Today, we are announcing steps to impose visa restrictions on over 500 Nicaraguan individuals and their family members. We are doing so pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 10309, which suspends entry into the United States as immigrants and nonimmigrants of members of the Government of Nicaragua and other persons who formulate, implement or benefit from policies or actions that undermine democratic institutions or impede the return to democracy in Nicaragua. These individuals include members of Nicaraguan security services, such as the Nicaraguan National Police, penitentiary officials, judges, prosecutors, higher education officials and non-government actors who enable regime repression and corruption as well as their family members. No member of the Nicaraguan government nor anyone who facilitates the Ortega-Murillo regime’s abuses should believe they can travel freely to the United States.
The White House also announced an amendment to Executive Order (E.O.) 13851 on Nicaragua that expands sanctions authorities, including specific trade-related measures for Nicaragua. These new authorities will support our efforts to hold the Ortega-Murillo regime accountable. The regime’s accelerating actions this year closing space for civil society, increasing its security cooperation with Russia, and silencing independent voices despite broad international calls for dialogue and moderation compel the United States to act. Governments that deny their people’s basic rights or threaten the security interests of their neighbors should not expect that their political, economic, and trade relationships will remain unaffected.
In conjunction with the E.O. announcement, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on Nicaraguan mining authority General Directorate of Mines, an office in the Ministry of Energy and Mines, and Reinaldo Gregorio Lenin Cerna Juarez, a close confidante of Nicaraguan President Ortega, pursuant to E.O. 13851.
The United States, together with our allies and partners, believes that a return to democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Nicaragua is essential. We will use diplomatic and economic tools available to promote accountability for the Ortega-Murillo regime, reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners, and urge the restoration of civic space for the people of Nicaragua.