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Suspended priest, ex-Nicaraguan official suggested to represent Libya at UN

Catholic World News - April 01, 2011

In a bizarre sequence of events, a Maryknoll priest who was suspended from ministry when he became a government minister in Nicaragua has been blocked from serving as Libya’s representative to the UN, because the US threatened to refuse him a diplomatic visa.

Miguel D’Escoto Brockman was suspended from ministry when he rejected an order from Pope John Paul II to resign his government post. As the Sandinista government escalated conflicts with the Catholic Church in Nicaragua during the 1980s, D’Escoto viciously criticized Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo for his opposition to the regime. This week, the Libyan government of Moammar Qaddafi, hard pressed to find a diplomatic representative in New York, called upon D’Escoto to serve as the UN representative of the embattled regime. Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega--a former colleague in the Sandinista regime—endorsed the notion.

But US officials noted that D’Escoto is currently in New York on a tourist visa, and would need a diplomatic visa to serve at the UN. The US State Department strongly hinted that a diplomatic visa would not be granted. D’Escoto is now reportedly planning to serve as a member of the Nicaraguan delegation to the UN.

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