On Wednesday, October 20, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States approved a resolution on the “situation in Nicaragua”, with 26 countries in favor of it, no one against and seven members abstained.
In particular, Mexico, Argentina, and Honduras were countries that once voted against resolutions condemning Ortega’s repression, but have now changed to voting by abstention.
The government of Mexico, led by Manuel Lopez Obrador, and the government of Argentina, led by Alberto Fernandez, are countries that lie on a left ideological line, like the Ortega line in Nicaragua. However, this year they expressed a critical stance regarding the arrest of presidential candidates in the middle of the election year in Nicaragua.
However, the two governments invited their ambassadors in Nicaragua to consult, and the regime in reciprocity moved its ambassadors to Managua.
The case of Bolivia is also famous, since its representation was voting against the decisions of the Organization of American States on Nicaragua, being a country politically related to the Ortega regime and both members of the Alba TCP initiative, this time also it was attached to the bloc of abstentions. .
Other countries marked by abstentions in the case of Nicaragua were the Caribbean nations, this time only Barbados and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines continuing not to cast their votes. In previous sessions, Suriname, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Saint Kitts and Nevis abstained or sometimes voted against, but this Wednesday they voted in their favour.
“The resolution was approved by 26 votes, the same number of votes as in June, some members abstained, but this time no country voted against it, and this symbolizes how clear the countries of the region are about the situation in Nicaragua and how (Daniel). “Ortega does not have any support in the region for his abuses,” said Eddy Acevedo, chief of staff and senior advisor at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
Strong criticism of Uruguay
Uruguay’s ambassador to the Organization of American States, Manuel Juan Washington Abdallah, in his address to the Council session, drew strong criticism, not only of the Ortega regime in Nicaragua, but also of those who refrained from agreeing to the resolution on Nicaragua.
“What intervention are we doing, if the only thing we do at the international level is to ask ourselves to think, to speak, to do what the dictatorship does not do; the dictatorship kills, assassinates, deprives of liberty and does not allow candidates to operate freely,” said the Uruguayan ambassador.
Washington Abdallah stated that unless the abstention was on a matter of ideology, he could not understand these countries, clearly referring to Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Barbados, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who abstained. .
“It would be sad to have an ideological reading taking place here in this session, and I think that’s not the way,” Washington-Abdullah said.
The Uruguayan ambassador stressed that it was the duty of the OAS member states to defend democracy and acknowledged that “there is not much” they can do.
“It’s just in an area of the international community, to raise a voice, and direct it to Mr. Ortega and say, ‘Look, sir, we clearly know that you are a dictator, and we know that you are heading toward a flawed election, we know that you are not making the electoral guarantees that are required until there is genuine clarity about it. ”.
The Uruguayan ambassador highlighted the case of the Nicaraguan writer Sergio Ramirez, who is in exile because Daniel Ortega is persecuting him for his criticism of the regime.
In this sense, Washington wondered Abdullah whether those countries that abstained had not seen Ramirez’s complaints.
Has Sergio Ramirez lost all his credibility? I wonder, when I was an authority in the Sandinista National Liberation Front, I had a position and now it has evolved and changed. And now he has to go into exile in Costa Rica, because they did not watch the interviews on international networks, because they did not see what is happening in Nicaragua on television. ”
Argentina and Mexico argue to abstain from voting
Before the Uruguayan ambassador intervened, the Argentine ambassador, Carlos Alberto Raimondi, spoke in defense of his country’s abstention.
Raimondi emphasized that although his country agreed with “some parts of the text” of the resolution, it did not consider the attachment of the statement to be relevant.
“We consider this inappropriate and inappropriate for reasons similar to those we have made in the joint statement with Mexico in the past,” Raimondi said.
Mexico’s ambassador, Luz Elena Baños Rivas, asked to speak immediately after the vote, to confirm her abstention.
Banios expressed his country’s concern as “deepening the isolation of a member state” and called for dialogue to resolve the situation in Nicaragua. “We are not trying to interfere,” he added.
On the other hand, the Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda, Ronald Sanders, was one of the member states of the Organization of American States that rejected Nicaragua’s allegations and also described those who described the session on the “situation in Nicaragua” as interference.
We are not trying to interfere in the internal affairs of Nicaragua. Nicaragua joined the Organization of American States and adhered to the rules of the Organization of American States.”
Meanwhile, the US delegate, Bradley Frieden, stressed that the voting taking place in Nicaragua was a “disgrace” and called for the release of political prisoners. And he warned that his country will continue to use all diplomatic tools to hold accountable those at the forefront of the country’s drift.
The resolution was approved by 26 countries, no one opposed it, only Nicaragua attended and 7 countries abstained.
The countries that voted for it are: Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, United States, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, San Cristobal. and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas.
The countries that abstained are: Barbados, Bolivia, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Argentina.
Reactions after the meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States
The resolution, entitled “The situation in Nicaragua”, reiterates its call for the “immediate release of presidential candidates and political prisoners”. It expresses its “grave concern at the fact that attempts by the Permanent Council to compel the Government of Nicaragua to hold free and fair elections have been ignored.”
“It strongly urges the Government of Nicaragua to implement without delay the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, as well as all internationally recognized standards, including agreed electoral reforms, with a view to holding free, fair and transparent elections as soon as possible, under the oversight of the Organization of American States and other International reliable monitoring.
Finally, it requests “the adoption, if necessary, of other measures in accordance with the Charter of the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, including the evaluation of the November 7 elections during the fifty-first session of the General Assembly.”
Following the OAS Permanent Council meeting, Brian Nichols, US Under Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, posted a message on Twitter expressing his satisfaction with the outcome of the OAS Permanent Council session.
Democratic governments do not imprison opponents before the electoral process. Today, we were pleased to see most of the member countries of Tweet embed He denounces the violations by Ortega and Murillo against the Nicaraguan people.”
Democratic governments do not imprison opponents before the electoral process. Today, we were pleased to see most of the member countries of Tweet embed Condemns the abuses of Ortega and Murillo against the Nicaraguan people. https://t.co/rBTapPins8
– Brian A. Nichols (@WHAAsstSecty) October 20 2021
For his part, the director of the Americas office at Human Rights Watch, José Miguel Vivanco, deplored Argentina’s position on Twitter.
Unfortunately, Argentina did not support the decision of the Organization of American States against the repression in Nicaragua.
During its democratic history, Argentina has usually had a clear position in defense of human rights. The current administration’s curvy foreign policy is worrying.
– Jose Miguel Vivanco (@JMVivancoHRW) October 20 2021