Ortega’s Storming of the OAS Offices in Managua

“A flagrant violation of international law!” says Luis Almagro

Police agents stand guard outside the site of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Managua. Photo: EFE

Vice President and government spokesperson Rosario Murillo echoes Foreign Minister Denis Moncada’s rant against “colonialist perversion”

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Just minutes after Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada announced his government’s decision to unilaterally close the Organization of American States offices in Managua, the police arrived to consummate the action. The entire incident is unprecedented in the annals of the hemispheric organization – no other member government has ever done anything similar.

The OAS general secretariat issued a statement calling the move “illegitimate”. A former ambassador to that organization – who asked to remain anonymous – stated that the raid on the diplomatic site violates the OAS Charter, the Vienna Convention and all the specific accords established between the Nicaraguan government and the OAS. All of these contain a recognition of the international mission’s status.

The Vienna Convention “establishes the international and diplomatic obligations of governments,” the former diplomat explained. Also, Article 33 of the OAS Charter guarantees immunity for their activities within the member states. In the case of Nicaragua, the Ortega regime submitted their intention to withdraw from the OAS in November 2021, but the move will not go into effect until the end of the 2023, according to the regional bloc.

“For all practical purposes, this act of raiding the OAS site is fully equivalent to violating the integrity of a diplomatic seat in any country. It sets the Nicaraguan government outside international law, and will certainly have profound repercussions on its relations with the OAS and all its member states. These bodies could possibly proceed according to the principles of reciprocity,” the former ambassador specified.

Argentine political scientist Ruben Perina, who worked at the OAS for over two decades in the area of promoting democracy, called the takeover of the OAS site in Managua “unprecedented”. He noted that the Permanent Council may choose to hold an emergency meeting to adopt some form of sanctions against Nicaragua.

Building’s owners also victims

The OAS office functioned on the first floor of a two-story building in the exclusive Managua neighborhood known as Las Sierritas de Santo Domingo. The building’s owners occupied the second floor. According to neighbors, at the moment of the raid, the Police removed the second floor occupants in handcuffs while they searched the entire building.

On Sunday night, following the raid of the diplomatic site, the Police proceeded to search the homes and go through the computer equipment and cellphones of some of the Nicaraguan functionaries who worked in the embassy, added witnesses living near the building.

On Monday, April 25, a police patrol remained stationed at the main door to the OAS site, blocking access into the building.

The OAS Permanent Commission has still not decided on how to react to the events in Managua. However, Secretary General Luis Almagro issued a statement minutes after the regime’s takeover of the building, asserting that Nicaragua’s withdrawal from the regional organization would not take effect until the end of 2023. “Until then, Nicaragua remains a full member of the organization and must fulfill all its commitments.”

Murillo’s anti-OAS rhetoric

On April 25, Vice President and First Lady Rosario Murillo used her daily noontime discourse to repeat the insults that Foreign Minister Denis Moncada had launched against the OAS – insults almost certainly penned originally by Murillo.

“By dint of our patriotic will and commitment, we declare ourselves beyond any colonialist perversion, we’re not anyone’s colony, and as such, we can’t be part of a ministry of colonies, dependents of the Yankee State Department, we’re not lackeys, we’re not decrepit, we’re not decadent, we’re not reduced to Yankee servitude,” Murillo declared.

Murillo went on to compare the “expulsion” of the OAS from Nicaragua and the withdrawal of Nicaragua’s ambassadors from the regional organization with Augusto Cesar Sandino’s expulsion of the United States marines during the 1920s. “We’re defeating and expelling that new expression of the Yankee Marines that has no place here,” said Murillo.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.