With Argentina abstaining, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Wednesday approved a resolution declaring that Nicaragua “is not respecting the commitments” of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
The resolution was passed with 25 of the 34 active OAS members voting in favor in a special session, while eight countries abstained: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Honduras, Mexico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia.
The only dissenting vote came from Nicaragua, whose representative, Michael René Campbell, strongly denounced “another interventionist OAS event.”
The text, sponsored by Antigua and Barbuda, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana and the United States, urges President Daniel Ortega’s regime to “urgently” release “all political prisoners and to accept a high-level good offices mission “to” restore “respect for the charter.
He also calls for “comprehensive electoral reforms, as called for in previous OAS resolutions and in accordance with Nicaragua’s human rights obligations.”
In another point, he calls for “the repeal of all laws that restrict political participation and limit human rights in a manner contrary to Nicaragua’s international human rights obligations”.
The recent OAS General Assembly rejected the legitimacy of the November 7 elections in Nicaragua, declaring that the country’s democratic institutions were “seriously undermined” by the Ortega government.
As a result, Ortega, who won a fourth consecutive term with seven of his potential rivals jailed for conspiracy and other alleged crimes, on November 19 called on his country to quit the multilateral body.
Wednesday’s resolution recalls, however, that the process of leaving the OAS takes two years, during which time Nicaragua’s obligations to the OAS and its instruments remain in effect.
Diplomatic sources told the Noticias Argentinas news agency that Argentina called for an “immediate collective assessment” of the situation in Nicaragua during the meeting of the OAS Permanent Council.
“We have supported the current draft resolution, with the conviction, the hope and the political will to continue to work for dialogue and the peaceful resolution of our differences, for the true benefit of our peoples,” he said. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pablo Tettamanti.
An official statement from the Foreign Ministry in Buenos Aires said that “Argentina reiterates its commitment to the defense of human rights” while calling for dialogue,
“Argentina is firmly convinced that the best way to overcome our differences has been and will continue to be dialogue. No sanctions or blockades, which in our hemisphere have only led to negative results,” stressed Tettamanti.
Nicaragua on Friday signed a deal shifting diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China – a political blow to Beijing as it seeks to isolate the democratic island it has vowed to one day seize.
– TIMES / NA / AFP
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