Ambassador Francisco O. Mora
March 29, 2023
Chair, colleagues, I want to first thank the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for its update and report today. While the United States is not subject to the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, we welcome the Court’s continued calls for the Government of Nicaragua to comply with Nicaragua’s international legal obligations.
As many have noted, Nicaragua remains a party to the American Convention on Human Rights and subject to the jurisdiction of the Court.
Colleagues, all instruments of the Inter-American system have put pressure on the regime in Nicaragua to take action to protect the human rights of Nicaraguans and return the county to a path to democracy. The Court, the Commission, the OAS Secretariat and member states — all agree that Nicaragua remains on the wrong path and that lives have been forever scarred.
I would also like to thank Ms. Tamara Dávila for her participation today. These real-life testimonies such as Ms. Dávila’s add an additional urgency to our work here at the OAS.
It goes without saying that it is extremely disheartening to hear these stories of hardship. Ms. Dávila’s deep personal sacrifice to her country is an important reminder of what is at stake in Nicaragua. She went many years without seeing her family, including her young daughter.
Yet, Ms. Dávila and all the other political prisoners, despite spending years in prison, losing contact with their families, and now being stripped of their citizenship, have never lost their resolve. Their commitment to democracy and human rights in their country is unwavering. We know that all the freed political prisoners will not stop until democracy returns to their country.
We hear your voices and will continue to work in the OAS to bring more pressure to bear on the regime. While we are delighted that 222 freed political prisoners were released to the United States and, of course, believe the decision of the Nicaraguan government to release them was positive and welcome, it did not resolve our underlying concerns about the deterioration of respect for human rights and the rule of law there.
In fact, the decision of the government of Nicaragua to revoke the citizenship of these political prisoners negates almost any goodwill this release may have generated by the Ortega-Murillo regime.
As we all know, under Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all individuals have a right to a nationality, and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of such nationality.
In the end, this decision just reinforces that we must not lose our determination and vigor to find a path for democracy and respect for human rights in Nicaragua.
We will continue to demand additional steps by the Government of Nicaragua, including at the OAS, to restore civil liberties and the proper functioning of Nicaragua’s democratic institutions and hope other democratic governments will demand the same.
The United States remains ready to continue our work at the OAS and through the Nicaragua working group on additional steps to improve the situation of the Nicaraguan people.
Again, we thank the Court for this report. We believe the Court and the Commission are vital to the on-going struggle to ensure that the human rights of Nicaraguans are protected, and they are not forgotten.