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Washington was quick to react after a series of arrests of opposition candidates in Nicaragua, five months before the presidential election. The United States on Wednesday announced financial sanctions targeting four senior officials close to President Daniel Ortega, including his daughter.
The United States imposed, Wednesday, June 9, financial sanctions on three senior officials of the Nicaragua, close to President Daniel Ortega, as well as to the daughter of the Head of State, Camila Antonia Ortega Murillo, after a series of arrests of opponents which Washington has called for “immediate” release.
“The United States is imposing sanctions on several members of the Ortega regime who are complicit in the regime’s crackdown.” US diplomacy spokesman Ned Price said during a State Department press conference. “This concerns in particular its inability to implement the electoral reforms demanded by the Organization of American States and the United Nations Human Rights Council,” he added.
Besides the president’s daughter, Camila Antonia Ortega Murillo, coordinator of the Commission for the Creative Economy, the sanctions target the President of the Central Bank, Leonardo Ovidio Reyes Ramirez, MP Edwin Ramon Castro Rivera, and General Julio Modesto Rodriguez Balladares , executive director of the Institute of Military Social Security. Their possible assets in the United States are frozen and access to the American financial system is now barred to them.
The four targeted “support the Ortega regime, a regime that has undermined democracy, violated the human rights of civilians, implemented repressive laws with serious economic consequences, and tried to gag the independent news media,” he said. the US Treasury said in a statement.
Wave of interpellations
The repression is increasing in Nicaragua, five months before the presidential election. Four opposition candidates for the November presidential election, in which Daniel Ortega could run for a fourth term, have been arrested in recent days and its main opponent, Cristiana Chamorro is under house arrest.
Washington said Tuesday that the arrests demonstrated that the president was a “dictator”, calling on the international community to “treat him as such”.
“The United States calls on President Daniel Ortega and the government of Nicaragua to immediately release the presidential candidates,” “as well as other opposition and civil society leaders who were arrested in the past week “, hammered the spokesperson for the US State Department.
He warned that President Ortega “and those who carry out his authoritarian orders” would be held personally “responsible for the safety and well-being” of detainees.
“The United States will continue to use its diplomatic and economic tools against members of the regime involved in this wave of repression,” insisted Ned Price, letting the threat of new sanctions hover.
For his part, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was “very concerned about the recent arrests and detentions, as well as the invalidation of candidacies from opposition leaders in Nicaragua,” said Wednesday, its spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric. He also demanded the release of the political leaders arrested in Nicaragua as well as the “restoration of their rights”.