Nicaragua: Two Costa Rican nuns expelled
Two nuns of the Dominican Congregation of the Annunciation are the latest of a long list of Catholic religious to be expelled from Nicaragua.
Two nuns who worked at a nursing home in Nicaragua were expelled from Nicaragua this week, amid a far-reaching crackdown on opposition leaders, journalists and the Catholic Church by the government of President Daniel Ortega.
Sister Isabel and Sister Cecilia Blanco Cubillo, from the congregation Dominicas de la Anunciata, ran a nursing home in Nicaragua.
The two nuns, both Costa Rican citizens, arrived in their home country on Wednesday, according to the Diocese of Tilarán-Liberia.
A statement issued by the Bishop of that diocese, bishop Manuel Eugenio Salazar Mora, confirmed their presence and asked for prayers for the Church and for Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Alvarez of Matagalpa who was imprisoned in February, after having been sentenced to more than 26 years in jail for "undermining the state and society“, and for allegedly spreading false news.
Dozens of representatives of the Catholic Church have been expelled from Nicaragua since the re-election of Ortega in 2021 in a drive to silence criticism against the government’s democratic backslide.
On the day preceding the expulsion of the two Costa Rican nuns, the Nicaraguan government also confiscated a Trappist Monastery in San Pedro de Lovago and handed it over to the Institute of Agricultural Technology.
The Trappist nuns had left the monastery in February after having arrived in the nation from Argentina over twenty years ago.
Holy Week proved a particularly difficult time for the Catholic community in Nicaragua after President Ortega banned public events, including all Holy Week processions, arrested some 20 people and expelled the Panamanian Claretian missionary, Father Donaciano Alarcón, for praying for bishop Rolando Álvarez.