Nicaragua’s withdrawal from the Organization of American States (OAS), requested by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, means that the country “is shutting off itself from the international system,” which generates “lack of legitimacy, because it becomes an unreliable state” for multilateral organizations, warned the international affairs analyst and professor at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), Carlos Murillo.
That decision, in which the regime acted before the analysis on suspension of the OAS which “took a long time,” sends the message that Nicaragua “may at any time make the decision to withdraw from any other international organization, including the international financial institutions,” Murillo indicated.
In an interview on the Esta Noche program -broadcast on Facebook and YouTube due to the censorship of the Ortega regime-, the academic stated that an example of the repercussions is the decision of the majority of member countries to suspend the inauguration of the new headquarters of the Central America Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) in Managua, scheduled for December 15.
Murillo believes the withdrawal from the OAS could mean “the suspension of loans from financing and cooperation programs by financial entities such as CABEI” and “without a doubt, similar decisions will follow from the IDB, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank for fear of precisely that conduct, contrary to international order.”
Dubious progress at the OAS
Regarding the decision of the members of the OAS Permanent Council who opted for “more diplomatic efforts,” which could include the creation of a high-level commission to visit the country, the analyst said this path should be exhausted “before thinking about sanctions, be they diplomatic, political or economic.”
However, he mentioned that “the time is very limited” to establish that commission before the inauguration of Ortega and Murillo on January 10 because “once the transfer of power is made, there will be no going back.”
“Beyond what could be done in the diplomatic sphere, the end of the year always tends to paralyze all political and diplomatic processes (…) so the time for the Permanent Council to make decisions is too short to expect that they will make any progress,” he lamented.
During the virtual meeting last Monday, the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, urged the international community to continue pressuring Ortega, so that Nicaragua “can resume the path of democracy.”
Murillo noted that pressure could be extended beyond January 10 “from the perspective of the OAS,” however he doubts that the regime has the intention of accepting that initiative “because from the perspective of the regime, the electoral process was free, transparent, in accordance with Nicaraguan regulations and legitimate.”
Negotiations with the United States
The UCR professor stated that “Daniel Ortega has made his disposition to dialogue very clear, and that he will only do so with the United States, whom he has described as the owner of the circus” because he has disqualified the Nicaraguan opposition.
“There is very little space for any talks because the Ortega-Murillo regime is not interested in dialogue. It believes that Cuba and Venezuela can give it enough oxygen to continue subsisting as an authoritarian regime. However, that is not true because neither Cuba nor Venezuela have those resources,” he insisted.
Furthermore, he stated that the Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA) project “is a remembrance of when Venezuela could give hundreds of millions of dollars to countries of the region.” “Thus, it would have practically only one important partner left, which is Russia, but that does not guarantee enough resources either,” he said.
During the extraordinary session of the Permanent Council on November 29, the deputy representative of Nicaragua to the OAS, Michael Campbell, assured that the decision to withdraw from the organization is “irrevocable” and accused the organization of being a “manufacturer of interferences and disputes, to the detriment of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.” The withdrawal, however, will not become effective until November 2023, since the process lasts two years.
Murillo explained that during that time Nicaragua “has to fulfill all its commitments pertaining to the OAS,” but foresees “a complex diplomatic limbo” in which the regime will insist that it no longer belongs to the organization.
In that sense, the international analyst pointed out that “what has been largely avoided so far” may occur, which is “to move to economic sanctions against Nicaragua, not against the regime and its members, including the presidential family, but against Nicaragua.”
This could cause “suspension of international credits that have already been approved for development projects or the exclusion of some international cooperation schemes” so that the Ortega-Murillo regime may be “forced to suspend some social assistance programs,” which benefit a portion of the Nicaraguan population.
This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times