The United States on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, asked its citizens to reconsider traveling to Nicaragua due to arbitrary enforcement of laws, risk of unjust detention, and limited availability of medical care.
"The State Department has determined that there is a risk of improper detention of U.S. citizens by the Government of Nicaragua," the U.S. government said in a travel alert issued by its embassy in Managua.
U.S. citizens arrested in Nicaragua may be subjected to prolonged detention without charges or respect for fair trial guarantees, the alert stated.
"The judicial process (in Nicaragua) lacks transparency, especially in cases of politically motivated arrests and property disputes," the travel alert stated.
According to the travel alert, government and law enforcement officials throughout Nicaragua continue to target individuals and organizations considered to be opponents of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.
Nicaraguan citizenship revoked for U.S. citizens
Washington stated that U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, have been subject to the revocation of Nicaraguan citizenship, re-entry bans, expulsion, and other actions.
In general, among the human rights violations occurring in the Central American country, the U.S. argued that Nicaraguan authorities arbitrarily prevent people from entering or leaving Nicaragua by air or land due to alleged associations.
They also search personal phones, computers and documents for anti-government content, limit photography of government property and sometimes seize devices.
Individuals are also systematically targeted for political reasons, regardless of their nationality, including former allies of the Sandinistas, political activists, business representatives, clergy, human rights defenders, civil society leaders, academics and members of the press.
The government may also confiscate privately owned land, residences, financial assets and personal property without prior notice or due process.
Have a plan to leave Nicaragua
In this regard, the State Department noted that in Nicaragua, people are arbitrarily detained and charged with terrorism, money laundering, and organized crime for political reasons without respect for fair trial guarantees.
In addition, the alert advised travelers to be more cautious and alert to the risks of crime, including violent crimes such as sexual assault and armed robbery.
The delegation warned that poor infrastructure in some parts of Nicaragua limits the ability of the U.S. Embassy to assist U.S. citizens in emergencies, or other situations.
Should citizens decide to travel to Nicaragua, the advisory urged them to consider making arrangements to leave the country quickly.
U.S. citizens should also avoid demonstrations, not attempt to drive through crowds or barricades, keep adequate supplies of food, cash, drinking water, and fuel in case of the need to shelter in place and keep a low profile.