Nicaragua announces withdrawal from OAS

Managua, Nov 19 (EFE).- The Nicaraguan government said Friday that it is withdrawing from the Organization of American States (OAS) in response to the hemispheric body’s condemnation of the Nov. 7 election in which President Daniel Ortega won a fourth consecutive term.

OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro has been officially notified of “our unwavering decision to renounce the OAS Charter, in accord with its Article 143, which starts Nicaragua’s definitive withdrawal and renunciation of this organization,” Foreign Minister Denis Moncada told a press conference in Managua.

In a letter to Almagro, the Ortega government accused the OAS of violating its own charter by interfering in Nicaragua’s internal affairs.

“The OAS has been designed as a diplomatic political forum that was born through the influence of the United States as an instrument of interference and intervention,” Moncada said, reading from the document.

“And its actions against Nicaragua have demonstrated that this organization based permanently in Washington has the mission of facilitating US hegemony with its interventionism against the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean,” he continued.

Though the OAS Charter establishes a two-year-long process for withdrawal, Moncada said that Managua expects the OAS to desist immediately from “harmful” actions toward Nicaragua.

Last week, the 51st OAS General Assembly concluded with the approval of a resolution declaring that the Nicaraguan elections “were not free, fair or transparent and have no democratic legitimacy.”

Critics pointed to the arrest months before the election of seven potential opposition presidential hopefuls on charges they accepted money from entities tied to the US government.

Five right-wing opposition parties were on the ballot on Nov. 7 along with Ortega’s leftist Sandinista Front.

The European Union has joined the OAS in rejecting the Nicaraguan elections, while countries including Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, Iran and Syria have congratulated Ortega on his victory. EFE lfp/dr

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