1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Nicaragua closes OAS office, expels staff

April 25, 2022

Nicaragua's decision came amid international condemnation of President Daniel Ortega's reelection, with the US and the European Union pressing him to hold fresh elections.

Nicaragua Foreign Minister Denis Moncada
'We will not take part in any of the entities of this diabolical instrument of evil called the OAS,' Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada saidImage: Juan Manuel Herrera/dpa/picture alliance

Nicaragua on Sunday said it had closed the local office of the Organization of American States (OAS), a US-based group that promotes solidarity and cooperation among countries in the Americas, and revoked the credentials of several of its staff.

Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada said in a statement that his country was "not a colony of anyone" and would no longer be a 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."

"We will not take part in any of the entities of this diabolical instrument of evil called the OAS," Moncada said.

President Daniel Ortega's government announced it would withdraw from the grouping shortly after Ortega was reelected to power in November 2021, accusing the collective of "repeated acts of meddling."

Nicaragua's decision to withdraw came amid international condemnation of Ortega's reelection, with the US and the European Union pressing Ortega to hold fresh elections since opposition leaders were squeezed out of the November electoral contest.

Nicaraguan ambassador to OAS criticizes President Ortega

The Nicaraguan ambassador to OAS turned against his country in March, saying at an online meeting of the grouping that he was speaking up on behalf of scores of political prisoners and those who had died since protests broke out against Ortega in 2018.

Ambassador Arturo McFields said that "denouncing the dictatorship" of his country was not easy for him.

"But to continue remaining silent and defending the indefensible, is impossible." 

McFields also announced he was resigning from the post, with the Nicaragian government later issuing a statement saying that McField's appointment was "no longer in effect" and he didn't represent the country. 

Ortega clamps down on opposition

On April 20, Nicaragua's parliament, controlled by allies of the president, shut down 25 non-governmental organizations, accusing them of financial fraudulence.

Most of the organizations have publicly criticized Ortega's government, and their closure intensifies accusations of a clampdown on critics of Ortega's government.

Authorities also detained a number of leaders who presented a challenge to Ortega's electoral contest last year, handing down recently an eight-year sentence to one of the most prominent opposition leaders. 

Ortega, who was sworn into office for his fourth consecutive term this January, has cracked down on opposition ever since protests against him sparked a political crisis in 2018.

rm/sri (Reuters, AP)