Nicaragua sends 222 political prisoners to the U.S.


Tonight 222 political prisoners from Nicaragua aboard this flight touching down on U.S soil after the country's leader Daniel Ortega decided to set them free as the plane taxied the terminal at Washington's Dulles Airport was filled with anticipation the now freed prisoners greeted with songs of home.

Among the crowd Ariana Gutierrez Pinto still in shock waiting for her mother's arrival my sister gave me a call early in the morning telling me that my mom was on the way that she could be on the way but I was very hopeful that she would be on that plane earlier today a Nicaraguan judge announced the deportations calling those.

Released traitors to the country good afternoon the U.S state Department confirming their release the Biden Administration then sending a plane to retrieve the prisoners this was a unilateral decision on the part of the government of Nicaragua to release these individuals we decided that we would be in a position to accept these.

Individuals and to welcome them to the United States Nicaragua's leader had imprisoned political opponents and others behind 2018 Street protests a story followed here on top story this summer The Ortega Administration arrested several presidential Challengers effectively destroying the opposition and campaigning unopposed.

Many of those presidential Challengers among the prisoners released today the family is reading out a list of the names of the prisoners as each name was read out loud the same chant Liberty I was very excited it was surreal because that has been a form of torture to the family members we had heard that.

Before that they're going to be free oh yeah you're getting out tomorrow or they are out already but it didn't happen uh now it was different because it was all over the place the news were all over the place and uh it was surreal but amid the celebrations some uncertainty we don't know what the logistics are or what the United States.

Had planned for the political prisoners of Nicaragua and Free Speech remains a major issue in the country President Biden hoping today's action could move the needle tele Mundos Julio Vaquero asked him about it earlier how did this happen this is a government that your administration had criticized extensively so are you in conversations.

With this government um look they know that we were moving we believe all political prisoners should be released and whether this is a token of their demonstration that they're ready to begin to change in human rights policies or not remains to be seen but uh um the fact that they were released.

We're happy to receive them and I'm glad they're out such an incredible moment for those dissidents of Nicaragua and those families who have waited so long for their safe release from prison Ali Rafa joins us now from Washington Ali I know the state department has said this was a unilateral decision but given the tough.

Crackdown from the Ortega regime in recent years and the volume of prisoners released was there any trade done in order to guarantee their freedom yeah Tom well a senior Biden Administration official speaking on the condition of anonymity says the government of Nicaragua decided unilaterally to release these prisoners.

And Secretary of State Anthony blinken said in a statement today that the United States facilitated their transport but all parties involved are stopping short of saying that an actual deal was made here a state department spokesperson was repeatedly asked about this at a press conference earlier today and didn't answer that specific question.

It's also still unclear why Ortega decided to do this now and why so many prisoners were released so quickly and seemingly easily Tom you know these more than 200 nicaraguans are clearly political refugees they have a textbook case to seek asylum in this country do we know what the future holds for them well blinken also said in that statement.

Earlier today that right now they're getting the legal and medical support that they need and a White House spokesperson is telling me tonight that they've been paroled into the U.S for two years which is going to allow them to get work authorizations they say this isn't a new process this is just a standard humanitarian parole process so.

All in all Tom just a very long-awaited happy ending for these hundreds of people thanks for watching our YouTube channel follow today's top stories and breaking news by downloading the NBC News app

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3 thoughts on “Nicaragua sends 222 political prisoners to the U.S.

  1. Title 42 is a JOKE. USA's Covid deaths is 1,140,015 and Mexico's is 332,580. Migrants are the ones in possibility.
    Assign up posters of USA's homeless on the Mexican border. Remind migrants to carry tarpaulins to reduction match in.
    The US bombed Cuba 1959-60, Dominican Republic 1965-66, El Salvador 1981-92, Grenada 1983-84,
    Guatemala 1954, 1960, 1964, 1967-69, Nicaragua 1981-90, Panama 1989-90 & Peru 1965. Why migrate to the US?

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