MEXICO CITY (HPD) — The Council of the European Union on Monday declared Nicaragua’s ambassador to Brussels persona non grata in reciprocity for the recent expulsion of the EU representative in Managua, Bettina Muscheidt.
The decision was notified in a press release issued by the EU headquarters in Brussels.
The EU reaffirmed “its continued commitment to the Nicaraguan people and to the defense of democracy, the rule of law and human rights,” the document said.
He added that the political crisis in Nicaragua must be resolved “through a true dialogue between the government and the opposition” and that the EU remains open to dialogue with Nicaragua “as long as it is carried out in a respectful manner.”
Nicaragua’s ambassador to the EU is Zoila Yanira Müller Goff.
At the end of last month, the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry expelled Ambassador Muscheidt, days after the 27-nation bloc demanded that President Daniel Ortega release more than 200 imprisoned opponents.
The EU had also asked Ortega to allow the entry of international human rights organizations and to “return the sovereignty of Nicaragua to the Nicaraguan people, to its legitimate owners, and to restore genuine democracy.”
The Ortega government never confirmed the expulsion of the ambassador, who had presented her credentials a year earlier. The EU did, and announced that it would prepare a response to that decision.
The EU ambassador was the second European diplomat expelled from Nicaragua by the Ortega government this year. In March, the Vatican reported the expulsion of the apostolic nuncio Waldemar Sommertag, who had taken steps to intercede for the freedom of prisoners of conscience.
The expulsion of Bettina Muscheidt was followed, days later, by the abrupt break in relations with the Netherlands, after the European country criticized “the violations of human rights” by the Nicaraguan government and announced the cessation of the construction of a hospital in the country.
Ortega himself publicly described the Netherlands as an “interventionist country” after expressing his discomfort over a recent visit to Managua by the Dutch ambassador to Costa Rica, Christianne Pirenne, who informed Foreign Minister Denis Moncada of the suspension of the construction of a hospital in Bilbao. (Northern Caribbean).
In a statement, the Dutch government considered it “regrettable” that Nicaragua chose to respond “in this disproportionate way to a critical message about democracy and human rights,” and announced that it would consult with other European countries on the decision to be made.
Nicaragua has been experiencing a political crisis since April 2018, when a citizen rebellion was dissolved by gunfire by police and paramilitaries, which left 355 dead, more than 2,000 injured, 1,600 detained at different times and more than 100,000 exiled according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).