Sinn Féin’s close relationship with the political party led by Daniel Ortega, the Nicaraguan President, should strike fear in all right-minded citizens who assume the provision of human rights and democracy will always be cornerstones of Irish public life, Fine Gael Minister Colm Brophy has said.
At their recent Ard Fheis, Sinn Féin welcomed a Ministerial Adviser, Valdrack L. Jaentschke, who represented President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo.
Online reports state Declan Kearney, National Secretary of Sinn Fein conveyed his party’s greetings to the leadership of the Sandinista Front for National Liberation (SFNL) the political party led by President Ortega. The Nicaraguan representative, speaking after the Ard Fheis, referred to the “historical ties of friendship” the two parties have.
“All democracies are vulnerable to the extremism being demonstrated by left wing movements – the fact that Sinn Féin is actively garnering support from regimes such as Ortega’s is very bad news,” Minister Brophy said.
In a recent EU resolution supported by 538 MEPs, the parliament called on the EU and UN security council to open a formal investigation into Nicaragua and Ortega for “crimes against humanity”. Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus abstained from voting.
Last December, MacManus voted against a European Parliament resolution on Nicaragua shortly after the sham election there. The resolution stated that parliament rejects the results of ‘fake elections’ as they are not legitimate, all political prisoners must be released immediately and the only solution to the political crisis is an inclusive national dialogue. McManus was one of only 25 MEPs to vote against the resolution.
“Sinn Féin’s close relationship with an authoritarian leader and support for his political party should send a very clear warning shot across the bow for any right-minded citizen who values freedom of choice and expression, values which underpin Irish society and political life,” Minister Brophy said.
“President Ortega and the SFNL have succeeded in making Nicaragua a one-party state, exerting control by changing the country’s laws, silencing the media and locking up candidates who planned to run against him. Serious questions must be put to Sinn Féin around their motives for fostering allegiances with such a regime.
“Sinn Féin’s international networking with corrupt political groupings is dangerous for Ireland.
“We saw what position Sinn Féin took this week as the European Union voted overwhelmingly to declare Russia a terrorist State. They opted out and McManus abstained from voting. As usual, Sinn Féin is soft on Putin and Russia – it is the one thing they are consistent on,” Minister Brophy said.