News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. July 19, 2018: The permanent representative of the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday voting against an Organization of American States, (OAS), resolution condemning acts of violence in Nicaragua and calling on all sides to participate in a National Dialogue.
The OAS resolution specifically condemned “the attacks on clergy, the harassment of Roman Catholic bishops engaged in the National Dialogue process, the acts of violence at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN), the headquarters of CARITAS and other peaceful protesters.”
The document, presented by the delegations of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and the United States, also urged the government of Nicaragua and all other actors “to participate actively and in good faith in the National Dialogue as a mechanism to generate peaceful and sustainable solutions to the situation unfolding in Nicaragua, and for the strengthening of democracy in that country.”
And it urged the Government of Nicaragua “to support an electoral calendar jointly agreed to in the context of the National Dialogue process.”
The resolution was approved with 21 votes in favor – Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, United States, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, The Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines joined Venezuela and Nicaragua in Nicaragua in the no-vote while El Salvador, Grenada, Haiti, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Belize abstained from voting.
The representatives from Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Bolivia were absent at the meeting as the Permanent Council also rejected a proposed resolution presented by Nicaragua which included a call for National Dialogue but also urged the international community, specifically the Latin American and Caribbean countries, to respect the self-determination of the State of Nicaragua so that peace and security can be restored without any type of interference.
That proposal received support from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela as well.
The vote came as the government says the Nicaraguan city of Masaya, which has been at the center of anti-government protests, is back under state control.
The announcement came after forces loyal to Ortega violently clashed with activists in the Monimbó neighborhood on Tuesday.
Residents described coming “under siege” from police and paramilitaries.
Human rights groups say the number of people killed in three months of anti-government protests now exceeds 300.