Nicaragua detains former OAS ambassador, critic of Ortega (Al Jazeera)

Nicaragua’s former ambassador to the Organization of American States – who has been critical of President Daniel Ortega – has been detained in Managua, according to his wife and a human rights observer.

Edgard Parrales was picked up by identified men near his home on Monday, his wife, Carmen Dolores Cordova, and Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights President Vilma Nunez said.

Nicaragua detains former OAS ambassador, critic of Ortega | News | Al Jazeera

Nicaragua USA

Biden bans Nicaragua officials from entering United States (Matt Spetalnick, Reuters)

President Joe Biden on Tuesday banned members of the Nicaraguan government from entering the United States as he issued a broad proclamation in response to an election that Washington has denounced as rigged in favor of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

Biden’s travel ban applied to all of Nicaragua’s “elected officials,” apparently including Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, in addition to security force members, judges, mayors and others seen as undermining democracy in the Central American nation.

“The repressive and abusive acts of the Ortega government and those who support it compel the United States to act,” Biden said in the decree.

Biden’s order came just a day after the United States, Britain and Canada imposed targeted sanctions on lists of Nicaraguan officials in a concerted response to the Nov. 7 election that many countries have called a sham.

They took action after Ortega’s re-election to a fourth consecutive term after jailing political rivals and cracking down on critical media.

Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla leader, has derided his U.S. critics as “Yankee imperialists” and accused them of trying to undermine Nicaragua’s electoral process. Cuba, Venezuela and Russia have offered Ortega their backing.

Previous sanctions, asset freezes and travel bans on certain Nicaraguan officials imposed by Biden and his predecessor, Donald Trump, have failed to deter Ortega, and many analysts are skeptical whether new measures will have much impact.

The Organization of American States (OAS) adopted a resolution on Friday saying Nicaragua’s election lacked “democratic legitimacy.” Twenty-five nations voted in favor and seven abstained, including Mexico, Honduras and Bolivia.

In his proclamation, Biden said he had determined it was in U.S. interests to bar entry to all those “who formulate, implement or benefit from policies or actions that undermine or injure democratic institutions or impede the return to democracy in Nicaragua.”

His order also bans their family members from the United States.

Biden’s proclamation cited security forces, saying they “abuse persons to further the Ortega government’s authoritarian agenda,” and said that municipal officers “directed violence against pro-democracy protesters.” It accused the judiciary of “aiding and abetting” politically motivated arrests.

U.S. officials have made clear that further sanctions are in the works and that the administration intends to use other provisions in a bill the president signed last week to further ratchet up pressure on Ortega.

For instance, Brian Nichols, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, told a House of Representatives subcommittee on Tuesday the administration will seek to prevent Nicaragua from obtaining funds from international financial institutions where Washington has a vote.

The so-called RENACER Act also requires that the U.S. government report on alleged corruption by the Ortega family and calls for a review Nicaragua’s participation in the Central America Free Trade Agreement, which gives preferential treatment to exports to the United States.

Nicaragua USA

New Sanctions Following Sham Elections in Nicaragua (US Department of State)

The United States is acting to promote accountability for Nicaraguan officials in the wake of the November sham election in Nicaragua.  Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions against the Nicaraguan Public Ministry and nine Nicaraguan government officials.

On November 7, the Ortega-Murillo government held an election that denied Nicaraguans their ability to vote in free and fair elections, following months of repression and the imprisonment of 39 individuals, including seven potential presidential candidates, opposition members, journalists, students, and members of civil society.  For years, the Ortega-Murillo government chipped away at Nicaragua’s democratic institutions and allowed corruption and impunity to reign.

As a result, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced sanctions against the Nicaraguan Public Ministry and nine Nicaraguan officials.  The Public Ministry played a primary role in the regime’s arrests of potential opposition presidential candidates, other leaders of civil society, the private sector, students, and journalists in advance of the elections. The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated the nine Nicaraguan officials pursuant to E.O. 13851 for being officials of the Government of Nicaragua or having served as officials of the Government of Nicaragua at any time on or after January 10, 2007.  These nine individuals facilitate the Ortega-Murillo regime’s repression, including its human rights abuses, or manage institutions that finance the undemocratic Ortega-Murillo regime or otherwise sustain it at the expense of the Nicaraguan people.  For a complete list of new sanctions, see the Treasury release.

With these new sanctions, the United States, joined by our international partners, continues to take concrete actions to respond to the Ortega-Murillo government’s attacks on civil liberties and free and fair elections.  We welcome that Canada and the United Kingdom also imposed targeted measures today.  As the OAS General Assembly made clear on November 12, under President Ortega and Vice President Murillo, the Nicaraguan government moves toward further isolation if it continues to undermine democracy and deny Nicaraguans their human rights.  We stand with the region in calling for a return to democracy in Nicaragua and the immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners.


Nicaragua USA

Nicaragua’s Undemocratic Election (US Department of State)

Nicaraguan President Ortega and Vice President Murillo have declared themselves the winners of national elections whose outcome has long been a foregone conclusion.  The Ortega-Murillo government has deprived Nicaraguans of any real choice by dissolving all genuine opposition parties and imprisoning all the principal presidential candidates.  This repression and electoral manipulation, widely decried by Nicaraguans and the international community, stripped the November 7 vote of any real significance.  The Ortega-Murillo government denied Nicaraguans their right to vote in free and fair elections and wrongfully deprived nearly forty individuals of their freedom.

Nicaragua’s Undemocratic Election – United States Department of State

Nicaragua Russia

Lavrov slams calls for non-recognition of Nicaraguan elections as inadmissible (TASS)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has slammed calls for the non-recognition of the results of general elections in Nicaragua as inadmissible.

“As for yesterday’s elections in Nicaragua, we sent observers. <…> They say that the elections were well-organized and were held in strict compliance with Nicaraguan laws. <…> As far as I understand, just yesterday in the evening, when the voting was over, the White House declared its refusal to recognize the election and called on other countries to do the same. We consider it inadmissible and strongly condemn such a policy,” he told a news conference on Monday.

Lavrov slams calls for non-recognition of Nicaraguan elections as inadmissible – Russian Politics & Diplomacy – TASS

Europe Nicaragua

EU foreign policy chief blasts Nicaragua’s Ortega ahead of vote (Al Jazeera)

The European Union’s foreign policy chief has blasted Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega as a “dictator” who is overseeing “fake” elections, as the vote on Sunday comes after a months-long crackdown on opposition leaders and presidential hopefuls.

Josep Borrell on Tuesday described the electoral process in the Central American nation as “fake”, adding that it only aims to “keep the dictator [Ortega] in power”.

EU foreign policy chief blasts Nicaragua’s Ortega ahead of vote | Elections News | Al Jazeera


USA/Nicaragua – The United States Restricts Visas of 50 Additional Nicaraguan Individuals Affiliated With Ortega-Murillo Regime (US Department of State)

The Department of State has imposed visa restrictions on 50 immediate family members of Nicaraguan National Assembly representatives and Nicaraguan prosecutors and judges. As these actions demonstrate, the United States is committed to promoting broad accountability for anyone responsible for or benefiting from the Ortega-Murillo regime’s attacks on democratic institutions.

In these last two months alone, the regime has arrested 32 political opponents and pro-democracy actors, including seven presidential candidates, a vice-presidential candidate, student activists, private sector leaders, defense attorneys, and others. This includes the detention just this week of 27-year-old Berenice Quezada, a brave Nicaraguan who courageously stepped forward to run for vice president as an opposition candidate despite the increasing repression. Ortega and Murillo once again demonstrated that they are afraid of running against anyone who they feel might win the support of the Nicaraguan people.

In response, on July 12 the Secretary announced visa restrictions against 100 Nicaraguan legislators, judges, prosecutors, and family members of those officials under a visa restriction policy that applies to Nicaraguans believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy, including those with responsibility for, or complicity in, the suppression of peaceful protests or abuse of human rights, and the immediate family members of such persons. Today we are announcing visa restrictions against a further 50 individuals, all immediate family members of regime-affiliated officials who have directly contributed to measures adopted by the Government of Nicaragua that do not meet the conditions for transparent, free, and fair elections to which all OAS member states have committed under the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

As demonstrated by these visa actions and recent sanctions, the United States will continue to use diplomatic and economic tools to promote accountability for those who enable Ortega and Murillo’s repression.


Another Nicaraguan presidential hopeful arrested in crackdown (Al Jazeera)

Al Jazeera writes: Another potential presidential contender has been arrested in Nicaragua as President Daniel Ortega’s crackdown on potential opponents in the lead-up to November elections continues.

go to Al Jazeera: Another Nicaraguan presidential hopeful arrested in crackdown | Elections News | Al Jazeera


Nicaragua – More opposition leaders detained in Nicaragua crackdown (Al Jazeera)

Nicaraguan authorities have detained at least five more opposition leaders, as a sweeping crackdown by President Daniel Ortega’s government in advance of November elections has drawn rebuke from the European Union’s top diplomat.

In a statement on Tuesday, police said they detained three farmworker leaders – Medardo Mairena, who planned a presidential bid, Pedro Mena, and Freddy Navas – on Monday, accusing them of murdering and kidnapping police officers and civilians, armed robbery and extortion, among other crimes.

More opposition leaders detained in Nicaragua crackdown | Politics News | Al Jazeera

A man stands next to a photo of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on a wall promoting his candidacy for the upcoming November 7 election, in Managua on June 30 [Stringer/Reuters]

A man stands next to a photo of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on a wall promoting his candidacy for the upcoming November 7 election, in Managua on June 30 [Stringer/Reuters]

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