The overwhelming majority of Organization of American States member countries voted to support the Nicaraguan people and their fight for free and fair elections, respect for human rights, and accountability.
The Ortega-Murillo regime in Nicaragua is becoming more oppressive by the day. Consequently, opposition to President Daniel Ortega, who is currently serving his fourth term in office, has been growing. Elections are due to be held in November 2021, and Ortega is now targeting anyone who may stand against him.
The most recent OAS resolution condemns the Ortega-Murillo regime’s repression in Nicaragua and calls for the immediate release of the four recently detained presidential candidates - Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga, and Juan Sebastian Chamorro – and over 130 other political prisoners. It also called for an end to harassment of political parties and independent media. In the wake of the regime’s repression and lack of meaningful electoral reform, the conditions for free and fair elections this November do not exist.
Tamara Davila, one of the opposition leaders arrested, was detained on charges related to a new law that makes support for sanctions against Ortega officials a form of treason. Treason carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 15 years.
Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Julie Chung said in a Tweet the arrests of opposition members were part of a "campaign of terror" by President Ortega.
“The United States,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken, “strongly supports the OAS Permanent Council’s call for President Ortega to take urgent action to restore full respect for human rights and to create the conditions for free and fair elections.”
“It is time for the Ortega-Murillo regime to change course, respect both its own constitution as well as its commitments under the Inter-American Democratic Charter and allow the Nicaraguan people to fully exercise their rights, including their right to choose their leaders in free and fair elections,” declared Secretary Blinken.
The United States looks forward to continuing to work with OAS member states, as well as other democratic governments around the world to press for greater freedom for the Nicaraguan people. Ortega and Murillo’s actions have no place in this hemisphere.