Daniel Ortega, who led the Sandinista government in Nicaragua during the 1980’s and was a declared enemy of Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo, has proposed that the Cardinal be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, “in recognition of his struggle for national reconciliation.”
Ortega announced his proposal after meeting with the Cardinal last Friday at the Catholic University in Managua, where they discussed “issues of common interest.”
According to Ortega, a fierce opponent of the Cardinal during the 1980’s, “Cardinal Obando was a determining factor in the efforts we made during the Sandinista government to sign the peace accords with the counterrevolutionary groups.”
During their meeting, the Sandinista leader also asked the Cardinal to celebrate Mass in memory of the more than 45,000 people of both sides who died during the military conflict between the Sandinista government and the so-called “counterrevolutionary” groups of the time.
The Cardinal accepted the invitation and said he would have the Vicar General of the Archdiocese preside at the Mass, which will take place on July 19, the 25th anniversary of the Sandinista revolution.
Road to reconciliation
Cardinal Obando explained on Sunday that he accepted the invitation to offer a Mass on the date of the Sandinista revolution “so that never again” will there be acts of violence and war in the country.
He said that the Mass will be offered for peace, reconciliation, and the eternal repose of those who died in the civil war of the 80’s, but above all, “so that never again will these acts” of bloodshed and violence take place between Nicaraguans.
He also said he accepted the request of Ortega because he considered it “a very good thing” to offer a Mass for peace, reconciliation and for those who died during the conflict.