( Spanish) — Last week, Nicaragua expelled at least 222 prisoners to the United States, stripping them of their nationality. One of them is Félix Maradiaga, one of the released opponents.
Maradiaga joined his family in Herndon, Virginia. The political scientist and former presidential candidate had been sentenced in July 2022 to 13 years in prison for the alleged crime of undermining national integrity to the detriment of the State and Nicaraguan society.
“I had prepared myself for a longer process,” Maradiaga told Fernando del Rincón on ‘s “Conclusions” on Monday.
“I am going to return to Nicaragua at some point. I do not lose the dream of returning to the nation that I love as much as my own life,” he added.
Maradiaga is one of the most visible figures of the Nicaraguan opposition. During his imprisonment, the Government of Daniel Ortega released images of Maradiaga, in which a detriment to his physical appearance is visualized. Berta Valle, wife of the released prisoner, denounced that she was the victim of alleged white torture, a situation that would be replicated with other political prisoners in Nicaragua.
has not been able to independently verify that information; The prison authorities did not respond to inquiries from independent media and the Prosecutor’s Office did not provide information on those cases either.
Now free in the United States, he says he managed to lose 60 pounds (27 kilos) during his incarceration and isolation, and was beaten when he was arrested. “Inhumane treatment is something that must be denounced.”
Maradiaga says that he is not yet ready to talk about what he experienced in prison, out of respect for the people who went through —and still go through— that situation. However, he says that he will continue to fight for his country. “Despite the pain, the regime has failed to contaminate my heart,” he said.
“At no time have we advocated violent or armed change” in Nicaragua, he said.
“The new Nicaragua to which we are aspiring also includes the Sandinistas.”
This is how Maradiaga found out that he was leaving Nicaragua
“We found out when we were already at the door of the plane,” Maradiaga told en Español after leaving Nicaragua last week. He signed a note where he says that we are, very brief, a line, simply and simply that we voluntarily left the country without any other explanation”.
The United States says that Nicaragua unilaterally decided to expel imprisoned opponents from the country.
With information from Fernando del Rincón, Julián Zamora and Sebastián Jiménez