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Costa Rica expresses its “deep concern” for Nicaragua at UN

In his speech, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado denounced the detention of Nicaraguan political opponents, journalists and students

The human rights crisis, political violence, and the police state prevailing in Nicaragua as well as the dangerous advance of populism as a way of doing politics in the American continent, were some of the points highlighted during the first speeches of Latin American leaders at the United Nations General Assembly. 

The issue of the socio-political crisis in Nicaragua was directly mentioned by the president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, during his speech last Tuesday, in which he also addressed other topics such as the covid-19 pandemic and the world climate crisis.

Alvarado emphasized his “deep concern for the human rights situation in Nicaragua” and expressed his “anguish regarding the imprisonment of political opponents, journalists and students”, for which he called for “democratic institutionality, respect, promotion of human rights, freedom of expression and of the press, to have all the conditions in this neighbor country” because, in his opinion, peace “must be the constant in Central America”. 

In his speech, Alvarado echoed what he called the “concern of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet” about the Nicaraguan socio-political crisis.

Costa Rica has been the main recipient of Nicaraguan migrants forced to leave by the repression and political persecution of Orteguismo, resulting from the repression of the April 2018 protests. 

The deterioration of democracies in the region

On Tuesday, Colombian President Ivan Duque expressed his concern about the deterioration of democracies in the region, and focused on the situation of Venezuela, political ally of Nicaraguan Orteguismo. 

“The end of the dictatorship is the only viable path for the welfare of the Venezuelan people, and it should be the purpose of international action,” the Colombian president said about the dialogue that is taking place in Mexico between the Government of Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition. 

He specified that although there is hope, we must not be “naïve” because only “calling for a free presidential election as soon as possible” will stop “the worst migratory crisis that is hitting the planet”, in reference to the 5.6 million Venezuelans that have emigrated in the last years, 1.8 million of whom are in Colombia. 

Countries that violate Human Rights

Paraguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou emphasized in his speech on Wednesday that there are countries in the United Nations that violate human rights and, although he respects non-intervention, he said he must denounce it. However, he did not specify what countries he was referring to, something he did at the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), when he mentioned Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. 

“The faulty use of power is detrimental to freedoms, authoritarian governments fear their people and freedom and end up impoverishing their people for several generations”, he emphasized. 

Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, who also made his debut at the General Assembly, affirmed that his Administration has “been responsible for reestablishing democratic institutions and citizens’ freedoms and rights”, stating that for this reason “all the peoples in Latin America who are fighting to recover democracy and freedom will receive the unwavering solidarity of our Government”. 

Nicaraguan ruler Daniel Ortega is expected to make a video address on Thursday, in what would be his return to the UN General Assembly forum after 14 years of absence.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff

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