I.n Nicaragua, two other possible challengers to left-wing President Daniel Ortega have been arrested in the upcoming presidential election this fall. Opposition politicians Félix Maradiaga and Juan Sebastián Chamorro García were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly preparing for “acts of terrorism”. Four opponents of the left-wing head of state were arrested within a week. The United States condemned the actions of the authorities against Ortega’s rivals, calling the president a “dictator”.
Investigations have been launched against Maradiaga and Chamorro García for “acts against the sovereignty” of the country, terrorism and support for international sanctions against the government, the police said. They are also accused of calling for “military interventions” and “acts of terrorism” and the “destabilization” of the country with financial support from foreign governments.
Law for Exclusion of Rivals
Chamorro García is the cousin of opposition politician Cristiana Chamorro, who was placed under house arrest on Wednesday. You accuse the regime of money laundering and “ideological falsehood”. The 67-year-old is also considered to be a potential challenger to Ortega in the November election. The non-party journalist announced on Tuesday that she wanted to be set up by the opposition. According to surveys, she is President Ortega’s most promising rival.
The conservative opposition politician Arturo Cruz has also been in custody since Saturday. He was arrested at Managua airport after returning from a trip to the USA. The public prosecutor’s office accuses him of having acted “against Nicaraguan society and the rights of the people”. The 67-year-old former ambassador to the United States announced two weeks ago that he would face Ortega in November.
Washington condemned the arrests and demanded the release of the opposition politicians. The US diplomat responsible for Latin America Julie Chung said that Ortega’s actions leave no doubt that he is a “dictator”.
The 75-year-old Ortega is expected to run for a fourth term in the presidential election. In December, his party-dominated parliament passed a controversial law allowing opposition candidates to be excluded from the elections. It stipulates that all those who are allegedly planning a coup d’état or “terrorist” acts are not allowed to run for office. Politicians who are supposed to call for foreign interference in Nicaraguan politics and sanctions against the country should also be banned from running.