International Guarantors, a New Hurdle at the Nicaragua Negotiating Table

A new attempt at opening a dialogue between the Ortega-Murillo government and the Civic Alliance began on Wednesday.


Ortega has already shown a lack of interests in making any more concessions than the minimum necessary to avoid new sanctions and save the economy


By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Reaching consensus on international guarantors has become a new obstacle at the negotiating table between the regime of Daniel Ortega and the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, with which they seek to overcome the crisis that broke out last April and has left hundreds dead and detained, according to the Crisis Group.

“The Government is reluctant to accept the presence of international guarantors,” says the Crisis Group, an international organization dedicated to the analysis of countries in conflicts or submerged in a crisis, in a report sent to EFE.

Sources close to the negotiators of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy have confirmed to EFE that the Executive opposes the presence of certain international guarantors, who would seek to ensure that both parties comply with any agreement reached in the talks.

Last Tuesday, the parties decided to postpone naming the guarantors until after approving the agenda, “which seems to confirm the Government’s indecision,” the Crisis Group noted.

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, has announced that this organization could act as a “guarantor” of the dialogue in Nicaragua, where he believes it is possible to reach a “Nicaraguan solution” to the crisis that has left hundreds deaths and detainees.

The Permanent Council of the OAS has begun to apply the Inter-American Democratic Charter to Nicaragua, which could lead to its suspension from the continental organization.

In addition to the OAS, the presence of representatives of the United Nation’s (ONU) and the European Union (UE) as guarantors has been discussed at the negotiating table.

Sources of the Civic Alliance do not rule out that the Government of Ortega would propose the Central American Integration System (SICA in Spanish), Mexico or Uruguay.

On the other hand, the Crisis Group warned that Ortega’s initiative in the negotiations could be part of a “divide and rule” strategy, “aimed at dividing the opposition at a time when it is fighting for cohesion, with many of its leaders in the exile, in jail or in judicial proceedings.

“Ortega may be addressing the dialogue in bad faith, with the sole intention of buying time and placating international critics,” the organization added.

According to that report, it is possible that Ortega has already showed a lack of interest in making more concessions that the minimum necessary to avoid new sanctions and save the Nicaraguan economy from collapse, without addressing the central demands of democratization and justice of the opposition.

Therefore, according to Crisis Group, the Civic Alliance’s biggest challenge at the moment is to negotiate the dialogue agenda, and afterwards it must increase its credibility and legitimacy as the dialogue continues, in order to avoid a scenario in which large segments of the opposition repudiate the possible results of the talks.

Seventh round of negotiations: no agreement is revealed

The dictatorship and the Civic Alliance held on Thursday the seventh round of negotiations to overcome the crisis that has left hundreds of dead in 10 months.

The seventh session is also the second in which the parties try to reach an agreement on the substantial issues, consequently it is not expected that they will reach a substantial commitment to resolve the crisis.

The Civic Alliance maintains that its themes are to demand the release of all the detainees for protesting against the Government and the restoration of all freedoms, rights and guarantees provided for in the Constitution.

Also, some reforms that guarantee fair, free and transparent elections, and justice for the victims of the violent protests that began on April 18, 2018.

The Governmental delegation, led by Foreign Minister Denis Moncada, has not made its proposals known

The parties meet at the headquarters of the Central American Institute of Business Administration (INCAE), south of Managua, under extreme secrecy, as demanded by President Daniel Ortega.

(With information of EFE)