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Nicaragua frees more than 200 opponents and sends them to the U.S.

Nicaragua on Thursday released more than 200 prisoners considered to be opponents of President Daniel Ortega's government and sent them on a plane to the United States, in what Washington says opens the door to greater dialogue between the two governments.

In a public statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed the release of the 222 people and stressed that the event "is the product of concerted U.S. diplomacy".

The event "represents a constructive step in addressing human rights abuses" in Nicaragua, Blinken said, as the plane carrying the released individuals arrived in the U.S. capital.

He said those released include political and business leaders, journalists, civil society representatives and students, and that the United States "facilitated their safe transport" to Dulles International Airport and is "providing them with medical and legal support to facilitate their arrival".

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