Nicaragua’s bishops unsure about resuming negotiations with Ortega | CRUX

ROME – Almost a year since a political and social crisis exploded in Nicaragua, the government and opposition forces along with the local Catholic bishops are still trying to figure out how to sit down to work out a negotiated settlement.

President Daniel Ortega appears determined to remain in power, as he, together with his wife and Vice President Rosario Murillo, were reelected in 2016 to lead the country until 2021.

Yet after a student-led revolt that began in April 2018, both the opposition and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church have called for a series of measures that go from putting an end to violent repression to Ortega calling for early elections.

An earlier attempt at dialogue failed last May-June, and efforts recommenced with the new year.

Bishop-Baez-Vida-Religiosa-Symposium_3Mar19
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. addresses the March 3, 2019 session of the symposium celebrating the 75th anniversary of Religious Life Review (Vida Religiosa) in Madrid, Spain. The topic of his conference was “In Internal and External Conflicts, Mediation and Reconciliation”.

Bishop Silvio Jose Baez, auxiliary of Managua, will stay out of the dialogue efforts this time around, at least officially. He rose last year as a strong voice against the Ortega, often going to Twitter to denounce the repression against protesters. He’s currently in Madrid, where he spoke on Sunday at a conference for the 75th anniversary of the magazine [Vida Religiosa].

During his talk, available on YouTube, Baez said he comes from a country with a “very conflictive history, marked by caudillismo, corruption, electoral fraud. We go from conflict to conflict.”

Yet, he said, Nicaragua is once again trying to find a “peaceful and dialogic solution to the conflict. It’s the hardest one, but the only one that can guarantee…”

Read more from Ines San Martin on CRUX

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