Mexico offers asylum and nationality to "stateless" Nicaraguans

However, the Mexican president avoided condemning the new repressive measures of the Ortega-Murillo regime and urged “dialogue”


23 de febrero 2023


The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), offered this Wednesday asylum and nationality to Nicaraguans who were declared “stateless” by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo. He invited them to resolve the political crisis through “dialogue”, but he avoided once again condemning the repressive measures of the regime.

In a letter that Lopez Obrador sent to Ortega on December 1, and that he made public this Wednesday, the Mexican president had already shown himself open to receiving the political prisoners then imprisoned.

“Asylum, nationality, whatever they want. Nationality cannot be lost by decree,” Lopez Obrador said at his daily press conference today, after announcing that several of the Nicaraguans recently exiled to the United States have requested “to be in Mexico.”

Call for dialogue

Regarding the request for “dialogue”, he assured that his government always sought “that an agreement be reached and that the prisoners be released.”

“It is possible to talk, everyone talks, even the staunchest enemies,” said AMLO, to later give as an example the request for mediation that he proposed months ago to end the invasion of Ukraine.

“All the more so in the case of our Nicaraguan brothers. Why not dialogue?” he asked.

Despite the criticism he has received, Lopez Obrador once again avoided condemning the political crisis and the human rights violations in Nicaragua, including after the exile on February 9th of 222 opponents and the revocation of their nationality.

Six days later, the country’s authorities stripped another 94 Nicaraguans of their nationality, including priests, former officials, human rights defenders, opposition leaders, journalists, and students.

In the letter sent to Ortega last December, Lopez Obrador assured the Nicaraguan president that Mexico’s humanitarian offers do not entail a rejection of his regime.

“At no time would we lend ourselves to being used in a campaign against Nicaragua and its government, encouraged by interests alien to those of our peoples,” he wrote.

In addition, he added that it is not the intention of his government “to make any public expression on the issue at hand” and that “any communication in this regard would be as determined by the Government of Nicaragua.”

AMLO did show concern at the time about the state of health in prison of the former guerrilla commander Dora Maria Tellez, to whom he offered medical attention and asylum in Mexico “avoiding propaganda or leading roles.”

“It is a humanitarian gesture towards Mrs. Tellez, and any other of the people incarcerated today. In no way would it dishonor Nicaragua’s sovereign policy and it would be positively received by the international community,” he stressed at the time.

The prolonged silence so far of the Mexican president contrasts with that of other left-wing governments in Latin America, such as that of Chilean President Gabriel Boric, who has repeatedly condemned the Nicaraguan government and has referred to Ortega as a “dictator.”

Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, also recently took a position on the matter, saying that “Latin America must be a space without political prisoners and without social prisoners” and urged the international community to condemn the “human rights violations.”

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times

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