MANAGUA – The government in Managua has confirmed the revocation of the Nicaraguan citizenship of Italian-born lay Catholic missionary and political activist Alberto Boschi, his lawyer said Wednesday.
The official notification to Boschi was signed by President Daniel Ortega’s legal adviser, attorney Alberto Novoa said at the headquarters of the Nicaraguan Human Rights Center.
The document from Ortega’s office cited a July 12 statement from Interior Minister Isabel Morales accusing Boschi of improperly using his Italian passport after acquiring Nicaraguan citizenship, Novoa said.
Ortega’s administration also contends that since Nicaragua and Italy do not have a convention on dual nationality, Boschi’s acceptance of Nicaraguan citizenship implied the renunciation of his Italian passport.
Novoa said that by law, a Nicaraguan citizen cannot be stripped of citizenship unless he or she explicitly renounces it in favor of that of another country.
“Mr. Boschi has never renounced his Nicaraguan citizenship or opted for another (one),” the attorney said after announcing that his client will challenge Ortega’s decision in the courts.
Boschi is a member of the Sandinista Renewal Movement, a faction that split from the now-ruling Sandinista party over differences with Ortega.
He became a Nicaraguan citizen in 2005 after living in the Central American country for 16 years, but his citizenship was revoked two months ago on his arrival at Managua airport after traveling abroad.
Boschi, who has a 3-year-old daughter with his Nicaraguan wife, mounted a week-long hunger strike last month to pressure the government into restoring his citizenship.
The tourist visa he was issued in June is set to expire Sept. 23 and Boschi said he fears police will try to seize him then and expel him. EFE