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Petro’s government offers Colombian citizenship to Nicaraguans who have been stripped of their citizenship by Daniel Ortega

(CNN Spanish) – Gustavo Petro’s government offered Colombian citizenship to those who were “mistreated by the intolerant power of Nicaragua,” referring to the 222 dissidents who were expelled from the country on February 9 by Daniel Ortega’s regime and arrived in the United States. Another 94, while in exile, were also stripped of their citizenship, according to a statement from the country’s presidency.

In its letter, the Colombian government claims to have registered with “disgust the actions arbitrarily taken by the head of the government of Nicaragua” and rejected “the dictatorial measures of those who recall the worst moments of the Anastasio Somoza dictatorship that Sandinismo managed to overcome.”

Shortly after Ortega’s announcement, the governments of Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Spain also offered to grant citizenship to the group of people affected by the measure.

On Wednesday, the Petro government offered citizenship to novelist Sergio Ramirez, one of the most famous Nicaraguans on the list of people in exile who had been stripped of their citizenship and property.

Juan Manuel Santos, Sergio Ramirez, Álvaro Leyva and Felipe Gonzalez (Provided by the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

“Yesterday, in Madrid, Spain, interpreting the solidarity of the country as a whole and the sentiments of President Gustavo Petro, I granted Colombian citizenship to the Nicaraguan politician, thinker and writer Sergio Ramirez,” said the Colombian foreign minister.

Sergio Ramirez served as Vice President of Nicaragua between 1985 and 1990 and was awarded the Cervantes Prize in 2017. Along with figures like Gioconda Pelli, Ramirez was one of 94 dissidents stripped of their citizenship and rights associated with it, days after the ruling. 222 opponents were expelled.

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Expelled from Nicaragua

On February 10, 222 prisoners were released and transported from Nicaragua to the United States.

The justice decision then indicated that “the deportees were declared traitors to the homeland and were punished for various serious crimes and permanently prohibited from exercising public office and holding popular elective positions, leaving their civil rights permanently suspended.”

Although relatives and close friends were overjoyed at the news, several organizations warned that it was not a release. General Secretariat of the Organization of American States He emphasized that what happened was not “liberation. These people were unjustly imprisoned – some for years – for thinking, expressing or writing their opinions contrary to the prevailing system in Nicaragua. Many of them were tortured and cut off from any contact with the outside.” the world. “.

For her part, Vilma Núñez, president of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights, said there was a lack of knowledge of the law because what happened was exile, not “deportation”.