Crucial hours for the freedom of Monsignor Rolando Alvarezthe rebel bishop of Nicaragua, who according to local media was released on Monday night thanks to efforts made by the Vaticanafter almost 11 months of unfair and arbitrary imprisonment.
Pope Francis’ diplomats would have managed to get the prelate to leave the La Modelo penitentiary dungeon to be transferred to an outside ecclesiastical facility, a fact denied yesterday by Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes. “They were wrong,” said the cardinal before the information provided by the agency of the Catholic Church.
“He is trapped in a tough and tense situation,” stressed Bianca Jagger, a human rights activist, the first to report on the bishop’s release and the intention to send him to Rome.
Local media and different sources of information assumed that Álvarez was going to leave the Central American country yesterday to travel to Rome, although Bishop Álvarez has never accepted exile. This is how Honduran Bishop José Antonio Canales recalled it through social networks: “Monsignor does not want to leave Nicaragua. He wants to be free, without conditions, in his country.”
In February, Monsignor Álvarez refused to board the plane chartered by Washington to transport the 222 political prisoners exiled by Daniel Ortega. This refusal, which overthrew the initial strategy of the Sandinista dictatorship, provoked the wrath of the Nicaraguan president and the subsequent sentence of Álvarez to 26 years in prison for treason to the country.