Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Brazil to criticize Nicaragua, but wants door open to dialogue, sources say

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s leftist government, which has been reluctant to criticize Nicaragua’s authoritarian President Daniel Ortega, will for the first time on Tuesday express concern over the persecution of opponents in his country, two sources said.

The concern will be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the sources who helped prepare the document told Reuters on Monday.

Brazil was criticized on Friday for not joining a declaration signed by 55 countries that sharply criticized Ortega and for not even speaking out during the council meeting.

Brazilian diplomats took part in the negotiation of the declaration criticizing Nicaragua, but chose not to endorse it because it did not leave a door open for negotiations.

The alternative text, which will be presented by Brazil’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Tovar Nunes, will say that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s government follows with concern the persecution of opponents, the withdrawal of their rights and expulsions from the country.

At the same time, however, the Lula government wants to keep an open door to be a possible channel for dialogue, emphasizing that Brazil is committed to democracy and wants to play a “constructive” role in solving the crisis in Nicaragua.

“The document expresses concern, but does not throw stones, precisely so as to leave open a possibility for dialogue,” said one source, who confirmed that Brazil did not support Friday’s declaration because it interrupts the possibility of mediation.

Lula has long avoided criticizing the rights situation in Nicaragua and Venezuela, whose governments with origins in the left were traditionally allied to his Workers Party (PT).

On Tuesday, the U.N. Human Rights Council will discuss a report that concludes there have been “serious and systematic violations” committed in Nicaragua that can be considered crimes against humanity, including torture, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests.

The report by the council’s experts points to Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo, the president’s wife, as those responsible for the abuses.

(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu in Brasilia; Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Matthew Lewis)


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