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The Republican Senator Marco Rubio presenting the Freedom Award to Monsignor Rolando Álvarez. LA PRENSA

Senator Marco Rubio highlights bishop Álvarez’s courage in the face of repression

Senator Marco Rubio contrasted the progress of his country with the chaos in totalitarian countries like Nicaragua under Ortega and Murillo.

The Republican Senator Marco Rubio, one of the most vocal U.S. officials in creating initiatives and laws to punish the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, demonstrated his commitment to Nicaragua by personally presenting the Freedom Award given by the International Republican Institute (IRI) to the bishop of Matagalpa, monsignor Rolando Álvarez. The award was received by father Enrique Martínez Gamboa on behalf of Álvarez, who is in exile in Rome, on Wednesday, May 15, during a ceremony at the National Museum in Washington, DC.

Despite his tight schedule, which made him arrive in a hurry and leave even more quickly, Senator Rubio dedicated a nearly 20-minute speech to a fully packed auditorium. In his speech, he demonstrated that he not only understands the situation in Nicaragua but also the external factors that have contributed to the Nicaraguans suffering under the most brutal dictatorship, which doesn’t even allow them to freely practice their religion.

Rubio lamented that freedom, something so natural and basic for everyone in his country, is a denied right not only in Nicaragua but also in Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and Belarus, all close allies of Ortega and Murillo.

Father Enrique Martínez received the Freedom Award on behalf of monsignor Rolando Álvarez from U.S. Senator Marco Rubio on the evening of Wednesday, May 15, at the National Museum in Washington, DC.

Extraordinary courage of monsignor Álvarez

Marco Rubio highlighted that in the context of those countries, it is extraordinary for a voice like that of monsignor Álvarez to rise with courage and bravery to defend freedom and democracy.

“Bishop Álvarez, who we honor tonight is not just anyone. In the United States, we defend freedom, and the worst you might face is someone saying unpleasant things to you on social media. However, in countries like Nicaragua, the price for defending freedom is imprisonment, exile, or even your life. The courage to speak so clearly and bravely and to continue doing so in the face of such repression is truly extraordinary,” said Rubio, referring to bishop Álvarez.

Ortega and Murillo as part of an Anti-Western alliance

The senator stated that the story of bishop Álvarez is told within a global context where there is a movement of regimes seeking to impose “a new world order” contrary to the democratic system, of which Nicaragua is a part, driven by the power ambitions of Ortega and Murillo’s dictatorship. This alliance includes Russia, China, Iran, and all countries sharing their animosity towards the United States.

“Around the world, there are countries integrating into this new coalition of governments led by China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. While not a formal alliance like NATO, they are increasingly cooperating and now claim they want an alternative to a world dominated by the West. They argue for an alternative to the international order led by the United States, but at the core of their argument is totalitarianism, which does not promise freedom,” said the senator.

The chaos in countries under totalitarian regimes

Rubio pointed out what is happening in those countries that offer an alternative to the Western system, pointing out the massive migration of their populations, institutional violence, drug trafficking, and other ills afflicting countries taken over by authoritarian regimes labeled as socialist.

“Just look at the problems in the world today… If you go to the Western Hemisphere, look at the source of massive migration. If anyone goes through Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia, and the places invaded by drug cartels, narcotraffickers, and narcoterrorists. What do all these have in common? What do narcoterrorists, Kim Jong-un, Fidel Castro, Maduro, the lunatics of Ortega and Putin have in common? Or the regime in Tehran and the radicalism of ISIS and Al-Qaeda, what do they really have in common?” Rubio questioned.

“They do not believe in the dignity of the human being and the dignity of individual rights. Not only the right to be free, but to have the freedom and the liberty to fully live your potential for what you were created by God and to serve the common good,” expressed the Republican senator.

The importance of living by the principles of the foundation of the US

Rubio defended the democratic system of his country, stating that while this system includes vibrant and heated debates among opponents, they are necessary to address real issues and have thus achieved real progress.

“All the great movements in the history of the United States, the women’s suffrage movement, the end of slavery, the end of segregation, in all these movements, we are required to live up to the principles of our foundation. That’s how powerful these ideas are,” Rubio said.

Rubio also reflected on those who criticize the existence of student protests in the United States, acknowledging that these protests exist because of differences in opinion. He added that in his country, a presidential candidate is being tried, and on the other hand, the president’s son is undergoing another legal process, charged with a different crime, which confirms the existence of freedom, independence of the judicial branch, and democracy in the United States.

Marco Rubio concluded by stating that there is not a single example of totalitarianism that has been successful for the social and economic development of a country because its only consistent outcome is poverty.

English Estados Unidos libre Marco Rubio Rolando Álvarez

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