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Nicaragua decides to leave OAS

November 19, 2021

The Organization of American States (OAS), along with the EU, discredited Daniel Ortega's election victory on November 7. The vote was highly criticized by the international community as a "sham" vote.

A man walks past a mural of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega during general elections in Managua, Nicaragua
A man walks past a mural of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega during general elections Image: Andres Nunes/ASSOCIATED PRESS/picture alliance

Nicaragua on Friday started the process of withdrawing from the Organization of American States after its criticism of recent elections.

Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada accused the regional bloc of "facilitating the hegemony of the United States with its interventionism over the countries of Latin America."

What did Nicaragua say?

Moncada told reporters he had sent an "official communication" to OAS General Secretary Luis Almagro signalling Nicaragua's departure from the 35-member organization.

He branded the OAS as "a diplomatic political forum that was born under the influence of the United States as an instrument of interference and intervention."

The Nicaraguan foreign minister said the OAS had been involved in "repeated acts of meddling" in his country.

Moncada added that for Nicaragua this is "unacceptable, we reject and condemn it."

Supporters of Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega and vice presidential candidate, his wife, Rosario Murillo, hold up a flag of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) while celebrating after preliminary results showed Ortega is expected to be re-elected, at Victoria Square in Managua
Supporters of Daniel Ortega celebrate his fifth term as president on November 7Image: Oswaldo Rivas/AFP/Getty Images

Why did the OAS hit out at Nicaragua?

Nicaragua's decision comes after the 51st OAS General Assembly, in a resolution approved last Friday, said elections held on November 7 "were not free, fair or transparent and do not have any democratic legitimacy."

Security forces imprisoned seven potential opposition candidates and banned three political parties from the polls. It was part of a nationwide crackdown of dissidents to quell popular discontent.

The campaign permitted Daniel Ortega to be re-elected for a fifth term along with his wife Rosario Murillo as vice-president.

US President Joe Biden responded by banning Ortega and country officials entry to the United States, dubbing the election a "sham."

The European Union also rejected the elections while Bolivia, North Korea, Iran, Palestine, Russia, Syria, Venezuela and Vietnam congratulated him for the win.

jc/rs (EFE, Reuters, AFP, AP)