The United States is acting to promote accountability for Nicaraguan officials in the wake of the November sham elections in Nicaragua. On November 15, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions against the Nicaraguan Public Ministry and nine Nicaraguan government officials.
On November 7, the Ortega-Murillo regime held an election that denied Nicaraguans their ability to vote in free and fair elections, following months of escalating repression, passage of restrictive laws, and the imprisonment of 39 individuals, including seven potential presidential candidates, opposition members, journalists, students, and members of civil society. For years, the Ortega-Murillo regime has chipped away at Nicaragua’s democratic institutions and allowed corruption and impunity to reign.
As a result, the Department of the Treasury announced sanctions against the Nicaraguan Public Ministry and nine Nicaraguan officials. The Public Ministry played a primary role in the regime’s arrests of potential opposition presidential candidates, other leaders of civil society, the private sector, students, and journalists in advance of the elections.
OFAC designated the nine Nicaraguan officials pursuant to Executive Order 13851 for being officials of the Government of Nicaragua or having served as officials of the Government of Nicaragua at any time on or after January 10, 2007. These nine individuals facilitate the Ortega-Murillo regime’s repression, including its human rights abuses, or manage institutions that finance the undemocratic Ortega-Murillo regime or otherwise sustain it at the expense of the Nicaraguan people.
With these new sanctions, the United States, joined by our international partners, continues to take concrete actions to respond to the Ortega-Murillo regime’s attacks on civil liberties and free and fair elections. “We welcome that Canada and the United Kingdom also imposed targeted measures,” said Secretary of State, Antony Blinken in a statement on November 15.
As the OAS General Assembly made clear on November 12, under President Ortega and Vice President Murillo, the Nicaraguan government moves toward further international isolation if it continues to undermine democracy and deny Nicaraguans their rights. We stand with Western Hemisphere leaders in calling for a return to democracy in Nicaragua and the immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners.