HAVANA TIMES – After an especially bloody weekend in which Nicaraguan government forces attacked opposition demostrators in numerous cities, the OAS, UN and CELAC all reacted today to the deepening crisis in the Central American country. Here is the report from dpa news.
OAS calls a new permanent council on Nicaragua on Wednesday
The Organization of American States (OAS) will hold another extraordinary permanent council on Nicaragua this Wednesday in Washington, reported dpa.
The call was made today at the request of the United States, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru and comes after these countries presented on Friday a draft resolution calling on the Government of Daniel Ortega to “support an electoral calendar” In Nicaragua.
The announcement of the Permanent Council meeting on Wednesday does not mention the proposed resolution.
The new meeting on Nicaragua will take place exactly three months after the protests began with a student protest against a pension reform that was violently repressed and turned into a call for an end to the Ortega government.
It will also take place after a large number of American countries condemned in recent days the new episodes of violence in the Central American country.
Among them was the siege Friday and Saturday of the National Autonomous University (UNAN), a bastion of student resistance occupied since May 7th. Heavily armed paramilitary groups escorted by the Police also attacked and abducted other protestors in numerous places around the country. The European Union (EU) and Spain have also spoken out against this violence.
In the three months of protests against the Ortega government, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has confirmed 273 deaths, a figure that local human rights organizations raise to well over 300, with over 2,000 wounded, many seriously. A highly significant figure in a country of only 6 million citizens.
“The condition for any solution to the crisis in Nicaragua is respect for life and the rejection of violence and repression,” said the executive secretary of the IACHR, Paulo Abrao, where he condemned the killing of a policeman in the city of Masaya and called to investigate both that death and all that has occurred so far.
The malaise with Ortega is not new, but goes back a long way before this wave of protests. The opposition denounced fraud in the municipal elections of 2008 and in the presidential elections of 2011. In the 2016 elections, in which Ortega was re-elected with 72.5 percent of the votes, the main opposition alliance was banned from participating.
UN Secretary General calls for an end to violence in Nicaragua
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, today called for the immediate cessation of violence in Nicaragua and the resumption of dialogue to seek a solution to the political crisis that is shaking that country, and that has caused at least 350 deaths according to human rights organizations.
The death toll since the crisis broke out in mid-April is “unacceptable,” Guterres told reporters in San Jose after meeting with Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado.
The UN Secretary General affirmed that the cessation of violence is essential so that the path of dialogue in search of an inclusive solution is resumed. “Violence will not solve Nicaragua’s problem, dialogue must be resumed,” Gutierrez warned.
In addition, the Secretary General of the UN criticized the excessive force by “entities linked to the Government of President Daniel Ortega” and pointed out that the use of force “is not acceptable.”
It is a primary responsibility of the States to give protection to its citizens, in Nicaragua, the death toll is unacceptable,” he warned.
In this regard, he said that the UN has available mechanisms to promote mediation and dialogue and added that it supports the actions of other regional organizations, such as the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Organization of American States (OAS).
For his part, Costa Rican president Alvarado said that his country continues to condemn the violence and acts of repression in the neighboring nation and added that it will use the various forums at its disposal to contribute to the solution of a crisis that “affects the entire region.”
“We will continue to use forums and multilateralism to find a solution,” he added.
The topic of Nicaragua consumed much of the agenda of the meeting between Alvarado and Guterres, who traveled to Costa Rica to participate in the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the implementation of the American Convention on Human Rights and the creation of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, whose headquarters are in the Costa Rican capital.
CELAC Countries Condemn Human Rights Violations in Nicaragua
Thirteen Latin American countries expressed today from Brussels their condemnation and rejection of the repression and violation of human rights in Nicaragua, within the framework of the summit of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the European Union (EU) held in the Belgian capital.
The “Special Declaration on the situation of the Republic of Nicaragua” was signed by Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, within the framework of the meeting of Ministers of the CELAC countries and the EU and was made known in San Jose by the Costa Rican foreign ministry.
The countries signing the statement expressed their concern “for the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms.” They also condemned “the serious and repeated acts of violence that are taking place in Nicaragua and that have caused to date the unfortunate loss of more than 300 lives and hundreds of wounded.”
The foreign ministers also rejected “the repression and violence against students and members of civil society, as well as the delay in providing urgent medical assistance to the wounded.”
Earlier today, Costa Rican Foreign Minister Epsy Campbell had urged the forum to address the Nicaraguan crisis.