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Miss Universe Says Win Put Nicaragua on Map

Nicaraguan Sheynnis Palacios said on Tuesday in Costa Rica that her coronation as Miss Universe put Nicaragua and Central America on the “world map.”

On her second day in Costa Rica, the first Central American country she has visited as Miss Universe since her coronation in El Salvador in November 2023, Palacios thanked the “Latin American warmth” she has received in San José, where part of the Nicaraguan diaspora lives.

Since being named Miss Universe, the 24-year-old Palacios has not returned to Nicaragua, so she stressed at a press conference that being in neighboring Costa Rica has made her “feel at home.”

However, Miss Universe refrained from commenting on the political situation that Nicaragua is experiencing under the government of President Daniel Ortega.

After Palacios’ coronation, Vice President and Ortega’s wife, Rosario Murillo, stated that the opposition was manipulating that triumph, noting that the beauty queen participated in the 2018 protests.

Those demonstrations were considered by the Nicaraguan government as an attempted coup promoted by Washington, which resulted, according to the UN, in more than 300 deaths.

Days after Palacios’ victory, Nicaraguan businesswoman Karen Celebertti, who was not allowed to return to her country, resigned from the Miss Universe franchise in Nicaragua.

In early January, the Ortega government expelled Celebertti’s husband and son to Mexico, after nearly two months detained on conspiracy charges, according to Nicaraguan media and opponents in exile.

Palacios’ victory, the first Central American to win the world beauty pageant, motivated massive celebrations of Nicaraguans in the streets, not seen since public demonstrations were banned in 2018.

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