The Organization of American States again, OAS, demanded on Wednesday from Nicaragua the immediate release of presidential candidates and political prisoners, with less than a month to the election in which President Daniel Ortega is expecting reelection.
In an ordinary session of the OAS Permanent Council, a resolution condemning the Ortega regime was approved by 26 votes and seven abstentions, among which Argentina and Mexico. The resolution was sponsored by Canada, Antigua and Brabuda, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, United States, Paraguay and Uruguay, and Venezuelan opposition representative Juan Guaidó.
The Nicaraguan delegate was not present but before the session took off, a junior diplomat read a letter saying his government does not accept, nor will it accept any action that degrades its freedom of the country. Likewise there are no candidates detained, and no innocent person has been indicted. Those who are facing charges are foreign agents attempting ”to subvert the Constitutional order in Nicaragua. The country will not attend the session since it is not prepared to listen to aggravating expressions.
The resolution points out, alarmed, at the findings of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as set out in the Oral Report on the Human Rights Situation in Nicaragua presented on September 13, 2021, which details “arbitrary detention of people, including political leaders, human rights defenders, business people, journalists, and peasant and student leaders” and the “cancellation of two other political parties last May”, eliminating “all possible options for the candidacies of the main opposition groups”.
The resolution reiterates its call for the immediate release of presidential candidates and political prisoners. 2.Expresses grave concern that the attempts of the Permanent Council to engage the Government of Nicaragua on the holding of free and fair elections have been ignored. 3. Records alarm at the ongoing deterioration of the political and human rights situation in Nicaragua and at the Government of Nicaragua’s efforts to subvert the electoral process. 4. Strongly urges the Government of Nicaragua to implement without delay the principles of the Inter American Democratic Charter and all internationally recognized electoral standards, including agreed-upon electoral reforms, with a view to holding free, fair, and transparent elections as soon as possible, under OAS and other credible international observation, and finally 5. to undertake, as necessary, further action in accordance with the Charter of the Organization of American States and the Inter American Democratic Charter, including an assessment of the November 7 elections in Nicaragua at the fifty-first regular session of the General Assembly.
The resolution received 26 votes in favor (Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, The Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Grenada, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, United States, and Venezuela); 7 abstentions (Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines); 1 absent (Nicaragua).