In a radio interview this morning, Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero said that the government is willing to give Sergio Ramírez citizenship, following criticism from the exiled Nicaraguan author.
“If Sergio Ramírez asks for Argentine citizenship, we’ll give it to him,” said Cafiero on Radio con vos. “Him and everyone else who’s suffering through what’s happening in Nicaragua.”
Ramírez, who is currently exiled in Spain, was one of 94 Nicaraguans stripped of their citizenship last week by President Daniel Ortega after being deemed “traitors” by the judiciary. Earlier this month, 222 incarcerated political opponents were simultaneously stripped of their citizenship and deported to the United States.
These actions have sparked an international outcry, including a collective statement from 500 artists and intellectuals from across Latin America rejecting the decision. Ramírez said on Saturday that he hadn’t seen any response from the Argentine government to that declaration and that “If the Argentine government would answer, I will become Argentine.”
In response, Cafiero said that “Argentina is in a position to give him citizenship, but applicants have to request it, it’s a very simple procedure that can be started at the Argentine embassy.”
“Our country’s regulatory framework calls for the interested party to make the request.”
Government sources confirmed with the Herald that while Ramírez has publicly announced that he is seeking Argentine citizenship, he needs to apply for it. The country’s two-year residency rule (living in the country for the required uninterrupted two years) would have to be bypassed as an exception in order for citizenship to be granted directly. He could also apply for political asylum and request refugee status at the Argentine National Committee for Refugees (Co.Na.Re).