Ex-Sandinista commander Carrión leaves Nicaragua vowing to “fight for political prisoners’ freedom” from exile

He is the first of former revolution leaders to leave the country due to his opposition to Daniel Ortega's dictatorship, which for weeks has been conducting raids against all opponents.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL –  Luis Carrión, 69, is the first of former revolution commanders now opposing Daniel Ortega to announce his exile.

Former guerrilla Luis Carrion Cruz, one of the 9 commanders of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, reported on Tuesday, June 22, that he left the country amid a wave of arrests of opponents, entrepreneurs, journalists, and dissidents of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).

Luis Carrión. (Photo internet reproduction)
Luis Carrión. (Photo internet reproduction)

“My wife and I have left the country to continue our struggle for democracy in Nicaragua and the freedom of all political prisoners,” Carrión said in a message on Twitter. Carrión, 69, is the first of former revolution commanders now opposing Daniel Ortega to announce his exile.

The former commander left Nicaragua after the arrest of 5 presidential hopefuls, 2 former vice-chancellors, 2 historic former dissident Sandinista guerrilla fighters, a former business leader, a banker, 4 activists, a former first lady and ex-deputy, a sports columnist, and 2 ex-NGO workers.

The detainees, with the exception of the NGO workers, unanimously rejected the Ortega regime and described the president as a “dictator.”

Read also: Check out our extensive coverage on Nicaragua

In April 2018, when the socio-political crisis erupted in Nicaragua, Carrión advised Ortega to resign. That same year, when the number of concurrently imprisoned opponents exceeded 600, the former guerrilla said that they were Ortega’s “hostages.”

In 2019, Carrión also denounced that the president only agreed to negotiations to “mitigate” the international community’s economic sanctions against his relatives, companies and close associates, but not to solve the socio-political crisis.

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