Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2023. 10:03 pm CST.
By Breaking Belize News Staff: Nicaragua has announced that it is cutting diplomatic ties with the Vatican and closing its embassy in Rome, while also expelling the papal nuncio from the country.
In a statement released on Sunday, March 12, Nicaragua’s Foreign Ministry cited what it called “repeated interference by the Holy See in the internal affairs” of the Central American nation as the reason for the move.
The statement accused the Vatican of supporting what it called “violent groups” in Nicaragua that have been seeking to overthrow the government of President Daniel Ortega. It also criticized the Catholic Church’s role in the political crisis that has gripped Nicaragua since 2018.
The decision to sever ties with the Vatican comes amid a broader crackdown on opposition voices in Nicaragua. In recent years, the Ortega government has been accused of suppressing dissent, jailing opponents, and cracking down on protests.
The move has been met with criticism from the Catholic Church and others in Nicaragua. Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, the archbishop of Managua, said he was “surprised and saddened” by the decision, while opposition leaders called it an attack on religious freedom.
The Vatican has not yet responded to Nicaragua’s announcement, but the move is likely to strain relations between the two entities. The Holy See has maintained diplomatic relations with Nicaragua since 1939, and the country has been a predominantly Catholic nation for centuries.
The closure of Nicaragua’s embassy in Rome will also affect the country’s relations with the European Union, as the embassy had served as the country’s representative to the EU.
It is unclear what the long-term implications of the move will be for Nicaragua’s international standing, but it is likely to deepen the country’s isolation from the international community.
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