On Monday, October 10, the European Union declared Zoila Yanira Müller Goff, the head of the Nicaraguan mission to the European community “non grata”, according to an official statement.
Mueller Goff was appointed to the post by Daniel Ortega's regime in June 2022, according to Presidential Agreement 92-2022, in which the EU and European Atomic Energy Community designated her as representative.
The measure was taken in Brussels as a reciprocal response to the decision of the Nicaraguan authorities to expel the EU ambassador to Nicaragua, Bettina Muscheidt. Muschedit was declared “non grata” on September 28 and ordered to leave the country by Saturday, October 1, under accusations of interference.
The decision regarding the Nicaraguan head of mission was made at the request of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security, Josep Borrell, who had already described Nicaragua’s expulsion of the European diplomat and its breaking of diplomatic relations with the Netherlands as "hostile actions".
“The EU considers Nicaragua's decision to be unjustified," said the statement released by Borrell's spokesman, Pedro Stano. The statement also reaffirmed the Union's commitment to the Nicaraguan people and the defense of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.
The breakdown of diplomatic relations with the Netherlands was announced by Ortega at a public event, during which he said that the Kingdom of the Netherlands had informed him that they would not continue with the funding of a hospital on the Caribbean Coast.
What Ortega left out of his speech was that the decision of the Dutch to terminate the hospital funding was made based on the deterioration of democratic structures in the country and human rights violations, which had already prompted the suspension of the funding in 2018.
Four years ago, the Ortega regime carried out a brutal crackdown against thousands of citizens who had taken to the streets to protest a failed proposal for Social Security reform. According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Commission (IACHR), at least 355 people died and more than 2,000 were wounded.
Currently, there are more than 205 political prisoners, and Nicaraguans’ right to protest has been violated since the 2018 imposition of a de facto police state which prohibits demonstrations and meetings that the authorities may consider a threat to the country’s security.
Faced with the international community’s criticisms, Ortega has responded with insults and epithets. During the same week as the expulsion of the EU ambassador in Managua and the rupturing of diplomatic relations with the Netherlands, Ortega also attacked the designated US ambassador to Nicaragua, Hugo F. Rodríguez, publicly declaring him "non grata" in an escalation against the international community.
According to the EU press release, the current political crisis in Nicaragua must be resolved through a genuine dialogue between the government and the opposition. The EU remains open to dialogue with Nicaragua, “provided it is carried out in a respectful manner”.
In addition to the attacks on the EU and the United States, Ortega also insulted both the president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, for calling for the release of Nicaraguan political prisoners, and the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Brian Nichols. He called the first a "lap dog”, and the second a “bulldog” during the official commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of the Police in Managua.
This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff.