HAVANA TIMES — Uncertain about the process of dialogue between the OAS general secretary Luis Almagro and the government of Daniel Ortega – a dialogue that culminated with an accord based on a report that has thus far been kept secret – the Group of 27 laid out its concerns Tuesday, Jan. 10, in a letter.
Mr. Luis Almagro
General Secretary of the OAS
Dear Secretary General,
We write you with the objective of making known our viewpoints regarding the process begun last October 15, 2016, within the framework of a “table for conversation and constructive interchange” established between the OAS General Secretariat, under your responsibility, and the government of Nicaragua, in virtue of the Accord signed on this same day.
We must reiterate the right that we Nicaraguans have to know the contents of the report presented to the Nicaraguan government on topics related to the political process in our country. It seems very irregular that a formal public accord, such as that signed with the Nicaraguan government on the date indicated, should be based on a document that has continued to be kept secret, despite the fact that the dynamic that such an arrangement opens could have grave consequences for the present and future of millions of Nicaraguans. On the basis of the principle of public dissemination that should guide the actions of all of OAS organs, we demand that said report be made known to the Nicaraguan people.
We take to heart the affirmation contained in your article “For more democracy and more rights in 2017”, in which you stated: “Democracy is the essential instrument for the development of our countries; recent examples show us how the weakening of institutions, the failure to submit to the Rule of Law, the unfamiliarity with the State powers, the cooptation of justice, the deterioration of civil and political rights have an absolute incidence in the welfare and security of the people.” The reason for this coincidence is that your description precisely reflects the situation we face in Nicaragua, where the fundamentals of representative democracy have been dismantled from the roots.
The collapse of the electoral system, whose most recent expression was the electoral farce consummated last November 6th – a farce that was repudiated by an immense majority of the Nicaraguans via their massive abstention – is one factor within a framework of ever broader crisis as the result of years of dictatorial exercise of power. The persistence of such a situation threatens to alter in a most dangerous way the stability and peace in Nicaragua.
We hope that your visit to Managua this past December 1st allowed you to learn first-hand about the generalized corruption of the institutions and the impunity with which they carry out their dirty business and traffic with State resources; the climate of systematic violation of human rights and of repression; the total lack of credibility that the electoral and judicial systems have earned.
We trust that your efforts can contribute to open a path that would make it possible to reconstruct democracy in Nicaragua, based on your criteria that: “The remedies are all in our Inter-American Democratic Charter”. However, it would be a false solution if we allow that road to include the legitimization of a spurious electoral process. Nor will we find a path by passing over manipulations sheltered in the false promises of cosmetic reforms to the electoral system and fraudulent machinations disguised as constructive dialogue. The regimen imposed on Nicaragua has provided us with abundant displays of its skill with such practices.
We don’t want to repeat the painful current experience of Venezuela. In addition, many of us remember the failure of the mediation that was undertaken in Nicaragua within the framework of the OAS in the period following October 1978. We also recall the tragic consequences that followed from that fiasco.
The realization of free general elections with national and international observation, with impartial arbitrators and without exclusions in the appropriate political moments is an indispensable requisite to open the way to a viable and lasting solution. But, as the Venezuelan experience demonstrates in such a convincing way, this can only be the starting point; one that must be accompanied by a programmed process of restoring the democratic rule of law, on the basis of commitments assumed within the framework of the competent organs of the OAS.
We are firmly committed to the struggle against corruption and impunity, the defense of human rights and the establishment of a democracy “that’s not a façade covering a villainous exercise of power.” Like yourself, we won’t tire and we won’t pause in the struggle to recover democracy. Nothing and no one can silence us. We trust that we will be able to go down this road with you.
Ernesto Cardenal Martínez
Fabio Gadea Mantilla
Enrique Zelaya (Doctor Henry)
Carlos Tunnermann Bernheim
Gabriel Álvarez Arguello
Cirilo Antonio Otero
Julio Icaza Gallard
Monique Ninette Blanco Sarria
José Luis Velásquez Pereira
Ana Margarita Abaunza Sedda
Carlos Langrand Hernández
Moisés Julián González
José Antonio Peraza Collado