Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega has continued his fierce assault on the Catholic Church, shuttering two important Catholic universities and appropriating their assets.
In the official government newspaper La Gaceta, the Ministry of the Interior published Tuesday the annulment of the legal status of the Juan Pablo II University, based in Managua and four other cities, and the Autonomous Christian University of Nicaragua (UCAN), based in León and five other cities.
The authorities of the two now defunct Catholic universities are required to deliver to the government of Daniel Ortega their databases containing all information on their students as well as their teachers.
The Ortega regime justified its move by asserting that the two universities were guilty of “violations” of laws, declaring that they had failed to punctually file a report of their financial status.
The extinction of the two institutions was decreed “for being in breach of their obligations under the laws that regulate them,” according to the resolution signed by the Minister of the Interior, María Amelia Coronel Kinloch.
Both universities have also “hindered the control and surveillance of the General Directorate for Registration and Control of Non-Profit Organizations,” the resolution indicates in perfect Orwellian dialect.
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The students of both institutions will be integrated into other universities, whereas their assets will be transferred to the State, according to the regulations of Law 1115 on non-profit organizations.
Last week, the Ortega regime announced it was forbidding the Catholic Church from celebrating Holy Week processions such as the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross), alleging “security reasons.”
In late February, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, condemned the ongoing persecution of Catholics by the Ortega regime.
Archbishop Broglio noted that that Matagalpa Bishop Rolando Álvarez had been “languishing in regime detention since August and fallaciously charged with ‘undermining national integrity and the propagation of false news,’” after which he was “sentenced to twenty-six years in prison, stripped of his citizenship, and was imposed an exorbitant fine.”
This unjust sentencing “marks yet another escalated human rights violation in the ongoing ordeal the Catholic Church faces in Nicaragua,” the archbishop said, as yet another egregious example of Nicaragua’s “policy of severe aggression against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua — including calculated profanations of the Blessed Sacrament as a means of terrorizing the Nicaraguan faithful.”
The archbishop ended his statement by calling on the U.S. government and other partners to “continue to pursue the release of Bishop Alvarez and the restoration of human rights in Nicaragua.”