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    NewsLatin AmericaColombia says that it did not appear at the OAS session on Nicaragua for "strategic" and not "ideological" reasons

    Colombia says that it did not appear at the OAS session on Nicaragua for “strategic” and not “ideological” reasons

    Colombian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva participates in the meeting of foreign ministers of the Andean Community of Nations, in Lima, on August 29, 2022.Paolo Aguilar (EFE)

    The Colombian Foreign Ministry has tried to explain why the country was deliberately absent from the OAS session in which a resolution condemning the Nicaraguan regime was to be voted on on August 12. Two days after controversy and speculation, after learning that it was a voluntary decision, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has assured in a statement that Colombia’s absence from the aforementioned meeting was due to strategic and humanitarian reasons, not ideological ones. “The window of opportunity for a major humanitarian action in Nicaragua coincided with the vote that day,” says the document, without much more detail. “The new Government of Colombia promotes and defends human rights both in the country and abroad,” adds the communication signed by the Foreign Minister, Alvaro Leyva.

    The confirmation that Colombia had decided not to attend or speak out against the Ortega regime of its own free will was made known thanks to an investigation by Snail News. “Diplomatic silence was kept because we could not make public the international negotiations that were being carried out before obtaining a result,” the Foreign Ministry said today. The lack of explanations from the government, which barely made a statement this Tuesday, two days after the news was known, was an opportunity that the opposition, led by the Democratic Center, took advantage of to announce that it will call the chancellor, Alvaro Leyva, to a motion of censure. “The absence of the Colombian delegate to the OAS, at the instruction of the foreign minister, vindicates the anti-democratic practices and human rights violations that the dictatorship has committed in Nicaragua,” the Democratic Center said in a statement. Less than a month after its inauguration, the new Government faces its first face-to-face in Congress.

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    Criticism of Colombia’s silence against the Daniel Ortega regime has appeared from all sides. Some government parties have rejected the chancellor’s attitude and the local press has devoted editorials to him demanding an explanation. Are we facing a diplomatic change that does not take a dim view of the horrors that occur in Nicaragua and in other countries in the region?, he asked this Tuesday The viewer. “While President Petro rushes to sign a letter intervening in the judicial process against Cristina Fernandez in Argentina, his silence on Nicaragua speaks with distressing eloquence. Is it worth intervening in the internal affairs of some countries, but not others? With what criteria? Do the murders of students in Nicaragua not deserve a protest?” the newspaper questioned.

    “The government messed it up,” says Mauricio Jaramillo Jassir, professor of political science at the Universidad del Rosario. “Evoke some confidential reasons [para no haber asistido a la sesion] and that, from the outset, is a mistake because in foreign policy, except in security issues, there should be no issues closed to public opinion,” says Jaramillo, who believes that Colombia’s position with Nicaragua is due, more than to a question ideological, to a strategy to pave the way towards a negotiation in the historic dispute it has with that country, in which the Raizal and Palenquera community is in the middle.

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    Nicaragua seeks with a demand to expand its continental shelf beyond what is established by international law. Colombia has argued before the International Court of Justice that the Raizal community cannot continue to be denied fishing or mobilization through the waters that, until the two countries entered into a territorial dispute, they had used. During a visit to San Andres a week ago, Leyva referred to the concern of the Raizales who live in the middle of the dispute. “This is one of the arguments that we are going to take as a novelty to the International Court of Justice. There are new arguments to review a little what is happening, “said the foreign minister after a meeting with the Raizal people.

    Jaramillo doubts that the motion of censure against the foreign minister will prosper. “The opposition’s arguments are very weak,” he notes. In addition, since the 1991 Constitution created that figure in Colombia, no motion has prospered. Only in cases of extreme political fragility have governments come close to succeeding, although ministers tend to resign sooner. This is what happened in 2019, when Guillermo Botero resigned from the Defense portfolio after then-Senator Roy Barreras revealed that the minister had hidden the death of eight children in a military bombing.

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    Angelica Rodriguez, professor and researcher at Uninorte, believes that the Foreign Ministry’s statement leaves many unresolved questions, but it is consistent with the steps that Colombia has taken in its relationship with Nicaragua. “The first sign was the appointment of the ambassador in Managua, Leon Fredy Munoz, as an important part of the beginning of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, broken by former President Ivan Duque after the re-election of Ortega to power,” recalls Rodriguez, who points out as a The humanitarian work under which Colombia excuses itself for not having attended the meeting at the OAS remains unknown. “An atmosphere of discomfort and distrust has been generated by not being clear about the reasons that led the Government to absent itself. The world is watching the performance of the new government with a magnifying glass”, she points out.

    In the first debate of political control in Congress of a Petro official, the opposition will take the opportunity to reiterate its criticism and reproach the new Colombian diplomacy, which this Monday, with the arrival of Armando Benedetti as ambassador to Caracas, has begun to go through a path towards the normalization of relations with Venezuela.

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    Source: EL PAIS


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