The Nicaraguan President, Daniel Ortegaordered the closure of the Embassy of the Vatican in Managua and that of the Embassy of Nicaragua before the Vatican in Romea senior Vatican source told Reuters on Sunday.
Nicaragua noted that the move, which came a few days after Pope Francis compared the Nicaraguan government to a dictatorship, was a suspension of diplomatic relations.
The Vatican source said that while the closures do not automatically mean a complete break in relations between Managua and the Holy See, they are serious steps towards that possibility.
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The Ortega administration has been increasingly isolated internationally since it began cracking down on dissent following street protests that broke out in 2018. Ortega called the protests an attempted coup against his government.
The bishop Rolando Alvarezan Ortega critic, was sentenced to more than 26 years in prison in Nicaragua last month on charges including treason, undermining national integrity and spreading false news.
Álvarez was sentenced after refusing to leave the country along with 200 political prisoners released by the Ortega government and sent to the United States. Álvarez refused to board the plane.
In an interview published Friday with Latin American online news outlet Infobae ahead of the 10th anniversary of his pontificate on Monday, the Pope mentioned the imprisonment of Álvarez and compared what was happening in Nicaragua with “the dictatorship communist of 1917 or hitleriana of 1935”.
With information from Reuters