Sanctions Day: Canada Joins US and UK, Punishing 11 Ortega Officials

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Mélanie Joly, announced this Monday, November 15, the imposition of sanctions against 11 senior officials close to the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, by virtue of the Regulation of Special Economic Measures (Nicaragua), in response to ongoing human rights violations in Nicaragua.

Those sanctioned by Canada are: Alba Luz Ramos Vanegas, president of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ); Bayardo Arce Castaño, economic advisor to the Presidency; Luis Ángel Montenegro Espinoza, Superintendent of Banks and other Financial Institutions; Mohamed Lashtar, of Libyan origin and Nicaraguan ambassador to Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates; Sadrach Zeledón Rocha, mayor of Matagalpa; Leonidas Nicolás Centeno Rivera, mayor of Jinotega; Francisco Ramón Valenzuela Blandón, mayor of Estelí; José Adrián Chavarría Montenegro, Vice Minister of Finance and Public Credit; Rodolfo Francisco López Gutiérrez, manager of Distribuidora Eléctrica del Norte (Disnorte) and Distribuidora Eléctrica del Sur (Dissur); José Antonio Castañeda Méndez, president of the Board of Directors of the Nicaraguan Institute of Energy (INE) and Salvador Mansell Castrillo, head of the National Electricity Transmission Company (Enatrel).

“Over the past three years, Canada and the international community have repeatedly called on the Daniel Ortega regime to change course and seek a peaceful and democratic solution to the current crisis.” Instead, “the Ortega regime has led Nicaragua further down the path of authoritarianism. Nicaraguans have been stripped of their human rights and fundamental freedoms«, Argues the Canadian government in the communiqué about the measures imposed today on the regime’s allies.

They demand the immediate release of all political prisoners

Canada underscores that the Ortega regime arrested and detained political opponents, cracked down on independent media, and forced civilians and civil society leaders into exile for fear of imprisonment. “The regime has robbed the Nicaraguan people of their fundamental human right to vote in free, fair and inclusive elections”, of November 7, reiterates the statement.

“Canada continues to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all political leaders, journalists, activists and other prisoners in favor of democracy in Nicaragua and for the full restoration of their civil and political rights,” they say.

They add that they are using all their diplomatic tools to support the Nicaraguan people and hold accountable “this oppressive regime and those who facilitate its abuses. Today’s announcement supports this commitment, “they say.

Canada in tune with the US and UK

Canada’s new measures are in addition to Canadian sanctions previously imposed on Nicaraguan officials. “Canada welcomes the decisive actions taken by its international partners, including the United States and the United Kingdom, and will continue to work with them to gain support and pressure the regime to restore democracy and respect human rights,” they note.

This Monday, The United States sanctioned the Nicaraguan Public Ministry and nine officials and close associates of the Daniel Ortega regime, Also on the list of those sanctioned today by Canada: Luis Ángel Montenegro Espinoza, José Adrián Chavarría Montenegro, Rodolfo Francisco López Gutiérrez, José Antonio Castañeda Méndez, Mohamed Lasthar, Salvador Mansell Castrillo, Leonidas Nicolás Centeno, Sadrach Zeledón Rocha and Francisco Ramón Valenzuela Brazier.

While the United Kingdom sanctioned the Vice President-designate, Rosario Murillo; the senior commissioners of the Police, Fidel Domínguez and Juan Valle Valle; the president of the National Assembly, Gustavo Porras; the Attorney General of the Republic, Ana Julia Guido; the CSE magistrate, Lumberto Ignacio Campbell Hooker; to the general secretary of the Mayor’s Office of Managua, Fidel Moreno, and to the president of the CSJ, Alba Luz Ramos, the latter, also sanctioned today by Canada.

“Canada and the international community support the Nicaraguan people in their aspirations for a more peaceful, just and democratic future,” they stressed in the statement.

For her part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Mélanie Joly, assured that “Canada will always advocate for the promotion and protection of human rights, and we will hold those who violate them to account. We support the Nicaraguan people in their aspirations for a more peaceful, just and democratic future ”.

Canadian measures

The Regulations of Special Economic Measures (Nicaragua) impose on listed individuals a ban on any transaction (effectively, an asset freeze) by prohibiting individuals in Canada and Canadians outside of Canada from engaging in any activity related to any of these individuals’ property or by providing financial services to them or related.

Persons on the list of regulations are also declared inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Law. The specific prohibitions are established in the regulations.

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