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Sanctioning Nicaraguan Agents of Repression


President of Nicaragua's National Assembly Gustavo Porras and Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega hold hands next to Vice President Rosario Murillo, during the inauguration of Ortega's fourth consecutive term in office, in Managua, Nicaragua, January 10, 2022.

The Department of State has imposed visa restrictions on 116 individuals complicit in undermining democracy in Nicaragua.

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The United States, in concert with other democracies, will continue to support the restoration of democracy and respect for human rights in Nicaragua. To that end, the Department of State has announced action to impose visa restrictions on 116 individuals complicit in undermining democracy in Nicaragua, including mayors, prosecutors, university administrators, as well as police, prison, and military officials.

Additionally, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned six members of the Ortega-Murillo regime. “We are undertaking these economic sanctions and visa restrictions to promote accountability for the Ortega-Murillo regime’s escalating authoritarianism and abuses,” declared Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement.

The regime continues to hold 170 political prisoners, with many of those detained suffering from a lack of adequate food and proper medical care. Others remain in solitary confinement. The Ortega-Murillo regime arrested these individuals for practicing independent journalism, working for civil society organizations, seeking to compete in elections, and publicly expressing their opinion, among other activities protected by principled democratic norms.

“The United States and our partners,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson, “are sending a clear message to President Ortega, Vice President Murillo, and their inner circle that we continue to stand with the Nicaraguan people in their calls for the immediate release of these political prisoners and a return to democracy.”

Secretary Blinken said, “We join the European Union in taking a strong stand against the human rights abuses and disrespect for the Nicaraguan people demonstrated by the Ortega-Murillo regime.” President Ortega inaugurated himself for a new presidential term, but the pre-determined election he staged on November 7 does not provide him with a new democratic mandate; only free and fair elections can do that. The Nicaraguan people deserve nothing less.

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