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ICYMI: Rubio: We Must Do More to Combat Religious Persecution in Nicaragua
We Must Do More to Combat Religious Persecution in Nicaragua
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
August 29, 2022
[On August 19], the police broke into [Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando José Álvarez’s] home under the cover of darkness and detained him without cause. In other words, they kidnapped him….
Sadly, this is nothing new in Nicaragua, where brutal dictator Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo rule with an iron fist. This past year, Ortega sought to silence opposing voices through a campaign of intimidation and detention that included the arrest of all seven of his challengers in the 2021 sham presidential election….
Ortega also shuttered hundreds of civil society organizations, media groups, and schools. No institution that could possibly pose a threat to his tyranny has been left untouched.
That includes the Catholic Church…. [Since 2018], the Catholic News Agency reports “more than 190 attacks against the Catholic Church, its bishops, priests, faithful, and houses of worship,” including a shameful act of arson and sacrilege in the Managua Cathedral.
The arrest of Bishop Álvarez––and the oppression of Monsignors Silvio José Báez Ortega, Juan Abelardo Mata Guevara, and Rolando José Álvarez Lagos, as well as Father Edwin Román Calderón––shows that those attacks will continue so long as Ortega and his wife remain in power….
Once again, I’m calling on the Biden Administration to sanction regime officials and suspend Nicaragua’s trade benefits from the Dominican Republic–Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). The U.S. has the power to do so under the 2018 NICA Act and the 2021 RENACER Act, laws which Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and I wrote for situations just like this….
Bishop Álvarez and his people need our prayers, but they also need our support––and that means standing up against Ortega and Murillo.