Vatican closes Nicaraguan embassy as controversy escalates
Nicaragua’s Vatican representatives have left the country and closed the Nicaraguan embassy amid ongoing tensions between Managua and the Holy See. vatican news Portal reported.
Bilateral relations were on the brink of collapse after Pope Francis called the government of socialist president Daniel Ortega a dictatorship in an interview last week.
The portal said diplomat Monsignor Marcel Diouf traveled to Costa Rica on Friday.
The closure of the embassy “occurred as a result of a request from the Nicaraguan government,” Vatican News said.
It said that under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the administration of Managua’s apostolate “was entrusted to the Italian Republic.”
In an interview with Argentine portal Infobae on March 10, Francis described the Ortega government as a “terrible dictatorship” led by an “unbalanced” president.
In an interview, the Argentine Pope also expressed concern about Nicaragua’s Bishop Rolando Alvarez, without naming him.
Alvarez has been under house arrest since August and, along with 222 political dissidents, has refused deportation to the United States.
Shortly thereafter, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement “suspension of diplomatic relations”. [with the Vatican] Suggested. ”
Days before the Pope’s comments, the Managua government closed two universities affiliated with the Catholic Church.
Since 2007, Ortega has been increasingly involved in authoritarian practices, deporting or imprisoning dissidents and rivals, overriding presidential term limits, and seizing control of all state branches. .