MANAGUA – Father Miguel D’Escoto, the Sandinista government’s ex-foreign minister during the Contra war in the 1980s, has been nominated by the United Nations Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) to preside as honorary president during this year’s U.N. General Assembly.
Nicaragua’s current foreign minister, Samuel Santos, originally made the proposal to the group last August during a meeting in Nicaragua of Latin American ambassadors. D’Escoto, a 75-year-old Maryknoll priest, remains one of President Daniel Ortega’s closest confidants and advisers on matters of foreign policy.
D’Escoto has also remained one of Ortega’s biggest defenders over the years and – in some regards – is one of the most radical left-wing advisers that the president has in his inner circle.
The priest, despite ailing health, regularly travels with Ortega when the president goes abroad and is known to be the real power behind the government’s foreign policy.
A member of a foreign diplomatic mission that has dealt with the Nicaraguan government in the past year recently told The Nica Times under the condition of anonymity that “Padre D’Escoto” is usually present during high-level meetings with other governments, despite having no official role in the Sandinista administration.
“It’s pretty clear during these meetings that the key to dealing with Nicaragua is to reach an understanding with Padre D’Escoto,” the source said.