Holy See observer to the OAS expresses “concern” about the situation

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(CNN Spanish) — The permanent observer of the Holy See to the Organization of American States (OAS), Monsignor Juan Antonio Cruz, expressed “concern” this Friday during a special session of the OAS Permanent Council on Nicaragua.

The meeting analyzed the latest events in the country, such as the retention of the bishop of the diocese of Matagalpa, who has been besieged for 9 days by the National Police under the accusation of “organizing violent groups”, accusations that the priest denies.

“The Holy See cannot fail to express its concern, while assuring its desire to always collaborate with those who are committed to dialogue as an indispensable instrument in democracy and guarantor of a more humane and fraternal civilization. In this sense, the Holy See makes a called for the parties to find paths of understanding, based on mutual respect and trust, seeking above all the common good and peace,” Cruz said.

The Permanent Council approved a resolution that “strongly condemns the forced closure of non-governmental organizations, as well as the harassment and arbitrary restrictions of religious organizations and voices critical of the government and its actions in Nicaragua.”

In addition, it reiterates its insistence “that the Nicaraguan government release all political prisoners, cease the intimidation of the independent press and guarantee the exercise of the right to freedom of expression” in the country.

The document was approved with 27 votes in favor, 1 against, 4 abstentions and 2 absences.

The Ortega government was not present at the session and has not reacted to the approved resolution. Nicaragua denounced the letter from the OAS last November and announced the country’s withdrawal from the hemispheric organization in November, arguing that the organization carried out interventionist actions that violate national sovereignty.