"They want us to ignore Nicaragua and we are not going to do it": US ambassador to the OAS

"They want us to ignore Nicaragua and we are not going to do it": US ambassador to the OAS

Despite Nicaragua’s departure from the Organization of American States (OAS) in 2021 and the recent criticism of the organization by President Daniel Ortega’s government, the bloc’s Permanent Council is determined to “follow up” on the situation in the Central American country through diplomatic pressure.

“What Managua wants is for us to forget about them, since they are not in the OAS and we are not going to do that. There is a commitment on the part of a large majority of members,” said Francisco Mora, US ambassador to the OAS. OAS in interview with the Voice of America.

At the beginning of April, the OAS approved a resolution that concluded the working group for Nicaragua created in 2018 and to which 12 countries of the organization belonged. In its place, it established a voluntary “surveillance” one that is led by Chile and Canada.

Mora explained that this new group has the purpose of drawing attention to “the situation in Nicaragua” in the midst of the challenge posed by its departure from the organization and to follow up on the one approved the day the country left the organization, which established a commitment to observe the situation.

“This volunteer group is going to monitor and draw attention, and work with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights so that we continue working in Nicaragua,” added the ambassador, detailing that the approved resolution had been the product of “a long negotiation.”

“Some members thought that well, Nicaragua is no longer a member and we do not have the power within the Permanent Council to follow up on it… so we worked on a negotiation process and reached that result,” he said.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was one of the countries that expressed its difference with the creation of the group.

Hours after the approval, the Vice President of Nicaragua, Rosario Murillo, attacked the OAS in a speech in official Nicaraguan media, where she described the organization as a “dumpster of history.”

“Reminding the ignoble and unpronounceable OAS that we are unaware of its impact since everyone knows that we do not belong to that organization,” Murillo said.

Murillo’s reaction, for the US ambassador, is a “recognition that they (the Ortega government) are affected, hurt by international isolation.”

Are these measures effective and binding?

Mora acknowledged that these resolutions function as a pressure measure, however, the OAS “does not have the tools beyond the Inter-American Democratic Charter” and other diplomatic measures to “really sanction Nicaragua.”

“That is up to individual countries or governments,” Mora said, and extends beyond the capabilities of the OAS.

On the other hand, in March, the United States charge d’affaires in Nicaragua, Kevin O’Reilly, denounced that the “permissive” policies of Daniel Ortega’s government encourage irregular immigration and dangerous” to the north.

Regarding this, Mora added that the US is “constantly studying” how to “improve or how to continue putting diplomatic and economic pressure on Nicaragua so that it respects and so that it does not become a platform for migration to the US.”

The issues that continue to be priorities for the US government regarding Nicaragua, according to Mora, are the “lack of the rule of law, systematic violations of human rights and migration.”

Nicaragua’s responsibility with other instruments

Nicaragua’s departure from the OAS It occurred after the government denounced the organization’s Democratic Charter in 2021. However, as Mora explained, it did not denounce the other instruments of the inter-American system and therefore, it maintains its responsibilities with bodies such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IAC Court).

“Beyond this monitoring group, the IACHR will continue working in Nicaragua,” Mora concluded. “The regime is not going to allow the Commission to enter Nicaragua, but in any case they are going to continue working, receiving complaints, requests for precautionary measures.”

Although he accepted that “Managua is probably not going to react or comply with the Commission’s decisions,” he recognized it as part of the “diplomatic political pressure that we have to do anyway.”

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