The monastery, founded two decades ago by Trappist nuns from Argentina, is now owned by the Nicaraguan Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA).
President Daniel Ortega’s steady, ongoing silencing of dissenting voices in Nicaragua has directly targeted the Catholic Church systematically for at least five years now. Among his most recent dictates were the explicit prohibition of traditional public processions of the Way of the Cross in all parishes in the country during Holy Week and the sudden and forceful expulsion of a Panamanian Claretian missionary friar.
This last Wednesday, April 12, two Costa Rican Dominican nuns of the Anunciata were also expelled from the country.
According to local media, the nuns ran, funded, and administrated a nursing home for elderly people since 1958, and founded the Santa Susana Primary School in 1963.
The expulsion of these two Dominican sisters follows the expropriation of a Trappist monastery in San Pedro del Rávago. The Trappist nuns ran the monastery for 22 years after arriving in Nicaragua in the year 2001 from Argentina.
Even though they requested the “voluntary dissolution” of their organization, local media explains they were forced to do so “amid the rampant closure of non-governmental organizations and the streak of expropriations carried out by the Ortega-Murillo regime.”
Indeed, from November 2018 to date, the Ortega dictatorship has expropriated the goods and assets of some 3,321 NGOs.
The monastery is now owned by the Nicaraguan Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA), according to information the Trappist sisters provided local media.
A foreign Claretian priest also expelled
The night of Monday, April 3, Ortega’s government suddenly expelled the Claretian missionary Fr. Donaciano Alarcón Valdés. Originally from Colón (Panama), the 49-year-old pastor of the María Auxiliadora Parish of San José de Cusmapa was forced to leave Nicaragua and find refuge in Honduras.
According to sources gathered by Jaime Septién, the priest had to leave Nicaragua without any personal belongings. Ortega’s regime claims Fr. Alarcón organized processions during Holy Week (thus defying the governmental ban) and spoke about politics in his homilies.
“I am not interested in politics, but if the Gospel speaks of justice, I must speak of justice,” Fr. Alarcón told Radio Hogar