Detail of some plaques of the member countries of the Organization of American States, displayed during a regular session of the Permanent Council at the organization's headquarters in Washington, US, October 11, 2023. EFE/Lenin Nolly

OAS condemns Nicaraguan repression against universities and priests

Washington, Oct 11 (EFE).- The Organization of American States (OAS) on Wednesday condemned the repression by the government of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua against educational institutions and the Catholic Church, following the recent closures of universities and arrests of priests.

The Permanent Council of the Washington-based organization, from which Managua withdrew, unanimously approved a resolution rejecting the closure of the Central American University of Nicaragua and the Central American Institute of Business Administration decreed by the Nicaraguan government.

The member states also expressed concern over the arbitrary detention of priests, such as Bishop Rolando Álvarez, and the expulsion of dozens of Nicaraguan and foreign clergy from the country.

The OAS resolution urges the Ortega government to “respect and guarantee” freedom of thought, expression, religion and assembly, as well as the right to education and work.

The resolution also rejects “the repressive measures” taken by the Nicaraguan government against educational institutions and the Catholic Church that “affect their integrity and functioning” and “violate the international commitments” of the country.

In addition, the OAS called upon the universities of the member states to offer support to the teachers of the Nicaraguan educational institutions closed by Ortega.

Furthermore, it reiterates the call approved at the last OAS General Assembly for the American countries to “do everything possible to encourage” Ortega to “engage in dialogue at the highest level” in order to remedy the situation.

Nicaragua has been in a political and social crisis since the protests of 2018. But the situation has aggravated since President Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, were re-elected in 2021 in elections where a good part of the opposition was imprisoned. EFE