TODAY NICARAGUA (AFP) The United States urged the Organization of American States (OAS) on Wednesday to take “concrete” measures to respond to the forced closure of the regional bloc’s office in Nicaragua by the government of Daniel Ortega.
“We can’t just shrug our shoulders and look the other way,” said the US representative to the OAS, Bradley Freden, during a session of the organization’s Permanent Council. “We must condemn the action in the strongest terms and consider other, more concrete responses as well,” he said.
The Ortega government ratified on Sunday its decision to leave the OAS, expressed on November 19, 2021, but which, according to the statutes, will take two years. It also withdrew the credentials of his delegates to the OAS and announced the closure of the organization’s headquarters in Managua.
“It is essential that we treat this act as the institutional and illegal abomination that it is,” Freden stressed. “Although the Nicaraguan regime has told us that it is leaving the OAS, it is still subject to these obligations. And if we want those rules to mean something, we shouldn’t be afraid to apply them in outrageous cases like this one,” he emphasized.
The Permanent Council of the OAS discussed the issue at the request of the Secretary-General, Luis Almagro, who on Sunday said that the Nicaraguan authorities had “illegitimately occupied” the organization’s offices in Managua, in “a violation of the most elementary international standards.”
“It had never happened before. The worst American dictators, including the Somozas, never took measures like these,” Almagro said on Wednesday before the executive body of the OAS, describing what happened as “an affront to Latin America.” Almagro also repudiated the expropriation of the building, which he said was not owned by the OAS, but leased.
The decision was communicated on Tuesday by Nicaragua’s Chancellor, Dennis Moncada.
As of Sunday, Nicaragua was no longer part “of all the deceitful mechanisms of this monstrosity, the so-called Permanent Council, so-called commissions, so-called meetings, so-called Summit of the Americas,” said Moncada.
“We will not take part in any of the entities of this diabolical instrument of evil called the OAS,” he added.
Moncada added that the OAS building in Managua will be converted to the “el museo de la infamia” (the museum of infamy).
“Whoever does not respect international law and is not held responsible for it has the path open for all kinds of illegalities. It is necessary to act now”, warned Almagro. And he added: “Nor can the Permanent Council doubt that any justification opens the door to having to accept new measures tomorrow that may affect those who remain silent today.”
“The General Secretariat will give all the support to the measures that this political body agrees on,” he promised.
Sixteen of the 34 active members of the OAS, including the United States, expressed their “dismay” and “concern” over what happened, demanding respect for the principles of international law.
Peru’s ambassador to the OAS, Harold Forsyth, described the situation as “the closest thing to an Almodóvar movie” and was skeptical about the impact of an eventual OAS reaction. “We have to be very careful in evaluating our steps because probably if what follows is an additional resolution suddenly we will not obtain greater results either,” he said.