Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega today expressed his solidarity with the United States following yesterday’s attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, which killed four U.S. diplomats, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
First Lady Rosario Murillo read the letter of condolence to her family’s media outlets and said it would be delivered to the U.S. Ambassador to pass on to President Barack Obama and the families of the U.S. victims.
“The Government of Reconciliation and National Unity energetically condemns the terrorist acts in Bengasi, Libya,” the letter reads. “The President of the Republic, Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra, has been emphatic in denouncing and condemning all acts of terrorism against civilization and justice in every part of the world.”
The letter continues, “This afternoon, the Coordinator of the Council of Communication and Citizenry has transmitted officially to the Ambassador of the United States in Nicaragua, Ms. Phillis Powers [sic], the strong condemnation of our president and our government of these irrational criminal acts, in keeping with our categorical position in defending the sanctity of diplomatic embassies according to international conventions.”
Nicaragua’s emphatic defense of diplomatic sanctity could also be interpreted as a message of political solidarity with ALBA ally Ecuador, which is in the midst of a tense diplomatic standoff with Great Britain over the fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over sexual assault claims.
Last week, Sandinista lawmakers unilaterally passed a declaration in the National Assembly condemning Great Britain’s perceived threats against Ecuador’s Embassy in London. The declaration said the British “threat of assault” against Ecuador’s Embassy constituted a “threat to sovereignty” and a “violation of principals of international law.”
The Sandinista government was not so outspoken in defending diplomatic sanctity when members of their own party physically attacked the U.S. Embassy in 2009 with rocks and mortars, causing some $17,000 in damages. Several hours after the attack on the embassy began, it took a direct phone call from then Ambassador Robert Callahan to the chief of police to get cops to respond and restore order.
Instead of denouncing that attack, the Sandinista government rewarded the mob leader Bosco Castillo by appointing him executive director of the Nicaraguan Institute of Youth (INJUVE).
The Nicaraguan government’s letter to the U.S. Embassy today has a much more compassionate tone, following an attack that was much more violent.
“The Government of Reconciliation and National Unity reiterates its commitment to a world free from injustice, intolerance, extremism and the cruelty that these destructive actions imply,” concludes the government’s letter of solidarity.