Nicaragua has barred the European Union’s designated ambassador from entering the country over the bloc’s meddlesome remarks concerning the Central American nation. 

The envoy Fernando Ponz was banned from entering Nicaragua on April 18 after an earlier EU communiqué accused Managua of, what it called, “systemic repression” of dissent over the past five years since anti-government protests hit the country’s streets.

The government maintains that the 2018 protests were part of a failed coup backed by the United States.

Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada said the country had decided to block the European Union’s ambassador-in-waiting in response to an “interventionist, bold, and insolent communiqué” from the bloc.


“In these circumstances and in the face of the permanent siege on the right of our people to national sovereignty, we will not receive their representative,” Moncada said in a note addressed to Brussels.

He also said Brussels’ allegations against his country indicated the “imperialist and colonialist positions that characterize the European Union.”

The EU statement, however, said the bloc “confirms its readiness to support all efforts aimed at a democratic, peaceful, and negotiated solution to the protracted political crisis in Nicaragua.”

Ponz had been nominated for the role after Nicaragua declared the previous ambassador to the country, Bettina Muscheidt, “persona non grata” in September.

The bloc, in turn, declared Nicaragua’s ambassador “persona non grata.”

It also prolonged sanctions against 21 individuals and three entities given the “deteriorating political and social situation” in Nicaragua—including Ortega’s wife and vice-president Rosario Murillo. The steps included an assets freeze and a travel ban. (