By Ismael Lopez
MANAGUA (Reuters) – Nicaragua said on Tuesday the state would take possession of the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Managua, two days after the Central American country exited the group and expelled some of its members.
“The attorney general’s office reports that the real estate that occupied the offices of the deplorable OAS – the despicable OAS – has been declared a public utility and will be passed on to the State of Nicaragua,” Vice President Rosario Murillo, wife of President Daniel Ortega, said at a daily news conference.
In a Monday letter from OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro to Permanent Council President Elizabeth Darius-Clarke, made public Tuesday, Almagro called the takeover “a flagrant violation of international law.”
Nicaragua said on Sunday it had completed its withdrawal from the OAS, drawing sharp criticism from the group, which said the decision violated international norms.
The same day, Nicaragua announced it had closed the OAS office, located in one of the most exclusive areas of the capital, and revoked the credentials of several OAS representatives in the country.
The OAS said Monday that Nicaragua had “illegitimately occupied” its office and called member states to a meeting in response.
“Never has this occurred even during the worst dictatorships in the region, including those Nicaragua has seen,” said Almagro in the letter.
Almagro called on the OAS Tuesday to discuss the expulsion in its next meeting Wednesday morning.
Nicaragua announced in November it would leave the OAS after the organization expressed concern over the fairness of Nicaragua’s election results in which President Daniel Ortega won a fourth consecutive term.
The OAS said Nicaragua’s exit could not go into effect until November 2023, two years later, per its statutes.
(Reporting by Ismael Lopez; Writing by Kylie Madry; editing by Richard Pullin and Kim COghill)