Freedom House trustee
Felix Maradiaga is a prominent figure in Central America known for his expertise in nonviolent resistance and democracy building. As a human rights advocate and thought leader in nonviolent resistance strategy, he is widely recognized as one of the leading voices within the Nicaraguan democratic opposition. Maradiaga currently serves as the President of the Foundation for the Freedom of Nicaragua. Additionally, he has initiated the international campaign EndArbitraryDetention.org to raise awareness about the predicament of political detainees all over the world.
During the widespread protests against the Daniel Ortega regime in 2018, he faced numerous criminal charges and smear campaigns. In July 2021, he was arbitrarily arrested after announcing his intentions to run for president. He was then sent to a maximum-security prison, where he endured inhumane conditions for 21 months. However, in February 2023, he and 221 other political prisoners were expelled to the United States after the regime revoked their Nicaraguan nationality and confiscated their assets.
Felix is a co-author of various books and over a hundred articles and essays. His work primarily focuses on the decay of democracy in Latin America and the collaboration of autocratic regimes worldwide. Felix has a BA in Political Science (Suma Cum Laude). He pursued his graduate studies from Harvard (MPA with honors) and the University of Barcelona (M.Eng) and was selected as a Yale World Fellow (2008). Recognizing his courageous efforts, 25 international human rights organizations gathered in Geneva in 2023 to honor him with the Geneva Summit Courage Award.