The Governments of Mexico and Argentina Monday recalled their respective ambassadors in Managua, where Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is undertaking a dubious campaign towards his reelection by having his political challengers arrested.
Last week, the Organization of American States (OAS) passed a resolution condemning such practices in Nicaragua but such a decision has not endorsed Mexico and Buenos Aires, who abstained.
Argentina has ordered its ambassador to Nicaragua, Mateo Daniel Capitanich, to return to the country due to the worrying legal political actions carried out by Ortega, which “have endangered the integrity and freedom of various Nicaraguan opposition figures, activists and businessmen.”
The decision was announced jointly with the Mexican Government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador who summoned ambassador Gustavo Alonso Cabrera Rodríguez.
The Argentine Foreign Ministry made it clear that one of the reasons for the ambassadors' recall occurred once the Nicaraguan government did not approve Capitanich's request to visit the detainees, although it does not change the position of Argentina and Mexico regarding abstention from the OAS proposal to condemn the Ortega government.
“In the diplomatic world, the call for an ambassador to consult is the expression of annoyance and concern of a country (Argentina and Mexico in this case) regarding the actions taken by the government of a third country (Nicaragua). In any case, the Argentine Foreign Ministry maintains that this decision does not change the position regarding ”no to interference - whatever the country is - and no to the violation of human rights,” the Argentine Foreign Ministry said in a joint statement.
Both Argentina and Mexico “will remain attentive to the evolution of events related” to Nicaragua and “will continue to unequivocally promote full respect and promotion of human rights, civil and political liberties.”
The two countries also highlighted their willingness to promote “dialogue so that Nicaraguans themselves are the ones who overcome this situation peacefully, respecting the division of powers, respect for minorities and constitutional guarantees.” The two countries also agreed that if and when their respective ambassadors are to return to Managua they will do it simultaneously.
On June 15, within the framework of the OAS, the Mexican and Argentine governments abstained in the proposed vote on this issue and a joint statement expressed that their position was due to respect of “the principle of non-intervention.”
At the same time, they expressed their concern about the events going on in Nicaragua with the arrest of several political leaders of the opposition, including some presidential candidates. In this context, both diplomatic representations had argued that “we do not agree with the countries that, far from supporting the normal development of democratic institutions, set aside the principle of non-intervention in internal affairs, so dear to our history.”
After the abstention, Fernández asked Ambassador Capitanich to visit the political prisoners in Nicaragua and the Foreign Minister of that country, Denís Moncada, rejected it. After that, Argentine Foreign Minister Felipe Solá spoke with his Mexican counterpart, Marcelo Ebrard, and after a talk between Fernández and López Obrador, on Sunday night both countries agreed to recall their ambassadors.
Meanwhile, in Nicaragua, arrests of political opponents to Ortega have been reported to continue.
“We always work along the same lines, only since we abstained in the OAS vote, that read as that we were not being strong enough in criticism, but actually our rationale for abstaining was clear: we wanted the arrests of opponents and that the situation be addressed, but we did not agree with the interference in the Nicaraguan electoral system,” a Foreign Ministry source was quoted by Buenos Aires media and hinted that he reason behind Argentina's abstention at the OAS was a distrust of Almagro.