Nicaraguan regime reportedly arrests opposition VP candidate
The Nicaraguan regime headed by former Sandinista guerrilla leader Daniel Ortega Wednesday has reportedly placed vice-presidential opposition candidate Berenice Quezada under arrest in an unprecedented streak of political persecutions as the November 7 elections loom over.
Ortega, 75, is to seek a fifth term in office with his wife Rosario Murillo once again as his running mate for the VP spot.
The 27-year-old Quezada, a former beauty queen turned into politics on behalf of the opposition Alianza Ciudadanos por la Libertad (CxL) was placed under home detention “without access to telephone communication, with immigration restriction and inhibited from running for public offices, CxL sources have said.
However, by Wednesday evening Nicaraguan authorities had neither confirmed nor denied Quezada’s arrest.
The former Miss Nicaragua 2017 was arrested at the request of a group of citizens who identify themselves as victims and relatives of the 2018 coup terrorism, who requested her disqualification of as a candidate for alleged apology of crime and incitement to hatred.
Quezada had stated that she wanted Nicaragua to be free, and called on Nicaraguans to vote and take to the streets as they had done in the April 2018 revolt the Sandinistas regard as a coup attempt.
According to analysts consulted by the Spanish newsagency EFE, not only does Ortega want to control the electoral process, but also the speech and the issues to be debated.
It seems to me that they want to impose a kind of total silence, a kind of veto of any reference to the events of 2018 (…), and any narrative that may contradict the ruling rhetoric, said Tiziano Breda, analyst for Central America of the International Crisis Group.
The April 2018 revolt has left at least 328 dead and pushed tens of thousands into exile.
The CxL Alliance, after the disqualification of its candidate for the Vice Presidency of the Republic, has declared itself in an emergency session and in internal consultation,” to assess its future movements in light of the new events.
With Quezada, 32 opposition leaders including seven presidential hopefuls have been detained since May 28, but the former beauty queen became the first registered candidate to be arrested and disqualified, just one day after entering her candidacy before electoral authorities.
Of Nicaragua’s 6.5 million inhabitants, some 4.3 million are entitled to vote and elect president and vice president, 90 national deputies and another 20 delegates before the Central American Parliament.