The OAS demands the return of its confiscated offices in Nicaragua

The OAS demands the return of its confiscated offices in Nicaragua

Twenty-nine member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) voted in favor this Friday -in an extraordinary session- of a resolution that condemns seizure of offices of the agency in Managua on April 24 and demands the immediate restitution” of this.

The resolution also underlines that the Ortega government is responsible for all breaches of its international obligations; and also orders the body to continue dealing with “this matter” and orders it to “consider other actions that may be necessary.”

The special session was promoted by the United States, Canada, Antigua and Barbuda, and Grenada, according to the chair of the OAS Permanent Council and permanent representative of Saint Lucia, Elizabeth Darius-Clarke.

The local headquarters of the OAS in Managua It was government occupied Nicaraguan and declared a “public good”, according to an official decree. This after announcing that withdraw the entire diplomatic corps in the body, which he has branded as “interfering”.

Of the members of the Permanent Council who were in the vote, three abstained: Honduras and El Salvador and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. While Bolivia and Nicaragua were absent.

The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, referred to the recent events in Nicaragua and said that the clear norms of international law have been “violated without any justification.”

Canada’s permanent representative, Hugh Adsett, also stated that “the regime’s behavior is increasingly horrible,” showing that “it is not open to any discussion.”

The United States, for its part, maintained that the forced occupation of a diplomatic building shows disagreement with the specific norms and that “the member states of the OAS will not tolerate these actions.”

Resolution received from two perspectives

The approval of the resolution, however, falls short of the demands made by the Nicaraguan opposition this week.

For example, the opposition organization Unidad Nacional Azul y Blanco (Unab), which had asked the OAS to summon the foreign ministers of the Pan-American bloc to “react firmly” after the organization’s headquarters were seized in Managua, issued a statement after learning of the new OAS call.

“The resolution approved this afternoon by the OAS Permanent Council is a new reminder to the illegitimate regime that governs Nicaragua that more than two thirds of countries in the hemisphere condemn the authoritarian and outlaw course that the dictatorship is taking us on. We salute this new milestone in the recovery of our democracy and our freedom”, underlines the Unab statement.

However, the National Unit considers that this resolution is insufficient given the seriousness of the occupation of the OAS offices in Nicaragua, which is unprecedented in the Organization’s 74-year history.

“The situation in Nicaragua has exceeded all limits of tolerance, seriousness and urgency. It must be assessed by the foreign ministers of the continent as soon as possible. It cannot wait for the general assembly in October in Lima,” said Unab.

But there are those who see it from a positive angle, such as the former Nicaraguan ambassador to the OAS, Arturo McFields, who recently denounced the government of President Ortega.

According to McFields, the session was “devastating” because “it condemns the Nicaraguan dictatorship (with) 29 votes in favor, three abstentions and two absences.”

“Nicaragua will be a Republic again”, wrote McFielfds on Twitter.

Absence of Ortega representative

Nicaragua was one of the few countries absent in the vote, after Ortega’s decision to withdraw his diplomatic corps of the organization that he has branded as “being an instrument of the United States.”

For that same reason Ortega at the end of 2021 denounced the Democratic Charter of the OAS and expressed his decision to leave the body, however experts have said that this process takes two years, so Managua should continue to be governed by its rules.

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