President Joe Biden on Tuesday barred Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, his wife and Vice President Rosario Murillo, as well as a wide range of ministers and officials from entering the United States.
“The repression and abuses of the Ortega government and its supporters demand that the United States act,” Biden said in a proclamation.
In power since 2007, Ortega won a fourth consecutive term on November 7 in an election in which he had no weight rivals, due to the fact that seven presidential candidates from the opposition were arrested and three of his parties outlawed.
“I have made the decision that it is in the interest of the United States to restrict and suspend the entry” into the country of “members of the Nicaraguan government, headed by President Daniel Ortega, including his wife and Vice President Rosario Murillo and all those linked to acts that they threaten the democratic institutions of the country, “added Biden.
The long list of unwelcome people includes legislators, mayors and members of his cabinet whom he accuses of having “violated human rights to punish peaceful protesters”, as well as a number of senior officials from the police, security, government agencies, prison services, the judiciary and the Ministry of the Interior.
In addition, there are other people who contributed to the events denounced by Washington.
The wives and children of those sanctioned are also prohibited from entering the United States.
On Monday, the United States had already imposed sanctions on several senior Nicaraguan officials in response to the “electoral farce” and as an “unequivocal message” to Ortega and Murillo.
The Treasury Department announced sanctions against the Public Ministry and nine senior government officials, including the Minister of Energy and Mines, Salvador Mansell Castrillo, and several mayors, whom it accuses of being involved in the repression of peaceful demonstrations in 2018.
Biden had already ordered financial sanctions against officials and prohibited the entry into the country of more than a hundred Nicaraguan legislators, prosecutors and judges and their families.
In 2019, the government of former President Donald Trump had already imposed sanctions on senior Nicaraguan officials, including Murillo, three of Ortega’s children, and the police for acts of corruption and violation of human rights.