Luis Almagro Calls for Foreign Intervention in Nicaragua Again

“We have an opportunity to work alongside each other against authoritarian regimes,” the OAS secretary general said.

Even over the holidays things didn’t calm down for Nicaragua. During the break the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, has tried to begin proceedings against Nicaragua under the Inter-American Decmocratic Charter. He cited Article 20 of the Charter, which states it can be activated when a “member state produces an alteration in the constitutional order that seriously harms democratic order” (see here for a typical report on the story, which was taken from Associated Press coverage).

Nicaragua’s Foreign Minister Denis Moncada responded immediately, writing to his fellow ministers in the OAS. He said: “The Inter-American Democratic Charter does not empower Secretary General Luis Almagro to support coup groups against the State and the legally constituted Government of Nicaragua, as Luis Almagro has done in violation of the Charter of the OAS.”

A full radio interview with Denis Moncada is available here on a U.S. public radio station.

The aim of the move by Almagro is not to expel Nicaragua from the OAS (though that is possible), but to speed up the sanctions against Nicaragua proposed by the United States in the recently signed off NICA Act.

Nicaragua clashed with Almagro earlier this autumn, when the OAS secretary general called for military intervention in Venezuela. His remarks came days after U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (who has been the main cheerleader for the Nicaraguan opposition during the attempted coup) called for military action to remove President Maduro, and also called for the international community to “asphixiate the dictatorsip which is being installed in Nicaragua” (see here).

Almagro’s remarks were widely condemned, even as he tried to say he had been misquoted. However he still drew criticism for his increasingly hawkish views (see here for a response from the OAS Ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda – No Vigilante Action in the Americas).

The Nicaraguan opposition visited Washington this autumn after Almagro’s military intervention. Violeta Granera, an ex-vice presidential candidate with the PLI and a former minister in the Bolanos Government 2000-7, joined fellow Liberal Jose Pallais (a former deputy foreign minister during the Chamorro Government 1990-97) to lobby Alamagro to activate the Democratic Charter (see here).

The pair are no strangers to Almagro, or indeed in calling for the activation of the Democratic Charter. In 2016, three days before the presidential elections which Daniel Ortega won with over 70 percent of the vote, the pair travelled to Washington to meet with Almagro. On his return Jose Pallais said their dialogue with the OAS was “the first step before the activation’ of the Democratic Charter” (see here).

The OAS meeting will take place next week. Almagro’s call can expect support from Trump’s United States and the Brazilian government led by President Jair Bolsonaro, widely described as a fascist. The U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, travelled to Brazil on January 2 to attend Bolsanaro’s inauguration.

Their agenda, and indeed the agenda of Almagro, is clear. Pompeo said Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua were countries that do not share the democratic values that unite the United States and Brazil. “We have an opportunity to work alongside each other against authoritarian regimes,” he said at a news conference (see here).

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Nicaragua's FM Continues Diplomatic Visit to the Caribbean

Saint John, Jan 4 (Prensa Latina) Nicaragua's Foreign Minister, Denis Moncada, is continuing Friday his diplomatic visit to the Caribbean with high-level meetings in Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The visit will conclude on Saturday, January 5, and will include six other countries in the region.

Moncada visited Haiti on Thursday and talked with his counterpart, Bocchit Edmond, about issues of interest between both governments.

During his brief stay in Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the FM will talk to Prime Ministers Gaston Browne and Ralph Gonzalves, respectively, official sources said.

The other countries to visit are Grenada, Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis and include high-level diplomatic meetings to discuss mutually beneficial matters.

The Nicaraguan Foreign Minister will conclude the visit in Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday, where he will be hosted by his counterpart, Denis Moses.

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Nicaragua Brands as Illegal Attempts to Apply OAS Democratic Charter

Managua, Jan 3 (Prensa Latina) Nicaragua has accused OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro of illegally maneuvering to attempt to apply the organization''s Democratic Charter to this Central American nation.

In a letter to his Latin American and Caribbean peers, Nicaragua's Foreign Minister Denis Moncada has denounced Almagro's moves to promote the application of article 20 of the charter against a constitutional and legally-elected government 'are unprecedented, illegal, without legal basis and contravenes the very same Inter-American Democratic Charter and the Charter of the Organization of American States'.

Moncada recalls the Democratic Charter was conceived as a means of restoring democratically elected governments and a mechanism against coup d'état and the deposition by force of democratically elected leaders. And stressed this is not the case of Nicaragua.

In Nicaragua, the democratically elected legitimate authority is the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity, led by President Daniel Ortega, underlines the Foreign Minister.

It was elected in 2016, for the period 2017-2021, with the favorable vote of 72.44 percent of Nicaraguan voters, through free universal and internationally supervised voting, and enjoys the recognition of the international community, the letter adds.

The FM further emphasizes the Democratic Charter is respectful of the principles of non-intervention, sovereignty, self-determination and the prior consent of the affected government to activate it.

'These requirements are being illegally, maliciously and perversely ignored by Secretary General Luis Almagro against the people of Nicaragua and their democratic, legal and legitimate government,' Moncada insists.

The Nicaraguan Government asserts the OAS Secretary General 'is not authorized under the current circumstances of our country to request the immediate and urgent convening of the Permanent Council based on Article 20 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.'

It also calls on OAS Member States 'not to allow or support these unfounded actions that affect peace, stability and friendly cooperation between our peoples and governments.'

Minister Moncada recalls that as of April 2018, opposition sectors, sponsored and financed from abroad, launched a series of acts of terrorism through assassinations, kidnappings, torture, damage and burning of public and private property, obstruction and destruction of roads and highways.

All with the purpose -he adds- of destroying the constitutional order of the country, causing a rupture of the democratic order to force a de-facto change of government, constituting this an attempted coup d'état that affected peace, security and the stability of the Nicaraguan people.

Such actions have been neutralized by the government of Nicaragua, that continues to function normally, Moncada assures.

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2019 Starts with Intense Exchange between Cuba and Nicaragua

Managua, Jan 1 (Prensa Latina) The year of 2019 has started with an intense exchange between Cuba and Nicaragua, a stage that will undoubtedly strengthen bilateral relations even more, Cuban Ambassador to Nicaragua Juan Carlos Hernandez said.

In January, the head of the Nicaraguan Institute of Culture, Luis Morales, will participate in the event For the balance of the World, which will take place in Havana; while young people from Nicaragua will be part of the 1st Central American Solidarity Brigade with Cuba, the diplomat added.

We know about the attendance of prestigious professionals from education at Pedagogy 2019, scheduled from February 4 to 8 at Havana's Convention Center, Hernandez pointed out. Another action is the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, a series of tributes coordinated by the Presidency of the Republic, with the direct participation of President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo, the ambassador noted.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on Monday, the Sandinista leaders sent a message of congratulations to the Cuban government and people, reiterated hours later by President Ortega in his televised message to the entire country for the end of the year.

Special ties unite us with Nicaragua, explained the Cuban diplomat, not only the permanent solidarity since the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution, but they go back to the 19th century, in times of Jose Marti and Ruben Dario, two exceptional men who were treated with great respect. When Nicaragua was shaken by an earthquake in 1972, Cuba offered its selfless help although Nicaragua was ruled by Dictator Somoza, the same who sold arms to Fulgencio Batista's regime and lent its territory as a base of operations for the mercenary invasion on Bay of Pigs (Playa Giron) in 1961.

The benefits of such important relationship, said Hernandez, are evident in more than 1,200 Nicaraguans who have graduated from the Latin American School of Medicine, and professionals graduated from other Cuban universities in several specialties. We must not forget that the support provided by Cuban personnel to the National Literacy Crusade after the triumph of the Revolution in 1979 was crucial, also after the return of Sandinismo to power in 2007 with the methods Yes I Can and I Can Follow, recalled the Cuban diplomat.

Finally, he recalled Operation Miracle, which gave back vision to millions of people in Nicaragua and other countries around the world.

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Nicaragua Rejects US Congressional Passage of NICA Act

The US Congress approved the Nica Act that will now go to President Donald Trump's desk to sign.

The United States Congress (U.S.) approved Tuesday the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act (Nica Act) which seeks to sanction the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

RELATED US: Nicaragua is An 'Enemy to Regional Stability', 'Extraordinary Threat to National Security'

After the approval of Congress, U.S. President Donald Trump has a period of ten days to sign and formalize the law for the sanctions to come into effect. It's largely expected that he will sign considering he signed an executive order in November personally sanctioning members of the Ortega's government.

With the Nica Act the U.S. government will put restrictions on loans from international financial institutions destined for Nicaragua.

Upon passing the law,  President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua rejected it as an interventionist law seeking to harm the economy of the Central American country. It was also rejected in a large part by the Nicaraguan people, who consider it to be detrimental to Nicaragua's democracy, according to a survey by M & R Consultores.

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Cuba Condemns US Sanctions against Nicaragua

Cuba on Thursday condemned the sanctions announced this week by the United States against Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo and National Security Adviser Nestor Moncada, measures that Havana described as interventionist.

'These actions are part of the traditional interventionist and interventionist policy by the United States against that brother country, and express once again that government's will to revive the Monroe Doctrine,' Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra told reporters in Havana.

The official repeated Cuba's rejection of the use of unilateral coercive measures and ratified the invariable solidarity with the Nicaraguan government and people, President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Murillo.

On Tuesday, the United States announced the sanctions that establish the freezing of property, a hostile position that was also condemned by the governments of Venezuela and Bolivia.

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Ortega Warns of US Military Intervention, Open to Meeting Trump

In an interview to be aired Monday night, Nicaraguan President Ortega says he will talk to U.S. President Trump, but wants U.S. government out of Nicaraguan affairs.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega says he is open to meeting U.S. leader Donald Trump at the United Nations Security Council meeting this month despite the fact that he feels “under threat” from the country’s military amid interventionist comments and actions from the U.S., along with other regional right-wing governments.

RELATED: Nicaragua: 'Scientific American Should Try Sticking to Science'

In an exclusive interview taped on Sunday night, Ortega told France 24 TV, "We are under threat. We can't rule out anything out as far as the U.S. is concerned. We can't rule out a military intervention," added the Nicaraguan head of state during the interview to be aired on Monday night.

U.S. government officials have not responded to Ortega’s comments, but the United States government is moving forward to apply the Nica Act (Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act) passed in October 2017 to slap sanctions on the Central American country much like it has on Venezuela.

However, Ortega said that if given the chance, he would meet with President Trump at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) scheduled to take place in New York City starting Sept. 24.

"The idea of having a dialogue with a power like the U.S. is necessary," said Ortega, and that going to the UNGA summit, "could be an opportunity (to meet Trump). ... I'd like to go."

The Nicaraguan president added, “I don’t think that Nicaragua is on President Trump's agenda,” in terms of trying to overthrow his government in a soft-coup. He says those ambitions, “have their roots in Florida,” referring to right-wing business leaders and politicians within the state with strong ties to the Central American country.

Last week, the United States ambassador to the U.N. Security Council, Nikki Haley, pushed to include Nicaragua and Venezuela on the September meeting agenda, despite not having a 15-member consensus. China, Russia, Bolivia, and Ethiopia rejected the proposal saying the two Latin American countries don’t pose an international security threat.

Though he expressed interest in talking with Trump during the interview, Ortega added that if the United States wants to “contribute to peace, stability in Nicaragua and the region, they simply have to be respectful of the decisions that Nicaraguans make and not be conspiring against governments that are not enemies of the US. We are enemies of submitting ourselves to U.S. policies," said Ortega, reiterating again that the U.S. should "not mess with Nicaragua."

RELATED: 
Nicaragua: Sandinistas Demand Justice, Ortega Slams UN

The U.S. government has long sought to suppress Ortega who first came to power in 1979 as part of a Marxist junta overthrowing the Somoza dictatorship. Voted in several times as president for the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) party, Ortega has implemented a slew of social welfare programs, including land redistribution, and greater access to health and education.

Between April and August of this year, 270 people died and over 2,100 were injured during major national protests in Nicaragua, according to Nicaragua's Commission for Truth, Peace and Justice. Demonstrations initially began over state plans to increase social security contributions in order to bridge a budget deficit. Those demonstrations were quickly co-opted by violent opposition groups demanding Ortega's resignation.

When asked by France 24 TV about the stalled peace talks in his country, the FSLN leader responded that “an attempt was mad; it simply did not work," but added that he wants to restart dialogue with opposition leaders and had approached Spain and Germany to help play a role. For the moment, said the president, the dialogue is "in the community, in the neighborhood, among the population ... among the people."

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Nicaragua Sets in 197 those Killed by Coup Plotting Terrorism

The Nicaraguan government confirmed today that 197 people died from April 19 to July 25 as a result of an attempted coup, and denounced the manipulations with political purposes raised in that context.

When a detailed report on the fatalities was made public during the press conference, Foreign Minister Denis Moncada clarified that 253 more lives were truncated as a result of common criminal activity, traffic accidents and other causes.

The Foreign Minister maintained that some human rights organizations and the media add up these deaths as if they had been all caused in the attempted coup d'état.

In that sense, he warned that those who are part of this manipulation are aimed to promote a greater perception of instability and insecurity to the detriment of the Nicaraguan government and people.

According to the report presented by the National Police, in coordination with the other branches of the state, 191 of the total number of victims referred as a result of violent events correspond to men and six to women.

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