Nicaragua says it is closing OAS offices and expelling staff

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MEXICO CITY – The Nicaraguan government said on Sunday that it is closing down the Nicaraguan offices of the Organization of American States and expelling staff.

The announcement was the latest in a series of dozens of deportations or prisons carried out by the government of President Daniel Ortega. In March, Nicaragua suffered the humiliating criticism of the country’s own ambassador to the OAS, which criticized the arrests.

Ortega was elected for a fourth consecutive term in the November 7 election, which was widely criticized as a farce. Seven likely challengers to Ortega had been arrested and jailed in the months leading up to the election.

The OAS General Assembly voted to condemn the election, saying it was “not free, fair or transparent and lacks democratic legitimacy.”

In November, Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada announced that the Central American nation would withdraw from the OAS, complaining about what he called its “repeated interference” in Nicaragua.

On Sunday, Moncada accused the OAS of being a “diabolical instrument” of “intervention and dominance” of the United States.

“In light of this cruel, disastrous and false agency from the State Department of Yankee Imperialism, we also announce that from this day on we will abandon all the deceptive mechanisms of this monster, be it the Permanent Commission, Commissions, Meetings, and Summit of America,” he said. the government in a statement.

In March, Nicaragua’s OAS Ambassador, Arturo McFields, condemned his own government as a “dictatorship”.

McFields asked for a point of order during an online meeting of the OAS to discuss unrelated topics and began speaking on behalf of “more than 177 political prisoners and more than 350 people who have lost their lives in my country since 2018.”

“Condemning my country’s dictatorship is not easy, but to remain silent and defend what is indefensible is impossible,” said McFields, who until then had defended the Ortega government when it was criticized by members of the OAS.

The Ortega government later issued a statement saying McFields “does not represent us, so none of his statements are valid.” On Thursday, the Nicaraguan government said his appointment “was no longer valid.”

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