Nicaragua's Miss Universe triumph reveals political division in Central America.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The government of Nicaragua, which is becoming more and more oppressive and isolated, celebrated Miss Universe Sheynnis Palacios's win last week as a rare public relations triumph.

But as soon as it became known that Palacios had graduated from a college that served as the focal point of the 2018 anti-regime protests and had reportedly taken part in.

The marches, the "legitimate joy and pride" that President Daniel Ortega's administration had expressed in a statement following the victory swiftly gave way to indignant condemnation.

Regular Nicaraguans, who are generally prohibited from participating in protests or carrying the national flag during marches, seized the opportunity presented by the Miss Universe victory on Saturday night to celebrate in public.

The government took offense at their usage of the national flag, which is blue and white, instead of Ortega's red and black Sandinista banner.

Nicaragua’s opposition was ecstatic with Palacios’ triumph and the pictures of her participating in the protests that she shared on Facebook in 2018.

On social media, Roman Catholic Rev. Silvio Báez, one of the many priests the government has imprisoned or exiled, congratulated Palacios.

Báez wrote, "Thank you for bringing joy to our long-suffering country!" "We appreciate you giving us hope for a better future for our wonderful nation!"

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