Netherlands responds to severance of diplomatic ties
The Netherlands has expressed regret over Managua’s decision to break off diplomatic relations. The move comes after the Nicaraguan government accused Amsterdam of “interventionist and neocolonial” attitudes.
“This is an exceptional step and highly unusual. It is also not the wish of the Netherlands,” the Dutch Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
“It is regrettable that Nicaragua chooses to respond in a disproportionate manner to a critical message about democracy and human rights.”
The ministry said that the Netherlands will respond further after consulting on the matter with other EU member states.
The Netherlands does not have an embassy in Nicaragua, but around 100 Dutch citizens live in the country, according to the Dutch Foreign Ministry.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega criticized Christine Pirenne, the Dutch ambassador to Central America, who he said notified the Nicaraguan foreign minister this week that her country will not fund the construction of a hospital in Nicaragua that was promised years ago.
The Dutch Foreign Ministry said in response that the project “has been on hold since 2018 due to the deteriorating situation in terms of democracy and human rights.”
“Under the current circumstances, the decision was made to permanently end the project. The Netherlands had made it known several times in advance that such a decision could follow if the situation did not improve,” the Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson said.
According to Nicaraguan media, the Netherlands initially promised to fund the building of a hospital in Puerto Cabezas on the country’s Atlantic coast. At the time, the Dutch government cited the crackdown on protesters by the Nicaraguan authorities as the reason to halt the funding.