The first diplomatic headquarters to announce the cessation of its services, on January 19, was located in Los Angeles California. Then it was learned that on the 22nd of the same month the Houston, en Texasand that of New Orleans, in Louisianawhich had stopped working months ago, would probably also cease its functions
These consular offices, which were intended to help Nicaraguans in the management of procedures and provide any type of information they require, represent half of the total number of Nicaraguan consulates in the United States, where six diplomatic offices operated until a week ago.
Control and political revenge
Nicaraguan journalist Luis Galeano, exiled in the US, after being stripped of his nationality by the Nicaraguan dictatorship, consulted by DIARIO LAS AMERICAS He proposed two scenarios about the motivations for this decision. First of all, he described the reduction of consulates as a “open and clear political revenge” against migrants who have settled in the country and who need consular representation in some way.
“Most of us who decided to come to the United States left Nicaragua for two reasons, the first, for political persecution and the other, looking for a better present and future, because (in Nicaragua) there are no opportunities or employment, and the cost of life is becoming more and more expensive,” he emphasized.
Galeano explained that another reason would be that the Nicaraguan regime would be seeking to have greater “political control” of the opponents and migrants who left that country, and to keep them more centralized.
“The fewer consulates there are, the easier it is to control information about migrants in different states. On the other hand, have the opponents of Ortega who arrived in the US fleeing his dictatorship with or without permission made visible and controlled, so that escapes or desertions do not occur while they are already on US soil,” he indicated.
According to the US Census Bureau, as of 2020, there were 406,613 Nicaraguans in US territory fleeing poverty and the repression of an increasingly authoritarian regime. Data from the last census indicated that from 2010 to 2020, the Nicaraguan community in the United States grew by approximately 16%.
At the end of July 2023, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) estimated that some 34,000 Nicaraguans were authorized to travel to the United States, of which almost 27,000 already resided in the country. A figure that is now close to 31,000.
So far, the Ortega regime has not explained the end of consular operations. Only a notice was placed on the doors of the closed headquarters, informing that the consular services provided by Nicaragua in the United States, one of the main destinations for migration from that Central American country, had ceased.
Now the citizens of that nation residing on US soil, who need to carry out some consular procedure, must go to one of the three offices that remain operational, one in Miami, Florida, another in New York and another in Washington, according to the consulates in the notice.
In this regard, Galeano highlighted that the main affected are the residents of the west coast of the United States, “it means traveling to other states on the east coast such as Miami or Washington to seek these services. Which implies a trip, expenses, stay and for many, asking for leave from work. But, above all, having to change the calendar simply because it occurred to a dictatorial regime that it no longer wants to carry out its work in those states without any explanation,” he explained.
For the Communication professional, these closures are not intended to break diplomatic relations with the United States. “In my opinion, it would be totally irrational. Since, currently, the US is the main importer of 50% of Nicaragua’s exports that are destined for the US market, and I do not believe that the Nicaraguan dictatorship is in a position to sustain itself.”
“Therefore it is absurd that Ortega at this point is thinking about at least ending commercial relations. And he knows very well that with the rupture of diplomatic relations all types of agreements come to an end,” he asserted.