The Netherlands regrets Nicaragua's decision to sever ties
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs called Nicaragua's decision to sever diplomatic ties with the Netherlands is "an exceptional step" and "highly unusual." The ministry also said the decision was "not the wish of the Netherlands."
The reaction came after the government in Managua decided to immediately end diplomatic relations with the Netherlands on Friday. The Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry accused the Netherlands of "repeated meddling," "interventionism" and "neocolonialism."
"The immediate reason is a decision by the Netherlands to end the financing of a project for the construction of a hospital. This project has been 'on hold' since 2018 due to the deteriorating situation in the field of democracy and human rights," reports the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ambassador to the area, Christine Pirenne –– who works from Costa Rica –– gave the message on Thursday that the project will definitely not go ahead because the situation has not improved.
This decision did not go over well with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. He felt that the ambassador "addressed the Nicaraguans as if Nicaragua were a Dutch colony" and accused the Netherlands of having taken a "meddlesome, interventionist and neocolonial" attitude. A statement followed on Saturday in which the Central American country announced that it would cut ties with immediate effect.
"It is regrettable that Nicaragua has chosen to respond in this disproportionate way to a critical message about democracy and human rights," said the ministry. "There are about a hundred Dutch people living in Nicaragua, which we are keeping an eye on. If necessary, we will also adjust the travel advice."
The ministry points out that Nicaragua's decision to sever diplomatic relations is not an isolated one. Earlier in the week, the EU ambassador was also "declared personal non grata," as was the political ambassador earlier this year.
"The appointed US ambassador will not be allowed access. We therefore place this response from Nicaragua in the light of the EU position and EU sanctions. The Netherlands is discussing with EU partners how we will respond to this move by Nicaragua," the ministry said.
A ministry spokesman suspects Nicaragua will bring its diplomats back home.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times