Biden signs legislation ratcheting up pressure on Nicaragua

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President Biden signed legislation on Wednesday that will increase pressure on Nicaragua through new sanctions following an election in the country the U.S. president has called a “sham.”

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, were reelected Sunday to a fourth term after jailing Ortega’s political rivals. 

The Reinforcing Nicaragua’s Adherence to Conditions for Electoral Reform Act imposes sanctions on Ortega’s government restricting multilateral bank lending and targeting regime corruption. 

Biden, in a statement, thanked Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), among others, for their leadership on the bill.

The legislation proposes new initiatives aimed at monitoring, reporting on, and addressing Ortega’s corruption, corruption from his family, and human rights abuses in the country.

Biden issued a statement on Sunday slamming Nicaragua’s “sham elections” and accusing Ortega’s government of conducting “a pantomime election that was neither free nor fair, and most certainly not democratic.”

Nicaragua’s Center for Human Rights reports that 20 people were arrested Saturday night ahead of the election, according to CNN

Biden has called on the Ortega regime to release imprisoned dissidents and said that the U.S. and others in the international community would hold the government accountable.

Tags Bob Mendendez Bob Menendez Daniel Ortega Election integrity Joe Biden Marco Rubio Nicaragua Rosario Murillo sanctions

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