On August 20th, the United States Government announced visa restrictions that affect 19 electoral and political party officials accused of helping the Ortega-Murillo regime to perpetrate their "attack" against democracy in Nicaragua.
The sanctions are a response to the arrests, within the framework of the electoral process, of at least 32 Nicaraguan opposition leaders, including seven candidates for the presidency, students, business leaders, journalists, and human rights defenders, said State Department spokesperson Ned Price, in a statement.
“With today's action, we are making our commitment to promote accountability for all accomplices in the assault on democracy by the Ortega-Murillo government clear. They are not welcome in the United States,” Price said in his statement.
The United States also pointed out that there is an entire “anti-democratic campaign” in Nicaragua, which included “the disqualification of the last remaining genuine opposition party (CxL) by the Supreme Electoral Council on August 6, based on a request made by the (Ortega allied) Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC).”
"Over the past three months, President Daniel Ortega and his wife and Vice President Rosario Murillo, have intimidated anyone who opposes their efforts to consolidate their power in Nicaragua," the State Department note said.
Sanctions reach their relatives
On August 6, Washington announced visa restrictions affecting 50 relatives of both Sandinista legislators and Nicaraguan prosecutors and judges.
The visas that 100 members of the National Assembly could have were also revoked in July, as well as the visas of prosecutors, judges, and other professionals of the Nicaraguan judicial system, for their role in the erosion of democracy in the country.
Faced with the firm criticism of the international community for human rights abuses, including sanctions by Canada and the European Union against more members of the Sandinista elite, Ortega argued that he is the victim of interventionism. At the July 19th rally for the 42nd anniversary of the Sandinista revolution, he even invoked the “people in arms”.
This articles was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by