Mr. John J Hastings, Jr.
2812 25th St N
Arlington, VA 22207-4920
Dear Mr. Hastings:
Thank you for contacting me about Nicaragua. I appreciate hearing from you.
I am concerned by the history of human rights abuses and failure to adhere to democratic norms in Nicaragua. Nicaraguans deserve free and fair elections and a government accountable to its people. For too long, Nicaraguans have suffered from corruption and undemocratic actions that have undermined their political, civil, and human rights. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I strongly support efforts to promote human rights and democratic values in Nicaragua, especially in light of current protests against the government and the violent response by the government, which has resulted in the death of over 100 people. My personal commitment to helping the people of Central America dates back to my time serving there as a missionary in the early 1980s.
In December 2017, Senator Ted Cruz introduced the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act. This legislation directs the President to oppose any loan for the government of Nicaragua’s benefit until its government combats corruption, holds credible elections, and respects the right to freedom of association and expression. This legislation also requires the State Department to report on the involvement of senior Nicaraguan government officials in acts of public corruption or human rights violations. I am a cosponsor of this bill, which has been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In May 2018, I also sent a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin expressing concern about the Nicaraguan police using excessive force against protesters, and encouraging the Trump Administration to hold corrupt government officials accountable and to address serious human rights abuses in Nicaragua.
I believe in the tremendous potential of our hemisphere and our shared future and security. There is an urgent need for the Nicaraguan government to reaffirm its commitment to democratic values, strengthen its judicial system, and protect the fundamental rights of its citizens. As our partners across Central America do their part, the U.S. will stand with them to build a peaceful and prosperous neighborhood and region. Moving forward, I will continue to closely monitor the progress that the Nicaraguan government makes in achieving these critical objectives.
I will keep your views in mind should the Senate consider legislation concerning Nicaragua. Thank you again for contacting me.