Two Proposals on Nicaragua at the OAS

Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada at Wednesday’s OAS Permanent Council meeting in Washington D.C.

Both still lack support from the countries of the Caribbean and Central America to attain the 18 votes needed to pass.

The Inter-American Commission for Human Rights presented a devastating report, documenting 264 deaths in 86 days of crisis. Ortega’s foreign minister continues speaking of a “Coup” plot and claims the IACHR “lacks objectivity”.


By Carlos Salinas and Ivan Olivares (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – Two resolutions have been proposed in the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) regarding the crisis that Nicaragua is suffering, a calamity that on Thursday reached 86 days with a toll of 264 deaths. [The Council will hold a special session on the Central American country Friday at 2:00 p.m. EDT in Washington D.C.]

The first proposal, according to diplomatic sources, concerns implementing the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) on human rights violations, the need to disarm the paramilitary forces, clarification of the killings documented since April, and bringing to justice those responsible.

A second proposal has been drafted that in addition to addressing human rights and justice speaks of the need to find a peaceful solution to the crisis with the realization of early general elections.

Up until now, however, neither of the proposals have sufficient votes to be approved by the Permanent Council.  Despite the fact that the principal South American nations, such as Argentina, Chile and Peru, have demonstrated interest in approving a text regarding the crisis, the small nations of the Caribbean haven’t committed their votes, nor is there any agreement within the Central American bloc, where only Costa Rica has been belligerent about finding solutions for the Nicaraguan crisis.

Diplomatic sources consulted by Confidencial noted that procedures of this type take time, and gave the example of the Venezuelan crisis, discussed broadly in the Permanent Council, which then took a year before the Council emitted an initial resolution. In the case of Nicaragua, one of the proposed resolutions may be put up for discussion in the near future. However, the sources consulted believe that the more feasible one is the resolution related to human rights, given that “the OAS culture doesn’t include passing resolutions of a more political character, related to the electoral theme, because this could generate a precedent in the region.”

In Managua, former foreign minister Norman Caldera explained: “We have to understand that a resolution requires more or fewer votes, depending on its level.”

“A resolution ‘condemning the violence, no matter where it originates,’ could be approved by anyone. But votes to approve a resolution condemning a specific person who violates Human Rights are much more difficult to obtain. In the first Declaration – this wasn’t a resolution – the topic was left open, so as to continue discussing the Nicaraguan situation in any of the Permanent Council meetings,” he explained.

“I suspect that [they’re looking at] the possibility of obtaining votes for something stronger.  To do so, they need to engage in certain internal negotiations to see how many votes could be obtained to support a resolution with greater force that the one they could have passed before hearing the report,” he explained.

Jose Luis Velasquez, a former Nicaraguan ambassador to the OAS, conceded that Denis Moncada, the Ortega government’s foreign minister, gave a speech that was better structured than during the previous OAS meeting. However, both said essentially the same thing: rejecting the crushing report of the OAS that portrays Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo as human rights violators.  Velasquez’ opinion was that “there are still two inconsistencies left” in the government’s discourse.  

The first, is that “they continue to insist that the eruption of the crisis stems from a deliberate decision of the opposition. That is utterly false, because the opposition hasn’t triggered anything.  This situation exploded spontaneously, as a reaction to government actions.”

Ortega’s accusation is clearly an exaggeration.  “The opposition has been essentially non-existent because it was dismantled. I don’t see that role that he assigns to the opposition in triggering this crisis. No one could be given credit for the explosion of this crisis; the situation blew up in response to the government of Ortega.”

The other inconsistency that he pointed out is “to have elections, because these must be held with legitimate opponents, ones that are legal. This man [Ortega] has lost all of his legitimacy and he wants to maintain his legality at all costs, in the name of the Constitution. That’s completely false, because he was the first to begin demolishing the constitutional framework,” the diplomate stated.

“How can this business of ‘let’s have elections’ be arranged? Within what legal framework are we going to have these elections, and how is a genocidal government going to run in such elections? A candidate guilty of genocide or of crimes against humanity, and where justice hasn’t been served. How can such a situation be resolved? I still don’t see any solution in this,” he declared.

The report of the IACHR

The report that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) read Wednesday before the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS), served to unmask the regime of Daniel Ortega, said Velasquez.

“This report is stronger than the previous ones, because it assigns the responsibilities of the massacre, and talks about the state terrorism that is being practiced in Nicaragua. This is important because it removes the mask to the Government of Nicaragua,” said Velasquez, when interviewed on the TV program Esta Noche, which broadcasts Channel 12.

The former ambassador thinks that “in Nicaragua, what we have had is the Government of a violent and armed minority, which kidnapped the people of Nicaragua. Through this report, and the presence of the international organizations that verify Human Rights, the profile of that situation that we have been suffering in Nicaragua emerges more and more clearly; it removes the mask completely from the Ortega government, and establishes responsibilities. As the ambassador of Argentina said, you have to submit them to justice. Let justice be done, “he stressed.

His analysis of the session in Washington, is that there was a pronouncement in favor of the people of Nicaragua, and there was a condemnation of the repression. “When you speak of repression, it is automatically talking about Human Rights violations by the government.”

The government rejected the report outright and accused the agency of not being objective. “It is a hurried report and lacking in objectivity. It takes time, impartiality and a professional attitude to inform the truth of what is really happening in Nicaragua,” said Foreign Minister Denis Moncada, during his intervention before the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) , based in Washington.

Before his participation, the executive secretary of the IACHR, the Brazilian Paulo Abrao, confirmed that 264 people have died and more than 1,800 have been wounded in the country since the beginning of the demonstrations in April.