassador at its headquarters said. Body in Geneva (Switzerland).
The forum Brazil has chosen to present its position on the Central American country is the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Ambassador Dover Nunes took advantage of the meeting dedicated to Nicaragua to read a brief statement. In it, the Brazilian ambassador called for “a constructive approach” that would include opening a dialogue with Ortega “and all relevant protagonists”. Brazil also expresses its concern about “reports of serious human rights violations and restrictions on democratic space, in particular, summary executions, arbitrary detention and torture.”
The Lula-led administration also offers to welcome Nicaraguan dissidents who have been made stateless by President Ortega’s decree. It’s an offer that Spain and key Latin American governments have put before him in recent weeks.
Chile, led by President Gabriel Boric, was the first Latin American power to openly and strongly condemn the latest wave of repression. As the days went by, Mexico and Colombia hardened their initial recession. Argentina opened its arms to stateless people two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Lula and his foreign minister, Mauro Vieira, remained silent.
With this announcement before the UN, Lula’s Brazil withdrew from the declaration condemning his regime and established its position a few days ago and follows the report of the Panel of Experts accusing various Nicaraguan institutions, including President Ortega, of crimes against humanity. and his vice president and wife, Rosario Murillo. “Brazil considers that the dialogue path should be tried, and it does not think about it in the texts that it does not join,” explained sources in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In the presentation of the report, John-Michael Simon, the head of the experts, compared the Nicaraguan regime to Nazism and said, “The use of the justice system against political opponents was exactly what the Nazi regime used in Nicaragua. .
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Brazilian diplomacy seems determined to represent an independent profile, loyal to its traditional neutrality. Two ships of the Iranian navy have been docked in Rio de Janeiro these days, defying US pressure. In the war in Ukraine, the Latin American power has condemned the invasion, but has refused to arm the Ukrainians, join sanctions, and seek the help of China and other countries to find a negotiated solution.
In the first months of his third term, Lula wants to at least publicly address the repression and lack of freedom in Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba, sources of fierce internal criticism within Brazil. Also, Nicaragua played a key role in the Brazilian election campaign at the hands of former President Jair Bolsonaro, who made Ortega’s attacks on Catholic priests and nuns one of his campaign arguments, warning that Lula would follow that path.
Almost a month has passed since those 222 enemies were roused from their cells, put on a plane, flown to Washington and stripped of their nationality. Spain immediately offered to make them Spaniards. Nicaraguan officials did not stop there. They stripped the nationality of another hundred comrades, including the writer Sergio Ramírez and the poet Giogonda Belli, and expropriated homes from other exiles.
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