MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) – Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said he will not hold elections despite the street protests that have killed more than 300 people in the past three months but is ready to engage in dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church continues
This is in contradiction to what international organizations and Nicaraguan human rights groups have documented. Last week, the Organization of American States passed a resolution condemning human rights violations by Nicaraguan police and armed pro-government civilians.
"We were elected by the voters," Ortega said. The next elections will take place in 2021. "And then we have to see who is elected for the new government."
Ortega also denied responsibility for attacks on the Catholic Church whose institutions and clergy were faced with a new government's number of aggression in recent weeks.
Last week, in a speech dedicated to the anniversary of the Nicaraguan revolution, Ortega accused Catholic bishops of working with putschists who disqualified them as mediators.
But in the interview Ortega said: "We invite the Catholic Church to continue the dialogue so that dialogue can grow and develop in an open way." Nicaraguan bishops met behind closed doors on Monday to discuss how talks between the government and the opposition should resume.
On Monday, demonstrations took place in Managua, both against and in favor of the government.
It was the day the student in Nicaragua remembered four students who were killed in 1959 during a protest rally in Leon by the National Guard. On Monday, the peaceful student march ended at the closed gates of the private Universidad Centroamericana, one of several universities that had been closed since the protests in mid-April
Angelica Mayorga, a shopkeeper, stood in front of the campus waving a Nicaraguan flag on passing traffic. Despite the fact that Ortega's government had taken control of the last student campus in recent days and wiped out public resistance in Masaya City, Mayorga said she and others would continue their public protest.
I will continue until this dictator dies, "she said." We want a free Nicaragua. We are not afraid. "