MEPs demand the EU “sanction Ortega and his judges”

“It is no longer just the Ortega regime, it is rather that of Ortega-Murillo, or even just Murillo,” said Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign m

Parlamento Europeo

Vista de una sesión en el plenario del Parlamento Europeo, en su sede de Estrasburgo, Francia. Foto: Flickr

14 de junio 2023


 The European Parliament (EP) debated for the eighth time, since 2018, the sociopolitical crisis in Nicaragua and the tone was similar to the last sessions. A majority of MEPs demanded that the European Union (EU) sanction the Nicaraguan dictator, Daniel Ortega, and the judges who impose and execute spurious sentences.

“It will be two years since the last sanctions against the regime of Ortega and (Rosario) Murillo. And in these two years things have only gotten dramatically worse (in Nicaragua),” said Spanish MEP Soraya Rodriguez Ramos, from the Renew Europe group.

“Ortega and the judges who are handing down sentences clearly contrary to the highest principles of human rights must be punished,” she stressed.

Rodriguez’s demand was repeated by other MEPs, who asked to send a message to the Ortega dictatorship. “A year ago we asked the (European) Council to expand the list of sanctions, including judges, and it is something that we reiterate now,” said Tilly Metz, from the Los Verdes group.

The demand of the MEPs was already raised in a resolution approved in June 2022 —by 524 votes in favor, 17 against and 29 abstentions—, in which they urged the EU to sanction fourteen judges and three Appeals magistrates, as well how to investigate —through the International Criminal Court— the Government and Ortega, for crimes against humanity.

However, not all legislators demanded the imposition of sanctions. Sandra Pereira, from the Portuguese Communist Party,  told her colleagues that “if they are really concerned about human rights in Nicaragua, they would be asking for the lifting of the unilateral sanctions that are contrary to international law, imposed by the European Union, and they would be asking that the United States do the same.”

The EU has sanctioned 21 high-ranking officials of the dictatorship —including Vice President Murillo— and three entities: the National Police, the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) and the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Postal Service (Telcor).

The last sanctions were given on January 10, 2022, in the hours before Ortega and Murillo assumed a new term as president and vice president.

Those sanctioned have their assets immobilized and, in addition, EU citizens and companies are subject to the prohibition of making funds available to them.

Josep Borrell: The regime is “only Murillo”

Prior to the statements by the MEPs, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, made an “update” on the situation in Nicaragua and denounced that the Nicaraguan regime did not initiate a dialogue with the opposition after the release of the 222 prisoners in February and that through its courts has also confiscated their assets.

“We hoped that the release of the political prisoners would mark the beginning of a dialogue with the regime and put an end to the authoritarian spiral in Nicaragua. Despite their release, the regime revoked their nationality and that of 94 other Nicaraguans and has confiscated their property,” said the Spanish diplomat.

And they did so, he said, “only for opposing the Murillo and Ortega regime. It is no longer just the Ortega regime, it is rather the Ortega-Murillo regime or even just Murillo’s.”

The head of European diplomacy —who expressed his hope that this debate “will be heard on the other side of the Atlantic”— thus denounced the decision that the Nicaraguan Justice adopted on February 9th to confiscate the assets of the 222 released political prisoners, who were expelled to the United States and stripped of their nationality.

Josep Borrell, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, at a session in the European Parliament in October 2022. Photo: Flickr

A majority of Spanish MEPs participated in the debate, the representative of the Popular Party, Leopoldo Lopez, denounced that the Nicaraguan regime “continues to exercise systematic and institutional repression with the sole purpose of staying in power.”

Along the same lines, the PSOE MEP, Javi Lopez, assured that “democracy has been literally liquidated in Nicaragua.”

For his part, the VOX MEP, Hermann Tertsch, said “the dictatorial marriage” of Ortega and Murillo “are at this moment the great stars of political crime”, to which Miguel Urban, from Anticapitalistas, accused the extreme right of “using the situation in Nicaragua to attack the whole of the Latin American left.”

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times

Redacción Confidencial

Confidencial es un diario digital nicaragüense, de formato multimedia, fundado por Carlos F. Chamorro en junio de 1996. Inició como un semanario impreso y hoy es un medio de referencia regional con información, análisis, entrevistas, perfiles, reportajes e investigaciones sobre Nicaragua, informando desde el exilio por la persecución política de la dictadura de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo.


El diputado de YATAMA, Brooklyn Rivera. | Foto: Archivo Confidencial

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