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 story : My Father Was a Vocal Critic of Nicaragua’s President. Now He’s a Political Prisoner #WorldNEWS My father, Francisco Aguirre-Sacasa, turned 77 this month. Normally, my entire family would gather

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My Father Was a Vocal Critic of Nicaragua’s President. Now He’s a Political Prisoner #WorldNEWS
My father, Francisco Aguirre-Sacasa, turned 77 this month. Normally, my entire family would gather somewhere in the States to celebrate his birthday with a late-summer cookout, a sheet cake and ice cream. This year, though, there wasn’t a cookout. It wasn’t one of those rare, precious times when we’re all together in the same backyard, reminiscing, catching up on each other’s lives.
Instead, we spent the day praying for my father’s release. He’s a political prisoner, fighting for his life, imprisoned 50-plus days ago for being a vocal critic of Nicaragua’s Macbeth-like President-despot, Daniel Ortega, and his Lady Macbeth-like wifeand Vice-president—Rosario Murillo.
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In late July I was about to board a flight from New York to Los Angeles, where I work as a television writer and producer, when my sister called me with the news. Our parents had been driving to Costa Rica to take a flight to Washington, D. C. , where my father was scheduled to have hip-replacement surgery. They’d been stopped at the border and interrogated by immigration officials. Pictures of their car were taken, and my father’s passport was confiscated. The officials told my mom if she wanted to continue with their planned trip, she could, but my father would not be joining her. My mom decided to stay.
Read More: They Think They Can Silence Us. How Nicaragua is Waging a War on Journalists
While driving back to Managua, they were pulled over by the national police, who arrested my father and abducted him. When my mom got back to their house, it was being ransacked by men with machine guns.
An hour later, the military police issued a statement saying that my father was being investigated as an enemy of the state. He is not that. He is a husband, a father and a grandfather. A book lover, a movie lover and a horse lover. A graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School. A proud citizen of Nicaragua, who served as Nicaragua’s ambassador to the United States, then as Nicaragua’s foreign minister. The last few years, my father’s worked as a journalist and political pundit, commenting on Nicaragua’s state of affairs, including Ortega’s dictatorship. That’s what made him a target. His opinions have gotten him in trouble before—there have been warnings, threats, a short detention, but nothing to this extent.
My dad is one of many people who have been arrested by Ortega’s police in the months leading up to Nicaragua’s election in November. Operating with less subtlety than Hiram Lodge, the mustache-twirling archvillain of my show Riverdale, Ortega has been going after his opponents one by one.


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