The Dutch foreign ministry on Saturday condemned Nicaragua’s decision to sever diplomatic relations over what the central American country called the Netherlands’ “neocolonialist” attitude.

Nicaragua’s government broke off ties after the Netherlands said it would not fund a hospital there over rights concerns, while President Daniel Ortega lashed out at the “interventionist” Dutch.

“The severing of diplomatic ties is an exceptional step and highly unusual. Nor is it the wish of the Netherlands,” a Dutch foreign ministry spokesman told AFP via email.

“It is regrettable that Nicaragua has chosen to respond in this disproportionate way to a critical message about democracy and human rights.”

The Netherlands said it had decided to permanently end funding for the construction of a hospital in Nicaragua — on hold since 2018 — because of the “deteriorating situation in the field of democracy and human rights.”

It said it had given Managua several warnings but now Nicaragua was “closing the door”.

The Dutch said the decision was “not in isolation”, saying Nicaragua had asked the EU’s ambassador to leave earlier this week and refused entry to the new US envoy.

“The Netherlands is discussing with the EU partners how we will respond to this move by Nicaragua,” it said.

The Dutch foreign ministry added that it would be “keeping an eye” on the situation of the estimated 100 Dutch people living in Nicaragua and “if necessary we will adjust the travel advice”.

The Nicaraguan government had on Friday blamed the “repeated meddling, interventionist and neocolonialist position of the Kingdom of the Netherlands” for the row.

© Agence France-Presse


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