Nicaraguan Denies Anti-semitism

Ernesto Cardinal, Nicaragua’s Minister of Culture, denied at a press conference here reports that Nicaragua’s entire Jewish community of 50 families was forced into exile by the Sandinista government but his replies apparently failed to convince reporters present.

The reports also indicated that the regime confiscated Jewish property and took over the synagogue in Managua. Avraham Gorn, president of the Jewish community, had been jailed after the Sandinistas took power.

The Managua daily, Nuevo Diario, in July, 1982, published a series of anti-Semitic articles which included a reference to the “synagogue of Satan.”

The minister, who was a priest before the revolution, denied the reports, claiming there were few Jews in Nicaragua, that they had intemarried and did not keep Jewish religious customs. He remarked,” I, myself, am of Jewish origin.” He also asserted there were no Jewish institutions in Nicaragua, religious or civilian, and that there were no anti-Jewish feelings in Nicaragua, only “anti-Zionist feelings.”

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