Canada calls for a substantive national dialogue in Nicaragua | The most important news and analysis in Latin America | DW

On Monday (12/13/2021), the Government of Canada asked Nicaragua to conduct a “substantive national dialogue” to overcome the social and political crisis that the Central American country has been going through since April 2018, and to allow the entry of an international meeting of the mission of human rights defenders and the release of so-called with “political prisoners”.

“Canada continues to demand the return of international human rights monitors and the establishment of a substantive national dialogue,” the Canadian embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua said via messages on Twitter.

The diplomatic delegation noted that Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolly said on November 8 that the general elections in Nicaragua, in which President Daniel Ortega was re-elected for a fifth five-year term and a fourth term, respectively. Contenders in prison, “did not reflect the will of the Nicaraguan people.”

In its letter, Canada expressed its solidarity “with all human rights defenders and called for the release of political prisoners in Nicaragua.”

On December 8, the Organization of American States (OAS) approved a resolution asking President Ortega to allow a diplomatic mission into the Central American country to begin a dialogue on electoral reforms and call for new elections.

The resolution was approved by a vote of 25 of the 34 active members of the Organization of American States (Cuba belongs to the organization, but has not participated in it since 1962), and eight countries abstained, including Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia and Honduras. Nicaragua was the only country that voted against it.

Freedom of political prisoners

The initiative urges Ortega’s government to release “urgently and as a first measure” all “political prisoners” and accept the high-level mission of “good offices” that must be authorized by the organization’s permanent council.

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Ortega won on November 7 an election in which his political opponents did not participate because in previous months the authorities had dissolved three political parties and arrested more than thirty opposition leaders, including seven presidential candidates, including Christiana Chamorro.

In response, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, the organization’s most important political forum, approved a resolution asserting that these elections lack “democratic legitimacy” and are neither free, fair, nor transparent.

Immediately afterwards, Ortega’s government accused the OAS of “interfering” and announced that it intended to leave the organization, which denounced the OAS Charter, its founding document signed in 1948.

According to the body’s regulations, any country that denounces the OAS charter must wait two years for the withdrawal to take effect.

Nicaragua has been in crisis since the outbreak of the popular revolution in April 2018 due to controversial social security reforms which later became a demand for President Ortega’s resignation, as he responded forcefully.

The protests, which the executive branch has classified as an attempted coup, have killed at least 355 people, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), although local organizations have raised the number to 684 and the government recognizes 200.

mg (efe, Embassy of Canada in Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua)

Sacha Woodward

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