The government of Daniel Ortega has closed the office of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Managua and brought forward the departure of Nicaraguan representatives to this organizationfrom which he had already announced his retirement in November 2021. “We are withdrawing the credentials of our representatives, colleagues Orlando Tardencilla, Iván Lara and Michael Campbell. We will not be present in any instances of this diabolical instrument of the misnamed OAS“, the Nicaraguan government said in a public statement.
“Nicaragua is no one’s colony”
In a letter read on an official broadcast, the Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs Denis Moncada he announced that “from this date” Nicaragua ceases to be part “of all the deceptive mechanisms of this monstrosity, call it the Permanent Council, call it commissions, call it meetings, call it the Summit of the Americas”. Moncada added that “Therefore, this infamous organization will also have no offices in our country: its local headquarters have been closed”.
“Nicaragua is no one’s colony, so it is not part of a Colonial Ministry. By denouncing and renouncing this infernal mechanism from which we immediately withdraw with absolute dignity, we ratifyThis, yes, our respect, affection and gratitude to Cuba and Venezuelaheroic, and to the peoples who courageously carried out their struggles and who accompanied us and continue to accompany us in the battles,” said the Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Minutes after the announcement, national police surrounded the OAS offices in Nicaragua, located on the outskirts of Managua, while their symbols were dismantled. The OAS SecretariatFor its part, denounced the “illegitimate occupation” of its officeswhich he called a violation of international standards, according to a statement.
An early decision
The government of Ortega, a 76-year-old former guerrilla in power since 2007, announced at the end of last year the withdrawal of Nicaragua from OASWhat unaware of his election for a fourth consecutive term in November 2021, with his rivals and adversaries imprisoned. However, according to the protocols, the exit had to take place within two years so that Nicaragua could fulfill any ongoing commitments it might have with the organization.
“Until then, Nicaragua is a full member and must respect all its commitments”, recalled the organization and demanded that Managua “respect the obligations that currently govern its relations with the OAS”, specifies the press release from the forum. Regional Council, which also emphasizes that “its offices, archives and documents enjoy the most absolute inviolability”, so that “their violation by the Nicaraguan authorities renders them internationally responsible for its consequences”.
The measure was supported by the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA)who described it as Nicaragua’s “dignified, sovereign and consistent” decision to expel the OAS. Venezuela also hailed Nicaragua’s resignation as ‘courageous’ to the hemispheric forum, which he describes as an “instrument of American imperialism”.
“Close the door to peace”
On March 23, the Permanent Representative of Nicaragua to the OAS, Arthur McFieldsduring his speech at a session of the Permanent Council, called Ortega’s management a “dictatorship” and denounced the precarious conditions in which his opponents were held.
“I do not understand the government’s motives, but this withdrawal comes a month after my speech at the OAS”said McFields on Sunday, who also argued that Ortega’s decision to retire early “is a great moral victory for the Nicaraguan people and for the political prisoners who are in El Chipote prison.”
The OAS has repeatedly called for the freedom of opponents. The offices of the regional forum “have historically been in our country and have been part of a historic process of pacification in Nicaragua. The government is closing a door to peace”, added the Nicaraguan diplomat.
Nicaragua’s tenure in the OAS had been in doubt since the body approved the process of implementing the Inter-American Democratic Charter due to accusations against Ortega over human rights violations in 2018. amid protests against the government which, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), has left 355 people dead.
So far, the OAS has not applied the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Nicaragua’s withdrawal will become official in November 2023, two years after its decision was announced.