On behalf of the Government and people of the United States, I express solidarity with the people of Nicaragua on their 200th Independence Day.
Independence Day should be a time to celebrate freedom and the historic achievement of self-government. Sadly, today in Nicaragua the freedom for which so many Nicaraguans struggled for so long is slipping away into a dark new era. President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo have consistently undermined the foundations of Nicaragua’s democratic institutions. They have corrupted the judiciary. They have attacked the free press and shut down opposition parties that would have competed against them in the upcoming elections. They have closed all space for political competition and public discourse, cruelly jailing in recent months more than 30 opposition leaders, students, reporters, business leaders, human rights activists, and members of civil society.
We hail the brave Nicaraguans from all walks of life who have risked their lives and comforts to press for a country guided by democratic principles. The United States commemorates Nicaragua’s bicentennial by standing with all Nicaraguans struggling to reclaim their democratic freedoms.