PANAMA CITY— The general elections held November 7, 2021 in Nicaragua have greatly aggravated the crisis affecting that country. “Let’s not allow Ortega to consolidate his dictatorship” is the title of the Declaration signed by four ex-presidents along with the Secretary-General of International IDEA with the conviction that has always guided them when making statements in defense of democracy in the region. They are: Fernando Henrique Cardoso, president of Brazil 1995-2003; Laura Chinchilla, president of Costa Rica 2010-2014; Ricardo Lagos, president of Chile 2000-2006; Juan Manuel Santos, president of Colombia 2010-2018; and Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary General of International IDEA.
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The period leading up to the elections was marked by the violation of citizens rights to elect their authorities freely and democratically. What happened is grave both for the future of the Nicaraguan people and for the rest of Latin America.
The result was expected: the illegitimate re-election of Daniel Ortega for a fourth consecutive term and his intention to perpetuate himself in power indefinitely. His election was accompanied by the tightly controlled election of the vice-president, the 90 members of the National Assembly, and the 20 members of the Central American Parliament.
We must recall the applicability of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which the entire hemisphere adopted 20 years ago to ensure the legitimacy of democracy in our region.
Some of the proposals made in the Declaration are:
- Further the international isolation of the regime, including suspending Nicaragua from the OAS by applying Article 21 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
- Make an appeal to all the governments of the region to take on the seriousness of these events and to instruct their foreign ministries to make the situation in Nicaragua a priority issue at the next General Assembly of the OAS.
- Demand the immediate release of all political prisoners, the full observance of human rights, the end of the police state, the reestablishment of the constitutional order, and the urgent resumption of negotiations to seek a peaceful solution to the crisis.
- Suspend all programs or negotiations in international and national financial institutions until there is a return of the minimum conditions for rule by democratic institutions in Nicaragua.
Forty years ago the people of Nicaragua embarked upon the path to build democracy after long years under an extreme oppressive dictatorship. Today those dreams have been suffocated by a ruler who, installed in power, had taken that same path but who is keeping his people from electing, in a fully free manner, their own future. The people and governments of Latin America cannot be indifferent to the current situation in Nicaragua.
This Declaration is made in the context of the appeal to take good care of democracy in Latin America that the Fernando Henrique Cardoso Foundation (Fundação FHC), the Fundación Democracia y Desarrollo, and International IDEA issued in 2020.
One can access the full Declaration here: Read Statement
Contacts for the press
To request information please contact Alistair Scrutton, director of communications, International IDEA: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel: 00 46 707 211098
For more information on the intergovernmental organization International IDEA: IDEA Internacional de un vistazo