Trump condemns Nicaragua government over violence against protesters, defends press freedom

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The Trump administration on Monday “strongly” condemned the ongoing violence in Nicaragua, accusing President Daniel Ortega’s government of human right abuses, while defending press freedom in the country.

The statement comes as Nicaragua continues to see anti-government protests, with BBC reporting that more than 300 people have died since protests against Ortega began in April. 

“The United States strongly condemns the ongoing violence in Nicaragua and human rights abuses committed by the Ortega regime in response to protests,” the statement read.

{mosads}The White House added that Nicaraguan people had staged protests against “years of fraudulent elections and the regime’s manipulation of Nicaraguan law — as well as the suppression of civil society, opposition parties, and independent media.” 

The Trump administration accused the Ortega government of “indiscriminate violence” from “pro-government parapolice that have brutalized their own people.”

“The United States stands with the people of Nicaragua, including members of the Sandinista party, who are calling for democratic reforms and an end to the violence,” the statement read. 

The Trump administration called for “free, fair, and transparent elections” in Nicaragua and said it would revoke or restrict visas for some Nicaraguan officials and announced an additional $1.5 million in aid to “continue support for freedom and democracy in Nicaragua, providing a critical lifeline for civil society, human rights organizations, and independent media currently under threat from the Ortega regime.”

The White House statement defending freedom of press in Nicaragua comes a week after CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins accused the White House of barring her from attending an event because she had asked Trump “inappropriate” questions during his meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Trump, who once called the media the “enemy of the American people,” has long attacked some news outlets that cover his administration as “fake news.”

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