Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to be reunited with father as US secures release of political prisoners from Nicaragua

After a 19-month long struggle to free his father from a Nicaraguan prison, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and his family will soon be reunited with patriarch Francisco Aguirre-Sacasa on American soil.

The elder Aguirre-Sacasa was part of a group of political prisoners released from a Nicaraguan prison that arrived in Washington DC this morning.

“It’s a miracle,” an elated Roberto Aguirre Sacasa told Deadline. “There’s no other way to describe this crazy story and how it ends other than the biggest plot twist that none of us saw coming,” she added as she prepares for her trip to the East Coast tonight to reunite with her father.

As reported by Deadline in August 2021, the writers and producers are behind the show Riverdale And Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin Desperate for information about his father after being detained at the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Francisco and his wife were apprehended by Nicaraguan police as they approached the local airport for a flight to Washington DC and disappeared.

The elder Aguirre-Sacasa, an outspoken critic of the Daniel Ortega regime, was later found imprisoned in El Chipo, off the books, and unknown to his family. He spent months in the notoriously dangerous institution before being allowed to transfer to house arrest, finally being able to take much-needed drugs banned by the prison and talk to his loved ones. Heartbreaking for the family, he was returned to El Chipo after a period at home, where he was held until his surprise flight to freedom this morning.

Throughout the 19-month battle, the Aguirre-Sacasa family was in contact with former United States Senator and current Special Presidential Advisor Chris Dodd, as well as Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey.

“Senator Dodd spoke to my sister yesterday and asked, ‘Do you believe in miracles?’ He replied, ‘At this point, Senator, I have given up on miracles.’ Undeterred, Dodd told him that he would hear some good news very soon. Around 4:45 or 5 this morning the phone rang that a plane carrying political prisoners held in Nicaragua was on its way to Washington DC and our father was among them. I can’t believe it. Tonight, my dad will sleep in his own bed in my hometown of DC. It is truly a miracle.”

Thursday morning, State Department Secretary Anthony J. Blinken released a statement confirming that 222 political prisoners wrongfully detained by the Nicaraguan government had arrived at Dulles Airport and were receiving medical and legal assistance.

“The release by the Nicaraguan government of these individuals, one of whom is a US citizen, marks a constructive step in addressing human rights violations in the country and opens the door to further dialogue between the United States and Nicaragua on issues of concern,” Blinken’s statement read. “Today’s development is the product of concerted American diplomacy, and we will continue to support the Nicaraguan people.”

The statement confirmed that political prisoners, “arrested to exercise their fundamental freedoms and endure prolonged unjust detention” have been released to the United States. Among them are political and business leaders, journalists, civil society representatives and students. Francisco Aguirre-Sacasa served as the Nicaraguan ambassador to the United States from 1997-2000 and later as the Central American country’s foreign minister.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said, “I assume that the United States and Nicaragua have been having conversations about this for a while, but we were not aware of the behind-the-scenes conspiracy.” “My mother, who is a very religious person, never doubted that I would see my father again. He had this faith and never wavered, even when things didn’t go the way we hoped.”

Feeling like he can finally breathe, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa thanked Senators Dodd and Martinez, President Joe Biden and everyone who has kept his family in their thoughts and prayers over the past 19 months.

“I cannot express enough gratitude to those who helped make this happen; Everyone who shared the story of my father and many political prisoners,” he said. “It was an 11th-hour miracle, which I did not expect. We contacted some families of other prisoners, some older than my father. We are all relieved. I hope this is a good sign for the future because what happened today is unprecedented.”

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