A broad majority of countries in the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved a resolution condemning the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, for the persecution against organized civil society, the independent press and priests and bishops of the Nicaraguan Catholic Church, in addition to reiterating the demand for the release of more than 190 political prisoners.
The resolution was approved with 27 votes in favor, only one against—Saint Vincent and the Grenadines—, four abstentions: Mexico, Bolivia, El Salvador and Honduras, and two countries absent: Colombia and Nicaragua.
The resolution, promoted by eight countries, “strongly condemns the forced closure of non-governmental organizations and the harassment and arbitrary restrictions on religious organizations and anyone who criticizes government policies in Nicaragua.”
It also refers to its “insistence that the Government of Nicaragua immediately release all political prisoners and cease harassment and intimidation of the independent press and guarantee freedom of expression.”
The resolution states the OAS’ concern that, despite the various appeals made in different resolutions and mandates approved in the Permanent Council, demanding the regime restore democracy and civil liberties, these calls have been ignored by Ortega’s government.
“The climate of oppression in Nicaragua has worsened with the growing number of arrests and arbitrary detentions, the forced closure of non-governmental organizations, the autocratic takeover of the mayor’s offices of five municipalities controlled by an opposition party, an intensification of the repression of journalists and freedom of the press, and attacks on nuns and priests of the Catholic faith,” the resolution states.
It also highlights the “concern” of the OAS Permanent Council for the attitude of the Ortega regime which has “ignored the efforts of the Secretary General (Luis Almagro) to engage the Government of Nicaragua in discussing ways in which a high-level group could be invited to assist the Nicaraguan Government to restore respect and defense of democracy and human rights in compliance with the OAS Democratic Charter.”
First voting session of 2022 on Nicaragua
This was the first time in 2022 that the OAS Permanent Council voted on a resolution on the political crisis and human rights in Nicaragua.
The last time the Permanent Council made a statement on the Nicaraguan crisis was on December 8, 2021, when it approved a resolution demanding the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, as a matter of urgency, release all political prisoners and accept a high-level mission to reach an agreement, since “Nicaragua is not complying with the commitment made in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.”
Argentina, governed by leftist Alberto Fernandez, had already warned on Thursday, August 11, that it will vote in favor of a resolution condemning the abuses of the Ortega regime.