The Ortega regime completes Nicaragua's withdrawal from the OAS

The Ortega regime completes Nicaragua's withdrawal from the OAS
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Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, in an archive image.RODRIGO ARANGUA (AP)

The regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, through an extensive statement read by its Foreign Minister Dennis Moncada this Monday, November 20, completed the withdrawal of Nicaragua from the Organization of American States (OAS). Two years ago they “denounced” the Inter-American Charter and the process of leaving the political forum began for disagreeing with the repeated criticisms against Managua for serious violations of human rights and democracy.

“We are definitively withdrawing. Nicaragua no longer has any relationship, we are no longer members of that infamous organization called the OAS. Nicaragua, its people and its Government of reconciliation and national unity remain detached, detached from that interventionist organization, an instrument of intervention of the decadent unipolar and hegemonic Government of the United States of America,” the Sandinista Foreign Ministry emphasized. Moncada listed the alleged "coups d'état" and the "interference" of the OAS in Latin America starting in the 1950s, starting with the overthrow of President Jacobo Árbenz in Guatemala until falling into self-reference about what happened in 2018 in Nicaragua: some massive social protests that police and paramilitaries broke up with lethal violence, but that the Ortega-Murillos describe as an “attempted coup d'état.”

“The OAS has repeatedly carried out interventionist actions against Nicaragua, transgressing the principles of non-intervention in internal affairs, respect for the sovereignty of States and the right of peoples to freely choose their destiny, principles recognized by International Law and contained in its founding Charter. "This interventionist action was demonstrated with its involvement and biased action in the failed 2018 coup d'état in Nicaragua," alleges the Ortega-Murillo regime in reference to the social protests that left more than 350 dead and the global repudiation, including the repeated resolutions of the OAS condemning the repression, urging it to stop and seek a negotiated solution. All calls that Managua ignored.

On the other hand, before resigning from the OAS in November 2021 and activating the exit protocol, the Sandinista regime not only rejected the 18 documents condemning the repression approved by the Permanent Council, but also confiscated and police occupied the headquarters that the organization rented. in Managua. A blow that made clear the break between the Ortega-Murillo family and the OAS, especially with the secretary general, Luis Almagro, whom opponents criticized at the time for the closeness he showed with the presidential couple while attempting a diplomatic dialogue.

“The OAS does not have tools”

Then, in January 2022, the regime banned a high OAS delegation from entering Nicaragua that sought to “establish a positive agenda that includes other important issues of democratic development and rights.” Diplomatic sources consulted by EL PAÍS confirmed that all the efforts of the OAS to establish bridges of dialogue were blown up by Ortega and Murillo. Francisco Mora, US ambassador to the OAS, said that “the government does not want anything with the international community, neither with the OAS nor the United States.”

“The OAS does not have the tools to put economic pressure on Nicaragua,” but the organization “will continue to exert political and diplomatic pressure” in the face of constant reports of human rights abuses and attacks on freedom of expression.

Faced with the expiration of the deadline for Nicaragua's departure from the forum, the OAS issued a resolution in which they “emphasized” that the abandonment “does not nullify the other legal obligations” of the country in terms of human rights. “Nicaragua remains obliged to respect all human rights reflected in customary norms; all human rights contained in the multilateral human rights conventions to which Nicaragua is a party,” the organization states, despite the fact that the Ortega-Murillos have never complied with their resolutions.

Former OAS advisor Guillermo Belt pointed out that the OAS does not have mechanisms to force a member state to comply with the obligations established by the organization's Charter.

“The political bodies [la Asamblea General y el Consejo Permanente] “They could and should have done much more, within their statutory powers, to pressure the dictatorship and make it respect the rights of the Nicaraguan people,” said Belt, who was an advisor to Secretary General Joao Baena Soares in the late 1980s.

Former Nicaraguan ambassador to the OAS Arturo McFields told EL PAÍS that the OAS was “efficient” in the last century, in the eighties, but that it has currently been surpassed by an authoritarian regime like that of Ortega-Murilo.

“The OAS was effective in the past. We saw it with Somoza. The position they took helped a lot. We saw it with the peace process in Nicaragua, we saw it with the holding of the first free, fair and transparent elections in the history of Nicaragua. We saw it when they wanted to carry out a coup d'état against Enrique Bolaños... But now, today, the OAS has been surpassed by the so-called dictatorships of the 21st century. And Nicaragua is the first dictatorship to make the OAS with its pants down,” says McFields.

The former ambassador, who resigned from his position in March 2022, also warned that Nicaragua has become a pattern for authoritarians in Central America, increasing the “political inconsequentiality” of the OAS.

“The pattern that Ortega set is already being repeated by Alejandro Giammattei in Guatemala. Why do I say it? Invite the OAS, sign agreements and support the organization's resolutions. Ortega did all this, but Giammattei never dismantles the actions of prosecutor Consuelo Porras and Rafael Curruchiche. Again, it is something similar to what Ortega did: he signed, invited, accompanied, but never dismantled the repression and arbitrary arrests. Ortega is a school of abuse,” says McFields, denationalized by the regime. “Once Ortega regained control of the country with sword and fire, there was a change: the Government no longer wanted anything, neither with the OAS, nor with the United States. It was already set up and consolidated because I knew what I was going for: an authoritarian drift to the next level, which was unpacked little by little, because even when I was there, at the OAS, in December 2021, there were communications with Almagro. We were talking and working on the release of political prisoners. However, the dictatorship did not say no and it did not say yes to free them.”

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