Restrictions by Nicaraguan Government Protested by Bishops' General Secretary
WASHINGTON--The General Secretary of the United States Catholic Conference has protested the Nicaraguan government's decree re-instating and broadening restrictions on civil liberties in that country.
In a telegram to Nicaraguan President Ortega, Msgr. Daniel F. Hoye also urged that the government respect the right of the Catholic Church to publish newspapers and magazines without interference.
"We deeply regret the decision of the government of Nicaragua to reinstate the excessively broad restrictions imposed by the state of emergency," Msgr. Hoye said. "Such measures will not be seen as supportive of the desired political process nor conducive to a political, non-military settlement of the conflicts affecting Nicaragua."
"Regarding the unfortunate events surrounding the inauguration of the publication Iglesia, we call for a settlement which will respect the right of the Church to publish freely," Msgr. Hoye stated.
The USCC official referred to an incident last week in which the government is said to have taken over diocesan offices to prevent the publication of a new magazine.
Under the new or reinstated measures, Nicaraguan workers no longer have the right to form labor unions or go on strike. Political groups cannot sponsor demonstrations or rallies, and citizens cannot move about the country at will. The privacy of mail and business accounts is no longer guaranteed.