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  • Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada.

    Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada. | Photo: EFE

Published 5 January 2019

Denis Moncada argues that OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro’s intention in applying the Democratic Charter is unwarranted.

Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada has issued an open letter in Managua, addressing his Latin American counterparts and calling on them to not give in to new actions taken by the secretary general of the Organization of American States, the OAS.

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The letter from Moncada argues that the OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro’s intention in applying the Democratic Charter is unwarranted and contains no legal backing, even going against the very Inter­American Charter.

Moncada also stressed that the Democratic Charter’s purpose is to serve as an instrument to reinstate governments which have been democratically elected and to function as a mechanism against coups d’état.

“We alert member states and call on them not to support nor to allow these unfounded actions which affect peace, stability, and friendly cooperation among our peoples and governments.”

Nicaragua’s top diplomat added that according to the Charter, the OAS had the responsibility of “supporting the constitutional order and democracy in Nicaragua,” in relation to the violent protests that took place during 2018 in Nicaragua.

“Instead of undertaking this task, the secretary general of the OAS Luis Almagro opted for supporting terrorist forces, promoting the rupture of Nicaragua’s constitutional order, in an open violation of the law and of his obligations as the secretary general of the OAS,” the communique explained.

Secretary Almagro believes Nicaragua has refused to look for a democratic solution, based on dialogue, to the ongoing political crisis, which began last April. Almagro alleges that the only recourse to the Nicaraguan government pulling out the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is to apply the “trajectory” laid out in Article 20 of the Democratic Charter of the OAS.

Article 20 of the Charter authorizes any member state or the secretary general of the OAS to immediately invoke the body’s permanent council in case of an “alteration of the constitutional order which greatly affects its democratic order.” Following this step, the council would have to declare, by a simple majority consisting of at least 18 votes, that such an alteration has taken place. This action would then open the door to look for a diplomatic solution to such a situation.

If no diplomatic solution is found, then the application of Article 20 may lead to the implementation of Article 21 which would entirely suspend Nicaragua from the organization.

Left­leaning Latin American governments have shown their overwhelming solidarity for the Nicaraguan Government in the face of the secretary general’s decision and expressed their disapproval of what they believe to be an orchestrated attempt from the United States to influence Nicaragua’s fate.

Bolivian President Evo Morales said: “We reject that by the instruction of the empire and with coup intentions, the OAS intends to apply the Democratic Charter to Nicaragua.”

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza also criticized the move “to try to initiate a tendentious application of the Inter­American Democratic Charter to the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity of the Republic of Nicaragua.”

Recently, Almagro has been largely discredited as he was unanimously expelled from his party in Uruguay due to interventionist comments and attitudes against the Venezuelan government and others in Latin America.

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