Nicaragua withdraws approval of EU ambassador to country

A man waves a Nicaraguan flag during a demonstration to commemorate Nicaragua's national Day of Peace, which is celebrated in the country on April 19, in San Jose, Costa Rica on April 16, 2023.

MEXICO CITY – Nicaragua has withdrawn its approval of the European Union's ambassador to the country, the Central American nation's foreign ministry said Tuesday, after an EU statement calling for a "return to the rule of law" in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua's foreign ministry accused the EU of "crimes against humanity" 

In a statement, the foreign ministry said the decision was due to the "interventionist, daring and insolent" position from the EU on Nicaragua.

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Earlier in the day, the EU said in a statement it condemned the systemic repression Nicaraguans had faced since nationwide protests broke out five years ago on April 18, 2018.

"On this sad anniversary, the EU confirms its readiness to support all efforts aimed at a democratic, peaceful and negotiated solution to the protracted political crisis in Nicaragua," it added.

Nicaragua has declared the anniversary of the protests "The National Day of Peace."

Nicaragua's foreign ministry accused the EU of "crimes against humanity," without citing evidence. It said it "will not receive" the EU's nominee for ambassador to the country, Fernando Ponz.

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Ponz was nominated for the role after Nicaragua declared the previous ambassador to the country, Bettina Muscheidt, "persona non grata" in September.

Press officials for the EU Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.