The commander Daniel Ortega government expelled the American political scientist Evan Ellis, an expert on relations between China and Latin America, saying it “did not have official permission to conduct research in Nicaragua on the canal.”
Professor and researcher at the War College Department of Defense, and therefore civilian employee of the US government, Dr. Ellis arrived in the country last Monday with an agenda that included interviews and meetings with various sectors related to the canal project interoceanic: including government officials, businessmen, diplomats, academics, journalists and activists of social movements.
However, before completing 24 hours of their stay in the country, it was deported through an expedited procedure.
Ironically, yesterday an extensive interview was reported in the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, in which company officials HKND extolled the “transparency” of the government of Nicaragua and the company headed by Chinese tycoon Wang Jing to provide information the world about the canal project.
– “At 11:15 pm uniformed persons, posing as immigration officers, arrived at the hotel Hilton Princess and called me, told Ellis to Confidential via an email sent in the early morning.
– I called down to the lobby and I reported that the government of Nicaragua has not authorized my research on the Grand Canal, and was given until 5 am (Tuesday) to pack my stuff he said.
I-will you bring to the airport to kick me out of the country, “he said, before turning to the force, a commercial plane that took him to Miami.
In Managua, the US embassy failed to comment on the expulsion. Neither the Foreign Ministry or the Department of Immigration explained the reasons for deportation.
Expert in China
Ellis is a professor of American studies American and Caribbean Institute for Strategic Studies War College US Army, an academic institution Defense Department study in which senior military. In that condition, he explained, it is a civil academic traveling with official passports of the US government.
Dr. Ellis is the author of over 120 academic papers, including three books: China on the Ground in LatinAmerica (2014), The Strategic Dimension of Chinese Engagement in Latin America (2013) and China in Latin America: The Whats and wherefores ( 2009, as well as articles in technical publications, financial and national security)
In early June 2013, Ellis gave an interview to Confidential in which he said that even though the advisers Wang Jing have claimed that China is behind the project of the Grand Canal, in the long term the project could be of interest to that power as an alternative to expand their trade. However, that does not seem feasible warned that both the projected Nicaragua Canal, such as operating in Panama, generate profits in its eventual coexistence.
“The costs of the new channel could hardly compete with that of Panama without major long-term benefits,” he observed then.
Later that same month, Confidencial published an article by Ellis titled “The Truth Behind Canal project” , which claimed that “HK Nicaragua Canal Development (the concessionaire) has no financial ties, contacts or building capacity management necessary to perform the project. “
Later, in December 2014, Confidential play another article by Ellis, originally published in Latin Trade, entitled “The business behind the channel” , which showed how the canal project would represent “a highly lucrative opportunity for those who operate, those who build and those who own the land on which will be built “.
Ejected in less than 24 hours
According to the account he provided to Confidential via Skype from the United States after deportation, Ellis planned his visit for more than two months ago through private contacts, but also had extensive exchanges with official sources as the ambassador of Nicaragua in Washington, Francisco Campbell, the chief of staff Paul Oquist, and the president of the Interoceanic Canal Authority, Manuel Coronel Kautz, with whom he had arranged an interview. Nicaragua’s government was fully informed of his visit, which was also notified by the embassy through diplomatic channels.
Ellis arrived at Augusto C. Sandino Airport on Monday at 11:45 am and presented his official passport to the immigration control. “They asked me the purpose of my visit, and I said I’m a research professor at the Institute of Strategic Studies War College,” explaining that came to conduct interviews on the Grand Canal project. “I admitted with full knowledge of what I came to do,” Ellis said, but hours later was rejected by officials who identified themselves as members of the leadership of Immigration.
At 6:30 pm, Ellis attended the photo exhibition “by thousands” organized by the “National Council in Defense of the Land, Lake and Sovereignty,” in Pablo Antonio Cuadra Cultural Centre Hispamer, during the three years of the adoption of the canal concession, but he denied that it had anything to do with his expulsion. “I did not attended a protest, I went to a photographic exhibition which was attended by leaders of groups opposed to the channel, but my goal as an academic was to know the different views, without advocating any project,” he said.
When they rested in his room, after eleven o’clock at night, three uniformed officers allegedly direction of migration, cited the lobby of his hotel. “I reported that the government had not authorized me to enter the country to conduct interviews on the channel, and that it would need an official authorization,” said Ellis, adding that “I was invited to leave the country at 5:00 am and he had to go with them to the airport, “he added. “I offered them go by taxi, they said no,” he explained, and said that a government official remained standing guard at the door of his room.
According to Ellis, although she asked them to identify themselves, none of the officers who deported him showed any credential or cited articles of the law on the basis of which they proceeded against.
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, Ellis was accompanied by officials of the embassy, to ensure that immigration officers being transferred to the airport. “I will thank my colleagues embassy” he said.
Reflecting on his expulsion from Nicaragua, the academic said on the canal project, “the attraction of international capital depends on transparency and lack of fear for investors. I wish the best to Nicaragua, and I go with the concept that there are factors that can lead to uncertainty and even fear among investors. I’m going to continue research on China and the channel, because it is an important issue, “he said.
Cenidh “institutionalized espionage”
The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) condemned the expulsion of Ellis. The director of the agency, Vilma Nunez, noted that it “strange” thing is that the academic entered the country and registered at the hotel, but believes that somehow the forum assistance on the canal project was reported. “This will reveal that there is an institutionalized espionage in Nicaragua,” praised Nunez.
The human rights defender lamented that the expulsion of academics, researchers and even human rights defenders, “is already an established practice of government.”
“For us this is part of a desperate effort by the government to not know what’s going on. That is a characteristic of undemocratic governments and dark and has the same logic of denial of election observation, “said the director of Cenidh.
Nicaraguan academics and scientists Confidential assured that Nicaragua to conduct research in any specific permission is not required and therefore not explained the reason why Ellis was sent off.
The doctor in molecular and director of the Academy of Sciences of Nicaragua biology, Jorge Huete said that the only limit he knows are the requirements for entry into protected areas, “which are in fact universal recommendations, but in general there is no condition and no permission is needed as well as Nicaraguans can also go to another country to perform work or research, “compared.
Huete expressed solidarity and Academy with the American expert.
The scientist and environmentalist Jaime Incer Nicaragua also said that “hundreds of researchers come” and that no permission is needed. “I imagine how the issue (the channel) is very sensitive, someone could be bothered by that, I do not know,” said Incer, who for his part has warned of the damage to the works of the canal can cause on Lake Cocibolca.
16 foreigners expelled
With the expulsion of Ellis, add at least 16 foreigners expelled from Nicaragua by the government of Ortega. The first was the Italian – born missionary Alberto Boschi, who in June 2010 he canceled his Nicaraguan nationality.
Then in November 2012, was the Swedish journalist and filmmaker, Peter Torbiörnsson, who made the documentary Good Bye Nicaragua, in which he recounted the terrorist operation Penca and questioned the former minister of the interior, Tomas Borge.
Four months later, in March 2013, he was deported Matthew Cardella Costa, son of Francesco Cardella, appointed ambassador of Nicaragua in Saudi Arabia. The young man said Nestor Moncada Lau of wanting to meet with a property he wanted as his inheritance after the death of his father.
Two months later, in May, a similar fate Chilean photojournalist for Agence France-Presse (AFP), Hector Retamal, on charges that it violated immigration law. A Retamal was arrested near the presidential residence while heading to provide cover for a meeting between Ortega and Foreign Minister of Palestine.
In May of that year, also the Venezuelan former governor of Carabobo state, Henrique Fernando Salas Feo, and the deputy Carlos Berrizbeitia, reported that in Nicaragua him his passport at the Nicaraguan airport where they had traveled during a tour along with other Latin American parliamentarians and Europeans. Salas said that after three hours held at the airport, the authorities asked them to leave the country.
That year was also deported Ariñez Carlos Castel, Zoilamérica couple Narvaez, daughter of the first lady Rosario Murillo. On June 25, Murillo told his daughter the decision of expulsion. Bolivian Migration said he overcame his legal period.
Another deportation was Belgian citizen and journalist Michèle Sennesael in December 2014, who was reporting on the canal and the effects it would have on your route.
In February 2015, the government also allowed the entry of American Jason Glaser, director of the Island Foundation has denounced the working conditions in which they work thousands of cane cutters and the case of patients with chronic renal failure (CRF).
Luis Carlos Buob, member of the Center for Justice and International Law, was also returned to Costa Rica in May of that year, “sovereign decision” of the country. Migration told him that they were investigating drug trafficking, threw him to the ground, seized their mobile phones. This lawyer Cenidh accompanied at the hearing in March that was held at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to address the issue of the canal. Similar happened with Marta González, a member of Cejil.
Also that year he was prevented from entering the French caricaturist Jules Berjeaut, known as Jun, who was scheduled to participate in the Humor Front panel Barbarism in Central America has event, organized by writer Sergio Ramirez. A July was not given any explanation.
More recently, in January this year, the artists of the Bolivian collective TransformARTE, Liz Morales and Irumaki Cardenas complained that authorities of Migration and Alien Airport prevented their income without providing an official reason and claimed that officers tried to charge more money set by Nicaraguan law.
In February, expelled was the regional director of the human rights organization Freedom House and democracy, Carlos Ponce, who came to Nicaragua to meet with staff of the US Embassy, human rights organizations and civil society.