MANAGUA (Dispatches) --
Nicaragua severed all diplomatic ties with the Netherlands, according to a statement released by the government.
This development came hours after the Central American country refused entry to the new U.S. ambassador.
The Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the country faced “repeated meddling” and the “interventionist and neocolonialist” position of the Netherlands and decided to “immediately discontinue diplomatic relations.” It said the European country “offended and keeps offending Nicaraguan families.”
The tensions between the countries escalated after the Dutch ambassador for Central America, Christine Pirenne, informed the government that the European nation would not be funding a hospital promised long ago.
President Daniel Ortega lashed out at this news and said, “The ambassador came to speak to Nicaraguans as if Nicaragua is a Dutch colony.
“Those who come to disrespect our people, our homeland, they should not appear again in Nicaragua. And we do not want relations with that interventionist government,” he added.
Earlier on Friday, Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo said that U.S. envoy Hugo Rodriguez would not be allowed to enter the country. “Let that be clear to the imperialists,” she said.
The government said it withdrew its approval of the new ambassador after he made “disrespectful” comments in a hearing before the Senate.
Hugo had called Nicaragua a “pariah state,” labeling Ortega’s government a “dictatorship.” He also said he would support “all economic and diplomatic tools to bring about a change in direction in Nicaragua” including excluding the country from the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement.
On Wednesday, the Central American country declared the European Union ambassador, Bettina Muscheidt, “persona non grata”.
On the same day, Ortega also described the Catholic Church a “perfect dictatorship.” Ortega had accused the church of backing the 2018 protests which started against planned welfare cuts by his government but spiraled into violent riots.
Back in February, Vatican Ambassador to Managua Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag was declared persona non grata and ordered to leave the country.
The Catholic Church has been widely accused globally of keeping silent and overlooking persistent child abuse and other crimes by its pastors and other local and national leaders.