San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nicaragua withdraws from OAS defense treaty

TIQUIPAYA, Bolivia – Nicaraguan officials announced Wednesday that the country is withdrawing – along with Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador – from a regional defense treaty dating back to the Cold War.

The treaty calls for Organization of American States (OAS ) members to defend each other if attacked by an outside party.

“Our countries have made the decision to bury what deserves to be buried, to throw into the trash what is no longer useful,” Ricardo Patiño, Ecuador’s foreign minister, said in reference to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance.

The treaty, created in 1947 under U.S. leadership at the start of the Cold War, was considered an important tool for the United States, which was able to exert influence on Latin America until the 1980s.

The pullout was announced at a meeting between members of the OAS in Bolivia. The four countries exiting the treaty have taken issue with the OAS’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. They accused the commission of being too close to the U.S.

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