In another turn of the screw by Washington against the Nicaraguan regime, the White House announced on Tuesday its decision to “restrict and suspend” the entry into the United States of members of the Government of Daniel Ortega, including his wife and Vice President of the country Rosario Murillo, and members of the judiciary, the forces of order and others -including their relatives- for “implementing or benefiting from policies or actions that undermine or damage democratic institutions or prevent a return to the same in the nation.”
President Joe Biden has determined these sanctions “in light of the importance that the United States attaches to the promotion of democratic processes and institutions in Nicaragua and given the suppression of human rights” in that country. Just one day earlier, on Monday, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions and frozen the financial assets of nine high-ranking officials of the Nicaraguan regime after the electoral “farce” that gave Ortega the winner for the third consecutive term in the recent presidential elections.
For the White House, “the abusive and repressive acts” of the Ortega regime – and all those who support it – have forced Washington’s hand to take action. Three days after the country held elections on November 7, the Democratic Administration promulgated – under a bipartisan agreement – what is known as the Law to Enforce Compliance with Conditions for Electoral Reform in Nicaragua (Renacer, for its acronym in English), with the ultimate goal of extending the imposition of sanctions to Nicaragua. For the White House, “the false election of Nicaragua was neither free nor fair, and it certainly was not democratic.” That regulation gives the US president broad powers to impose sanctions on Nicaragua, including exclusion from the Free Trade Agreement with the power.
“The strong hand against the leaders of the opposition and civil society, as well as against journalists, to pave the way for the presidential and legislative, damages the institutions and all the processes that are inherent to a democracy,” continues the statement from Biden issued by the White House. Ortega came to the polls with nearly forty opposition leaders jailed since last May, including seven possible presidential candidates.
The president reacted with virulence to the rejection generated in the international community by elections that did not meet the minimum requirements of a democratic process, with total control of the electoral apparatus, the opposition jailed, two headless parties and dozens of political prisoners. “Those who are imprisoned there are the” sons of bitches “of the Yankee imperialists. They should be taken there, to the United States, because those are not Nicaraguans, they stopped being Nicaraguans a long time ago, they have no country. Let them be taken there, so that there they serve as what they are, slaves of the Empire, traitors of the Homeland, “said Ortega in a speech after his re-election, referring to those considered political prisoners.
In the words of the White House, the Nicaraguan regime “controls multiple security services, including non-uniformed, armed and masked parapolice, who abuse people to promote the authoritarian agenda of the Ortega government, harassing, threatening and committing acts of violence against those who oppose the government ”, continues the presidential statement.
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In addition to the legislative, Biden reviews the judiciary, which he accuses of having “failed the people by helping and inciting the Ortega government to rule on baseless charges to lock up political prisoners.” “The authorities have held many political prisoners incommunicado for months, without access to their lawyers and without knowledge of the false charges brought against them,” the statement added.
The argument of the Democratic Administration ends by summarizing the reasons that have led it to take such drastic measures: “The generalized impunity for crimes committed against the opposition; the persistent corruption practiced by Nicaraguan government officials in the performance of public functions, which has eroded democratic institutions; and the continued failure of President Daniel Ortega, Vice President Rosario Murillo, Nicaraguan government officials, and others to support the rule of law, human rights, and other principles of high priority for the United States. ” All of this required “a strong response,” in Biden’s words.
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