The IACHR includes Nicaragua on its black list and maintains Cuba and Venezuela

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced Thursday that Nicaragua is on its “black list” due to the “de facto” installation of a state of emergency with the abuse of force, the imprisonment of dissident voices and the closure of the media.

This is the first time in 25 years that Nicaragua appears in Chapter IV of the IACHR’s annual report, which this time refers to 2018 and each year names the states of the American continent where respect for human rights deserves the “special attention” of the Washington-based organization.

In statements to Efe, Antonia Urrejola, Nicaragua’s IACHR rapporteur, explained that the establishment of this state of exceptionality “de facto” has been considered by the organization as a “determining element” to incorporate the Central American country to the “black list”.

“The grave human rights crisis (…) has lasted more than eight months due to the de facto installation of a state of emergency characterized by the abusive exercise of public force.

“The serious human rights crisis that the country is going through has extended for more than eight months due to the de facto installation of a state of exception characterized by the abusive exercise of public force to repress dissident voices against the government,” Urrejola said.

The Nicaraguan executive was also pointed out by the IACHR due to the “massive, systematic and serious repressive state response against the population” from the protests that began last April against the president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, and that have left 325 dead, according to the agency itself.

According to the document, the Nicaraguan government has rejected the report because it considers it to be unscrupulous and politicized and, furthermore, assured that it reflects “destabilizing political interests against the State of Nicaragua,” whose president considers the protests an attempt at a “coup d’état” orchestrated by Washington.

Nicaragua was last placed on the “black list” in the 1993 report, after having been included in that list every year since 1982.

With respect to Venezuela, which has been on the list every year since 2005, the IACHR asserts that the “structural” conditions affecting the rights of Venezuelans have “worsened” and have led to “a serious political, social, and economic crisis, to the point where there is currently an absence of the rule of law.

The Commission referred to the elections held last May, won by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and whose results were not recognized by the opposition, which led the president of Parliament, Juan Guaidó, to proclaim himself head of state on January 23.

The IACHR did not mention Guaidó because the report refers to 2018, but affirms that “the way” in which the May elections were held “deepened the institutional crisis”.

The IACHR did not mention Guaidó because the report refers to 2018, but affirms that “the way” in which the May elections were held “deepened the institutional crisis.

The agency urged the Venezuelan state to “re-establish constitutional order,” to release those detained for exercising their right to protest and to avoid “illegal or arbitrary detentions,” as well as to take the necessary measures to guarantee access to food and medicine.

On Cuba, in the list every year since 1984, the IACHR warns of “arbitrary restrictions” on the right to vote and freedom of expression, as well as “violations” of due process.

Specifically, the IACHR believes that the process of debating the new Cuban Constitution suffered “serious flaws” and questioned the process that led to the appointment of Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who replaced Raul Castro in April 2018.

The Cuban Executive was the only one that did not respond since it does not recognize the competence of the IACHR because it depends on the OAS.

In this regard, the agency said that “during the development of the electoral process” that led to the election of Diaz-Canel “was observed the persistence of conditions that prevent the genuine political participation of various sectors of society.

The governments of Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba know that they have been included in Chapter IV since late January, when the IACHR sent them the draft report for comments.

The Cuban Executive was the only one who did not respond since it does not recognize the competence of the IACHR because it depends on the OAS, which Cuba refuses to reinstate because it considers that the organization is an instrument of U.S. imperialism to influence Latin America.

Cuba was suspended from the OAS in 1962 after the triumph of the revolution led by Fidel Castro and, although the organization lifted that suspension in 2009, the island refused to return.

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