The resolution of 25 nations in the Organization of American States (OAS) declaring that the Nicaraguan elections have no legitimacy and the abstention of seven other countries, shows the degree of isolation in which the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo finds itself, said former Costa Rican president, Luis Guillermo Solís.
The former president believes that the moment has come when not even his old allies can use old concepts such as being “leftist” or “socialism” as a justification when their aggression against the Nicaraguan people or the demolition of democracy in the country is evident.
“I think the isolation is growing. It seems to me that the Ortega and Murillo regime cannot hide behind a supposed ideological adherence that has allowed it, up to now, to have the support of certain parties and governments in our region,” said Solis, in an interview on the Esta Semana program, which was broadcasted online Sunday because of the regime’s censorship.
Recently two South American parties—the Chilean Communist Party, and the Brazilian Workers Party, to which the old labor leader and former president of that country Luis Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva is affiliated—retracted previous statements by other members of their organizations, supporting the electoral “triumph” of Ortega.
In the Chilean case, the presidential candidate of the alliance Apruebo Dignidad, Gabriel Boric, distanced himself from the support that a statement signed by the Communist Party gave to the “legitimacy” of Ortega, and indicated that it was a statement not consulted with other members and party sections.
Boric called on the Communist Party to recant and later the deputy of that party Camila Vallejo stated: “This statement was not discussed or resolved by the collective leadership of the party. We condemn human rights violations in Nicaragua, Chile and anywhere in the world.
What happened in Brazil is very similar: after a note was published on the website of the Workers’ Party saluting the “Nicaraguan elections” considering that they were “a great popular and democratic demonstration.” The party’s president, Gleise Hoffman, ordered the publication to be withdrawn, demonstrating the degree of isolation of the regime.
Both Boric and ‘Lula,’ are presidential candidates in their countries, and congratulating a dictatorship like that of Ortega and Murillo, opened a flank of criticism that their political rivals took advantage of.
Former president Solis thinks that “it is increasingly evident that socialism cannot become an accomplice of that failed election due to its appalling illegality, and that within these movements —or some of their leaders—, there is enough clarity to understand that it is a disfavor they are doing to progressive forces, who refuse to see in the Ortega regime what it really is: an atrocious autocracy that does a lot of damage not only to Nicaragua, but also to democracy and the democratic principles that many of these movements and parties say to, at least, invoke.”
In January 2019, after the brutal repression of the protests, the Council of the Socialist International (SI), meeting in the Dominican Republic, decided to expel the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), the Nicaraguan ruling party, for the violations of human rights and democratic values committed by the Ortega regime.
“Socialism is incompatible with tyranny,” the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) wrote in its international account.
Solis believes that an eventual suspension of Nicaragua in the OAS, would affect the country’s relationship with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), but also with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). “It seems to me that being as it is, it will be deplorable that the citizens of Nicaragua may be affected by resolutions that will undoubtedly affect public finances even more. It is a step that cannot be postponed or avoided.”
The former president acknowledges that the international community, led by the OAS, is doing what it has and can do, although that is probably not enough, as recent experience shows, especially when trying to effect the Venezuelan regime.
His opinion is that the OAS is doing the right thing, which is to implement the procedures and exhaust the protocols that go as far as the suspension of a country. Once that step has been completed -and Solis hopes that it will happen before the end of the month-, “it will be necessary to guarantee that international pressure is produced,” whether it leads to negotiations or the collapse of the regime and gives way to a true democracy.
“I would like to emphasize that the democratic opposition in Nicaragua has said that this transition must be peaceful, something that has been reiterated by all leaderships, all truly democratic parties in Nicaragua, and I think it is important to point that out,” he explained.
From his experience, Solis hopes that the mechanisms of diplomatic, political, and economic pressure will add up, “and if international solidarity and some sort of general will in the international system to accompany them are added, the result is that the regime has to give in.” Although he admits that this has not been so in other cases such as Venezuela, which he considers the most notorious in recent times.
In spite of everything, he hopes that the result will be different, considering that “Nicaragua is not Venezuela, and neither is the crude way in which the regime has mistreated the Nicaraguan people and the international community with the recent elections.
For this reason, Solis believes that “the effects, the impacts, can be important, or at least that is what we should expect. It is necessary to make the decisions that must be made and wait for the regime to yield without so much stubbornness…to the new conditions prevailing in the hemisphere.”
After Ortega’s statements, calling his political hostages “sons of bitches,” the former Costa Rican president believes that “very bad times await the political prisoners. We all feel not only outraged by those statements that made us fear for the lives of male and female political prisoners, because there are very brave women among those politicians, who are there suffering the regime’s assaults.”
In the process, he stresses that “Costa Rica has to play a leading role in the combined hemispheric efforts in favor of democracy,” not only because of the physical nearness of both nations, but also because of the sociological, cultural, and economic connection that exists. Although he warns that “there are objective limits to the country’s economy,” especially if 100,000 to 150,000 more people arrive, fleeing the dictatorship.
This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff