Canada calls for substantial national dialogue in Nicaragua | The most important news and analysis from Latin America | D.W.

The Government of Canada asked this Monday (13.12.2021) that of Nicaragua to hold a “substantive national dialogue” to overcome the socio-political crisis that the Central American country has been going through since April 2018, to allow the entry of a international mission of human rights defenders and free the so-called “political prisoners”.

“Canada continues to call for the return of international human rights observers and the establishment of a substantive national dialogue,” said the Embassy of Canada to Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua, based in San José, through messages on Twitter.

The diplomatic delegation recalled that on November 8, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly declared that the general elections in Nicaragua, in which President Daniel Ortega was re-elected for a fifth five-year term and a fourth consecutive, with its main suitors in prison, “did not reflect the will of the Nicaraguan people”.

In its message, Canada expressed its solidarity “with all human rights defenders, calling 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 to enter the Central American country to start a dialogue on electoral reforms and the calling of new elections. .

The resolution was approved with the vote in favor of 25 of the 34 active members of the OAS (Cuba belongs to the organization, but has not participated since 1962), eight countries abstained, including Mexico, l Argentina, Bolivia and Honduras, while Nicaragua was the only one to vote against.

Freedom for political prisoners

The initiative urges the Ortega government to release “as a matter of urgency and as a first step” all “political prisoners” and to accept a high-level “good offices” mission which must be authorized by the organization’s Permanent Council .

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

In response, the OAS General Assembly, the organization’s most important political forum, passed a resolution saying the elections lacked “democratic legitimacy” and were neither free, fair, nor transparent.

Immediately afterwards, the Ortega government accused the OAS of “interference” and announced its intention to leave the organization, for which it denounced the Charter of the OAS, its founding document signed in 1948.

According to the organization’s regulations, any country that denounces the OAS Charter must wait two years for the withdrawal to become effective.

Nicaragua has been going through a crisis since the popular revolt that broke out in April 2018 over controversial social security reforms and which later became a demand for the resignation of President Ortega, as he responded forcefully.

The demonstrations, described by the executive as a coup attempt, left at least 355 people dead, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), although local organizations put the figure at 684 and the government recognizes 200.

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

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