"Not even Fidel Castro dared to do so much," warns Catholic researcher Leonardo Fernández Otaño after learning of Daniel Ortega's latest offensive against the Nicaraguan Church. According to the newspapers La Prensa and 100% Noticias, and confirmed several affected priests, the Sandinista regime has blocked bank accounts of the Catholic Church in the last few hours. The measure comes when this week police officers have arrested three Catholic priests, one of them accused of treason.
With the intensification of the economic suffocation, the dictatorship would seek the closure of some temples and the closure of seminaries. Among the dioceses affected are those of Managua and Matagalpa, whose monsignor, the rebel bishop Rolando Álvarez, has remained in a punishment cell since he refused to board the plane that transported 222 exiles to the United States in February.
"War rages against the Catholic Church. More than 520 attacks and counting," denounced diplomat Arturo McFields, former Nicaraguan ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS).
After having forcibly crushed the opposition, dissidents and a large part of civil society, forced into exile, exile or jail, Ortega and his wife, co-president Rosario Murillo, have focused their attacks on the Catholic Church, which maintains its presence throughout the country. Already last Holy Week, a good part of the processions were prohibited and those who dared to go out on the streets were persecuted.
"The Sandinista dictatorship is financially suffocating the Church, something that it had already been doing in other ways, for example with food aid from Cáritas, held for a long time at customs until it went bankrupt. By not having access to bank accounts , the churches are not going to have a way to pay the financial commitments that all parishes generate, such as electricity, water, telephone and payment of the personnel. In relation to the houses of formation, it would be difficult to pay for food and teachers. This would force at closing", details for EL MUNDO the lawyer Martha Patricia Molina, a specialist in religious issues.
"This is an unprecedented reality, a kind of Castro 2.0. The same script as Cuba in the last century. Without resources, the Church cannot operate. For all that the Nicaraguan Church has suffered, it does not have the resources of other churches, puts itself on a par with the Cuban, only that up to now the schools have not intervened", envisions Fernández Otaño for this newspaper.
The revolutionary offensive of the last few hours led to the arbitrary detention of the priest Jaime Montesinos, parish priest of the John Paul II Church of Sébaco. The pro-government hosts criminalized the father by assuring that he was driving a vehicle drunk, inside which was a young woman. Instead, they charged him with treason.
The priests Pastor Eugenio Rodríguez and Leonardo Guevara, parish priests of the Divine Providence of Jalapa and the Cathedral of Estelí, are under house arrest. In jail, in addition to Bishop Álvarez, the priests Leonardo Urbina and Manuel García remain.
"On the one hand, Ortega wants to maintain an open letter of negotiation, which is why he has also continued to imprison citizens. But since they are not as visible as the group of 222 exiled to Washington, then he needs the accounts of the dioceses," he explained. Molina to THE WORLD.
"And on the other, Sandinismo sees the Church as its worst and only internal enemy, because they have already made sure they have completely annihilated all democratic scenarios and they have almost the entire country under control. Except for the Church," the statement said. lawyer.
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