RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Argentine government abstained from voting on an Organization of American States (OAS) resolution calling for the release of presidential candidates and political prisoners, the initiation of electoral reforms, and the deterioration of political rights in Nicaragua.
Carlos Raimundi, Argentine ambassador to the OAS, cryptically said that “there are elections for which some norms are used, which of course are universal, and other norms that each people establishes based on its sovereign laws, traditions, roots, history, and culture.”
The resolution was adopted by 26 countries. Nicaragua did not vote. Seven other countries, including Mexico, Guatemala, and Argentina, abstained.
The text also expressed “grave concern” that the government of Daniel Ortega “ignored” attempts by the OAS Permanent Council to persuade the Nicaraguan government to “hold free and fair elections” on November 7.
For his part, Uruguay’s Permanent Representative to the OAS, Washington Abdala, highlighted the number of countries that have spoken out against Ortega’s “dictatorship.”
The Uruguayan official also vehemently criticized the countries that – like Argentina – did not support the resolution. “What proof would they need to understand? What evidence would they need to receive to join the thinking that the vast majority of us who believe in democracy are doing to oppose this type of dictatorship?^
Abdala called it “sad” if the decision not to support the OAS resolution was made only for ideological reasons.
Finally, he warned that Ortega would end up “perpetuating” himself in power, as happened in Cuba with the Castro regime that Díaz Canel is continuing, or in Venezuela with Nicolás Maduro.
The United States and other countries have said that the November elections in Nicaragua “lost all credibility” due to the exclusion of opposition parties from the electoral process and the imprisonment of several opposition leaders who sought to challenge President Daniel Ortega in the election.
The elections leave minority parties and a pro-government alliance led by the ruling Sandinista Front, which controls the electoral court and all branches of government.
Last month, the European Union imposed sanctions on Nicaragua’s first lady and vice president, Rosario Murillo, and seven other officials accused of human rights abuses and undermining democracy. The U.S. has also imposed sanctions on Ortega officials and associates.
The statement also notes the “deterioration of the political and human rights situation” in the country. It also accuses the Nicaraguan government of “undermining the electoral process.”
Finally, it calls on the authorities to respect the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and international standards to hold “free, fair, and transparent elections” under the supervision of the OAS.