The abrupt decision of President Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista government to demand the removal from Nicaragua of Ambassador Pedro Vuskovic, the representative of the Organization of American States (OAS) to Nicaragua, is deepening concern about what is viewed as the increasing intolerance and anti-democratic tendencies of the Ortega administration.
Denis Moncada, Nicaragua’s ambassador to the OAS, sent a letter to the OAS secretary general on Sept. 10 calling for “the immediate removal” of Vuskovic, whom the Sandinistas accused of “repeated political meddling.”
Several hours before the Sandinistas demanded his ouster, Vuskovic agreed to meet with Nicaraguan-Italian Catholic missionary Alberto Boschi, a harsh critic of Ortega who was stripped of his Nicaraguan citizenship last June, allegedly as a retaliatory move by the Sandinista government (NT, July 2). Vuskovic agreed to meet Sept. 10 with Boschi, who has tried unsuccessfully to appeal his case in Nicaragua and wanted to make his allegations of political persecution known to the OAS, too. The Sandinistas responded immediately by demanding Vuskovic’s removal, apparently for agreeing to meet with Boschi.
Neither the Sandinistas nor the OAS have elaborated on the incident. The government’s silence has fanned opposition speculation that the move is part of a Sandinista ploy to prevent the OAS from acting as observers in next year’s presidential elections, in which Ortega is expected to seek re-election.
For more on this story, see the Sept. 17 print or digital edition of The Tico Times.