The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on nine Nicaraguan officials and the Nicaraguan Public Ministry, citing “fake national elections orchestrated by President Daniel Ortega” and his vice president, Rosario Murillo.
“The Ortega regime is using laws and institutions to arrest members of the political opposition and deprive Nicaraguan people of the right to vote,” said Andrea M Gacki, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, in a statement posted on the website. of the US Treasury Department website. “The United States is sending a clear message to President Ortega, Vice President Murillo and their inner circle that we stand with the people of Nicaragua in their call for reform and a return to democracy.”
The Treasury said about 40 opposition figures, including seven potential presidential candidates, were arrested and jailed in the run-up to the November 7th election, where Ortega was re-elected for a fourth consecutive term.
The Biden administration accused him of being “responsible or complicit” in the arrests of opposition politicians who wanted to run for president.
Among the nine officials blacklisted by the U.S. on Monday were Nicaraguan Deputy Finance and Public Credit Minister Jose Adrian Chavarria, Energy and Mining Minister Salvador Mansell Castrillo, and Mohamed Farrara Lashtar, Nicaragua’s ambassador to Algeria, Egypt. Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
On Friday, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States voted in favor of a resolution declaring that “the November 7 elections in Nicaragua were not free, fair or transparent and lacked democratic legitimacy.” About 25 members voted in favor of the resolution, seven states abstained, one was declared absent and only one, Nicaragua itself voted against the resolution.
Also Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law a bill calling for more sanctions against the Ortega government.
Monday’s actions freeze all U.S. assets of those on the blacklist and prevent Americans from doing business with them.
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