Josep Borrell’s team, head of European diplomacy, issued a statement on Friday (2/10/2023) expressing their “satisfaction and relief” for the release of 222 opponents in Nicaragua. “Although they should not have spent a single day in prison, today the EU expresses satisfaction and relief,” the note reads.
The Government of Nicaragua surprised on Thursday (9.2.2023) by announcing the deportation to the United States of those 222 imprisoned opponents. “Although the EU rejects the decision to deprive these former prisoners of their Nicaraguan citizenship and their civil and political rights (…), their release constitutes a positive and long-awaited step, which must be followed by dialogue and further action” , add the text to the note.
sanctions in force
According to the statement, the EU is “open to political dialogue with Nicaragua, provided it is through appropriate diplomatic channels and in a respectful manner.” In addition, the EU also welcomes the role of the United States administration in allowing released opponents to enter its territory.
The EU maintains active sanctions on 21 officials and members of the Ortega family and three Nicaraguan entities, in a package adopted in 2019, which was gradually increased. That sanctions package was renewed in October 2022 for a period of one year.
Relations between Nicaragua and the EU deteriorated dramatically in 2022. On September 28, the Government in Managua declared a person non grata to the bloc’s representative in that country, Bettina Muscheidt. In response, the Council of the EU declared a person non grata to the representative of Nicaragua before the bloc, Zoila Muller Goff.
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