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Rafael Solis: Ortega Wants a Tailor-Made Agenda

The “roadmap” must be reformed to guarantee bishops as national mediators and guarantors, or else the Alliance must withdraw, he affirms.

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The former magistrate and political operator of the FSLN on the Supreme Court, Rafael Solis, believes that the agenda revealed by the government of Daniel Ortega for the national dialogue with the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, demonstrates that “the government does not want a serious and responsible dialogue, but a tailor-made dialogue.” He argues that the first point of a dialogue with real conditions should be the annulment of all proceedings against political prisoners.

In a extensive article, circulated through social networks, the former magistrate (who resigned his post and FSLN militancy in January), considers that the roadmap defined between the Civic Alliance and the government after five of eight meetings held so far, should be reformed in order to ensure the participation of the bishops of the Episcopal Conference as national mediators and guarantors, and not simply as witnesses and companions. A limitation that has generated the rejection of the bishops, who decided to reject the invitation of the negotiating table.

“Every effort must be made to achieve their participation and in my humble opinion, the roadmap must be reformed, and the Episcopal Conference given the role not only of witnesses and companions, but of national mediators and guarantors from the beginning,” he asserted. If that does not happen, Solis maintains that the Civic Alliance should then refuse to continue in it.

In addition, he indicates that the parallel invitation of the table to the evangelical churches can be limited to witnesses and companions, “but not the Catholic Church, which was in the dialogue last year.” He was referring to the first attempt at a national dialogue held between May and July, when it was suspended due to the lack of will of the dictatorship.

Regarding the international guarantors of the process, the former magistrate suggests the participation of the Organization of American States, through the IACHR, the MESENI and the GIEI, which were expelled by the government in December, prior to the report of the GIEI that documented the crimes against humanity of the dictatorship.

Freedom of political prisoners

After his resignation from the Court and the FSLN, Solis affirmed in an exclusive interview with the program “Esta Semana” (This Week), that the political trials against the demonstrators imprisoned by the dictatorship should be annulled and all political prisoners of should be released.

Solis now reiterates this approach, in his article of reflections on the negotiating table. “It must always be the first point of discussion and the complete freedom of political prisoners should be achieved through the annulment of all trials, because they are really null,” he states.

He also insists on the importance of establishing national and international guarantors “to ensure that these prisoners will have complete freedom and that they will not be captured again under other excuses in the future.” And, such a warning is justifiable due to the harassment and police surveillance that continues against the political prisoners to whom the Government changed the prison regime to house arrest.

“It must also be established that under no circumstances can the National Police arrest again these 700 people once released, except that, if they commit a common crime in the future and it also has to be established that they will not be under any police surveillance,” he added.

Constitutional guarantees

In his reflections, Solis states that “in the case of the right to public demonstrations it must be established that the National Police must grant the permissions to the applicants as an inescapable requirement for the Police and that these marches must not be repressed by the Police or any other paramilitary group.”

At the end of September, the Police decreed the illegality of the demonstrations against Ortega and rejected at least four protest requests, establishing a de facto police state.

The former magistrate considers that “the first march should be requested by the Civic Alliance for these days of March, in order to test the good faith of the Government in this negotiation.”

“Similarly, he adds, this should then proceed with the right to freedom of expression and any other right that is signed in the agreements, because although they are rights established in the Constitution, we all know what is happening in practice.”

Among its agenda items, revealed on Saturday, the dictatorship of Ortega has indicated the release of prisoners, but limits these only to those that have not been tried, leaving under consideration on a case by case those who have already been tried. Solis says this indicates that “at the outset he would leave many political prisoners in jail.”

Solis notes that while the Ortega government seeks a tailored dialogue (which also does not accept the citizens’ demand for early elections), it is clear that one of its main objectives is the international effort for the suspension sanctions against his government.

Thank you for reading our English section, brought to you in collaboration with Havana Times. If you wish to subscribe to our English Weekly Newsletter, you can do it here. Please spread the word and share this link with your friends, family or contacts.

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