In the midst of a climate of repression, violation of human rights and political persecution – and with seven presidential candidates deprived of their freedom who will not be able to participate in the race – tomorrow the elections will be held in Nicaragua. The elections, in which Daniel Ortega will go for his fourth consecutive term, will have an Argentine presence: the secretary general of the Kirchnerist group Populismo K, Hipólito Irigoyen, traveled to serve as one of the international observers whose purpose is to “guarantee the transparency” of the process.
Irigoyen arrived yesterday on Nicaraguan soil, after a long trip with stops in Asunción del Paraguay and Panama. In dialogue with Infobae, said that he was received at the Managua International Airport by the Nicaraguan ambassador in Argentina, Orlando gomez. And he described his first sensations in the Central American country: “The reality is that you see a very calm people, who live the elections with great expectation and happiness.”
During the first hours of his stay that will last until next Tuesday, the leader shared a dinner with more than 200 accompanying voters and journalists arrived from Russia, United States, Cuba, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Paraguay, among other countries. Then he gave a television interview. Meanwhile, his agenda for that Saturday included meetings with different local officials. The intention of the Nicaraguan authorities is that the visitors know as much as possible about the government programs and the electoral process.
“Populismo K” is a group in the City of La Plata made up of militants related to the toughest Kirchnerism, which in recent years has gained importance for demanding the release of leaders who have been part of the Néstor and Cristina Kirchner governments. First against Mauricio Macri and then against Alberto Fernández, whom they pressed for a pardon or amnesty for K prisoners and for “urgent judicial reform.”
The leader explained that they were chosen to be part of the elections “For the imprint of our group”. The formal invitation came from Gómez, through a document in which the Nicaraguan embassy “reiterates” to Irigoyen “the terms that verbally and by telephone” were transmitted to him regarding “the importance of his presence in the Republic of Nicaragua, between the dates of November 5 to 9, given the electoral process to be carried out on Sunday, November 7, 2021 ″.
Although Irigoyen maintains that having been invited “is an enormous pride”, he complained that Nicaragua is one of “the countries that are always under the eye of the United States”: “Why does he have to guarantee and legalize his elections, and when in the United States 30% of the electoral roll vote, nobody disputes him?”, The militant asked.
Last week, The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published a report stating that the Nicaraguan elections take place in a “climate of repression and closure of democratic spaces in the country”. “This seeks to perpetuate power indefinitely and maintain privileges and immunities, in a context of repression, corruption, electoral fraud and structural impunity,” warns the OAS body against the government of the former Sandinista guerrilla.
According to the IACHR, as a result of the repression of the demonstrations there were at least 328 deaths, 1,614 detainees, of which 136 are still in prison, and more than 103 thousand exiles. The report highlights that this year, more than 30 people were “arbitrarily” deprived of their liberty, including seven presidential candidates, who remain in detention almost a week before the elections.
Nicaragua has become a “Police state”, where Ortega “has installed a regime of terror”, with an “intense and systematic” attack on public liberties “through state and parastatal security institutions,” said the IACHR.
In this frame, the Government of Alberto Fernández abstained in the last vote of the OAS (Organization of American States) in which it was demanded again for “the immediate release” of the opponents detained in Nicaragua before tomorrow’s elections. Argentina was one of the eight of the 34 active members of the regional bloc that did not support that request.
From the Chancellery they explained to Infobae that Argentina’s abstention corresponded to the OAS Permanent Council making a “Hasty consideration” of this issue that “is inappropriate and untimely”, due to the proximity of the elections in Nicaragua and “the imminent holding of the 51st Period of Sessions of the General Assembly of the OAS” scheduled for November 10-12, where it will be debated , among other issues, the Nicaraguan situation.