The Department of State has taken action to impose visa restrictions on 100 members of the Nicaraguan National Assembly and Nicaraguan judicial system, including prosecutors and judges, as well as some of their family members. The Department has revoked all U.S. visas held by these individuals.
The State Department’s visa restriction policy applies to individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy, including the through abuse of human rights. The policy also covers immediate family members of such persons. The recent actions taken to impose visa restrictions on Nicaraguans are a result of the Ortega-Murillo regime’s attacks on democracy and human rights.
These attacks include the arrest of 26 political opponents and pro-democracy actors, including six presidential contenders, student activists, private sector leaders, and other political actors; and the passage of repressive laws that have served to restrict and criminalize certain vaguely defined speech, dissent, and political participation.
The visa restrictions are also aimed at those seeking to harass and silence civil society and independent media, and those undermining democratic institutions and processes in Nicaragua.
In light of this “campaign of terror,” as State Department Spokesperson Ned Price called it, the upcoming November elections are unlikely to be free or fair.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “These visa revocations demonstrate that the United States will promote accountability not only for regime leaders but also for officials who enable the regime’s assaults on democracy and human rights. The United States will continue to use the diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to push for the release of political prisoners and to support Nicaraguans’ calls for greater freedom, accountability, and free and fair elections.”