The European Union and the United States tighten sanctions on Nicaragua

Two months after the presidential elections in Nicaragua, which were overshadowed by allegations of fraud, the European Union and the United States imposed new sanctions on the country.

The basics in brief

  • The fall’s presidential election was heavily criticized internationally.

The EU sanctions target, among other things, two children and advisers to President Daniel Ortega, the representative of the member states announced Monday in Brussels.

Autocratic head of state Ortega is due to be sworn in on Monday for his fourth consecutive term. The 76-year-old was installed in office with a clear majority in Nicaragua’s internationally criticized presidential election on November 7, and his wife, Rosario Murillo, was re-elected as vice president.

According to the Council, as a representative of the member states, the European Union has placed seven responsible people from the president’s environment on its sanctions list. Two of his sons have also been banned from entering the country, and their assets in the European Union have been frozen. The National Police of Nicaragua and two other institutions were also punished. All officials are accused of “gross human rights violations”, such as “repression of civil society” and aiding in electoral fraud.

For its part, the US government imposed financial sanctions on a total of six responsible persons, including representatives of the military. It also announced visa restrictions for 116 people accused of “undermining democracy in Nicaragua”. “The United States and our partners are sending a clear message to President Ortega, Vice President Murillo and those close to them that we continue to stand with the people of Nicaragua in their calls for the immediate release of political prisoners and a return to democracy,” said Brian Nelson of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Dozens of opposition politicians were arrested in the Central American country in the months leading up to the elections, including seven potential presidential candidates.

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