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U.S. Restricts Nicaraguans Who Undermine Democracy

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega speaks during the inauguration ceremony of a highway overpass in Managua, Nicaragua. (File)

The United States is taking steps to impose visa restrictions on over 500 Nicaraguan individuals and their family members for undermining the return to democracy in Nicaragua.

U.S. Restricts Nicaraguans who Undermine Democracy
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The United States is taking steps to impose visa restrictions on over 500 Nicaraguan individuals and their family members. “We are doing so pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 10309,” announced Secretary of State Antony Blinken, which suspends entry into the United States of members of the Nicaraguan government and others who are undermining the return to democracy in Nicaragua. These individuals include members of Nicaraguan security services, such as the Nicaraguan National Police, penitentiary officials, judges, prosecutors, higher education officials and non-government actors who enable regime repression and corruption as well as their family members.

“No member of the Nicaraguan government nor anyone who facilitates the Ortega-Murillo regime’s abuses should believe they can travel freely to the United States,” declared Secretary Blinken in a statement.

The White House also announced expanded sanctions authorities, including specific trade-related measures for Nicaragua. These new authorities will support U.S. efforts to hold the Ortega-Murillo regime accountable. The regime’s accelerating repression this year - closing space for civil society, increasing its security cooperation with Russia, and silencing independent voices - compel the United States to act.

“Governments that deny their people’s basic rights or threaten the security interests of their neighbors should not expect that their political, economic, and trade relationships will remain unaffected,” said Secretary Blinken.

In addition, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on Nicaraguan mining authority General Directorate of Mines, an office in the Ministry of Energy and Mines, and Reinaldo Gregorio Lenin Cerna Juarez, a close confidante of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

The United States, together with its allies and partners, believes that a return to democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Nicaragua is essential. Secretary Blinken stressed, “We will use diplomatic and economic tools available to promote accountability for the Ortega-Murillo regime, reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners, and urge the restoration of civic space for the people of Nicaragua.”