The US imposed restrictions Monday on visas held by 100 members of the Nicaraguan National Assembly and Nicaraguan judicial system over the crackdown on political opponents by President Daniel Ortega under “treason” laws ahead of November elections.
The US State Department said that the visa restrictions apply to Nicaraguans that are believed to be responsible for undermining the principles of democracy, suppression of peaceful protests and abuse of human rights. Immediate members of those accused of the violations have also been made party to the visa restrictions.
The press statement from the State Department listed the actions that served as an attack on democracy and human rights carried out by the Ortega-Murillo regime:
- Arresting 26 political opponents and pro-democracy actors, including six presidential contenders, student activists, private sector leaders, and other political actors;
- Passing repressive laws, including electoral legislation, a “cybercrimes” law, a “foreign agents” law, and a “sovereignty” law, which have all served to restrict and criminalize speech, dissent, and political participation;
- Seeking to harass and silence civil society and independent media; and
- Undermining democratic institutions and processes in Nicaragua.
The US pledged its support for greater freedom, accountability and fair elections in Nicaragua and also stated that regime leaders and officials who enable assaults on democracy and human rights must be held accountable.