United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken Monday announced visa restriction for 93 individuals believed to have undermined democracy in Nicaragua following President Daniel Ortega reelection. The US State Department labeled the election a “sham.”
Ortega has consistently been accused of committing human rights violations, including jailing political dissenters and cracking down on free press. His regime has been the object of much international scrutiny and criticism, with many countries imposing sanctions against Nicaragua following his reelection.
Secretary Blinken wrote:
The United States remains deeply concerned about the Ortega-Murillo regime’s unjust detentions of political prisoners and ongoing abuses against members of civil society. We remain committed to applying a range of diplomatic and economic tools to support the restoration of democracy and respect for human rights in Nicaragua.
The visa restrictions are targeted at judges, prosecutors, National Assembly Members and Interior Ministry officials. Blinken stated that these government officials are all complacent in the face of human rights violations, and they may even encourage or enforce these violations through their practice in a “corrupt” justice system. Blinken also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all unjustly detained prisoners and the restoration of justice in Nicaragua.