By Manuel Sandoval Cruz*
HAVANA TIMES – On November 25, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) met to review the report presented by the High-Level Diplomatic Commission on Nicaragua.
The Commission was created by this same entity by mandate of a resolution approved on June 28, 2019, at the OAS General Assembly (Medellin, Colombia). The members are from Paraguay, Jamaica, Argentina, Canada and the United States.
The report concludes that given the systematic violation of human rights and the situation that prevails in Nicaragua since April 2018, “there is an alteration of the constitutional order that seriously affects the democratic order under the terms of article 20 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.”
What is interesting about the report, what concerns this article, is the recommendation of a dialogue. Again, to dialogue? Yes, the inter-American system recommends a third dialogue with the dictatorship, they want the way out to be in the framework of a negotiation between the parties: the dictatorship and the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy.
However, the OAS has seen that in the country the dialogue has not worked. On the contrary, it has served to oxygenate the repressive tactics of the regime that has left deaths, forced disappearances, imprisonment, exile and a fast deterioration of the economy.
I’m not denying that dialogue can be useful as an alternative mechanism for conflict resolution. It can work when there is a political will to solve the conflict that was originated by state terrorism led from the presidential bunker in El Carmen.
We have seen, analyzed and it has been shown how much dialogue works in regimes such as Venezuela (held first in Venezuela, then in Norway and finally in Barbados), or when have we seen a significant result of a dialogue in Cuba? And, in our case, what solution to the crisis resulted from the two attempts in the country? In neither were there results in matters of justice and democracy, the main demands of the Nicaraguan people.
Ortega-Murillo will only dialogue when financing the State budget becomes unsustainable, when their money, security and assets (obtained through illicit enrichment) are threatened by sanctions or by internal pressures, that are very efficient against the dictatorship.
Thus, for example, in the case of Bolivia: there was no dialogue, the opposition was due to the people and they succeeded in terminating the presidency of Evo Morales, whose permanence in power lacked legitimacy.
Everything said above leaves two simple and complex lessons at the same time:
First: we should not fall into the trap of resuming a dialogue whose fundamental interests are to prevent further economic damage to the country. I reiterate what I said a couple of months ago in another article that while Ortega-Murillo remain in power, there will be no economic recovery. The main demand is justice and democracy, this is the route that we must take without hesitation. This is the ethical demand of the victims, their families and of those who yearn for peace and freedom in Nicaragua.
Second: opt within opposition organizations for a strategy to pressure the dictatorship, agreed with the people or through an initiative of the latter, that achieves the necessary reform to believe in the electoral system, the freedom of people still kidnapped by the regime, the return of those in exile, re-entry of human rights organizations, the disarming of paramilitaries and the restoration of public liberties. Without that minimum of conditions, there is not and should not be a dialogue.
Of course, if the international community were swifter in the application of sanctions, if the OAS General Assembly accomplishes the suspension of the state of Nicaragua and the efficiency of a national strike, the attitude of the dictatorship will be different when it sees itself, once more, cornered on all fronts and without any option.
It is a collective task to achieve these actions. There is no other way to bring down the regime but through these internal and external pressures, to avoid a civil war that would leave greater losses to regret.
*The author is a Nicaraguan university student in exile.