Media Center

Press Release


  November 22, 2006

The Organization of American States (OAS) will continue to support the people and government of Nicaragua with the process of institutional strengthening underway in that country, Secretary General José Miguel Insulza today assured the visiting Nicaraguan President, Enrique Bolaños. Addressing a protocolary session of the Permanent Council in honor of the Nicaraguan leader, Insulza said the hemispheric organization would work with the country’s democratic authorities and with the new President in that endeavor.

Insulza praised President Bolaños for “doing more than anyone else to facilitate a positive end” to the political crisis that gripped the country in late 2004 and continued throughout 2005. “President Bolaños has been able to combine, in his government, the strength, dedication, flexibility and wisdom to emerge from a very difficult situation. In the process, he has done a great service not only to his country but to democracy throughout the Americas,” Insulza declared.

“We are very grateful for what President Bolaños has done. He is leaving his country in a much more solid position—economically and from the standpoint of its future—compared to the country he found when he took office several years ago,” Insulza said of Bolaños, who hands over the reins of government to President-elect Daniel Ortega on January 10.

President Bolaños thanked the Permanent Council for its solidarity and its steadfastness. He also thanked the Secretary General, the member state ambassadors, representatives and envoys to Nicaragua for helping to pull his country out of the institutional crisis it was facing. “We all found creative and empowering solutions rooted in the Inter-American Democratic Charter. The democratic system and the rule of law have been strengthened—and this is a victory for everyone,” Bolaños told the Permanent Council meeting, which was chaired by Trinidad and Tobago’s Permanent Representative, Ambassador Marina Valere.

“As countries still in the process of consolidating our democracy, we resort to the legal and political instruments available to our community of nations, in order to build democracy, legitimacy and the rule of law—all vital to helping our people live with dignity,” the Nicaraguan President went on to state. He recalled how his government had turned to the Central American Court of Justice and to the OAS “to thwart a technical coup d’état against the established political system.”

Noting his country had put to the test the legal instruments to preserve representative democracy, Bolaños said these urgently need to be revised to address new assaults on democracy, the rule of law and the freedom of citizens. “These new forms of conspiracy must be detected, examined and uncovered in order to prevent our system and values from coming into question,” the Nicaraguan leader suggested.

Turning to the economic success achieved during his presidency, Bolaños said he is handing the incoming government “a set table, ready to serve Nicaragua; I have paved the way for development. Over the last five years we have moved from negative to positive: the coffers are full; international reserves are at historically high levels, as are exports, tax revenues and the national budget.”

Bolaños told the Permanent Council that with the signing of a free trade agreement with the United States, a potential economic association agreement with the European Union now before the National Assembly, the signing of a trade agreement with Taiwan, Nicaragua’s competitiveness and its export platform are being bolstered. According to a recent World Bank report, Nicaragua provides “the best business climate in Central America because we have reduced bureaucracy and removed obstacles, and are thus considered the country that has made the most progress on the index of economic freedom,” President Bolaños said.

Underscoring the possibilities in today’s Nicaragua, Bolaños said that “as Nicaraguans we have constructed a vision and collectively charted a course as a nation, finding social consensus despite our differences—based on respect and tolerance, with no one feeling excluded.”

Later in the day, at a ceremony held at the Nicaraguan Embassy, President Bolaños honored the OAS Secretary General with the Rubén Darío Decoration, Grand Cross, for his dedicated service to Nicaragua and to the Americas, and in particular for his promotion of democratic values.

Reference: E-250/06