The Department of State has imposed visa restrictions on 100 members of the Nicaraguan National Assembly and Nicaraguan judicial system, including prosecutors and judges, as well as some of their family members. The Department has revoked any U.S. visas held by these individuals.
In the context of Nicaragua, the Department’s visa restriction policy applies to Nicaraguans believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy, including those with responsibility for, or complicity in, the suppression of peaceful protests or abuse of human rights, and the immediate family members of such persons. Specifically, those targeted in today’s action helped to enable the Ortega-Murillo regime’s attacks on democracy and human rights, including by:
- Arresting 26 political opponents and pro-democracy actors, including six presidential contenders, student activists, private sector leaders, and other political actors;
- Passing repressive laws, including electoral legislation, a “cybercrimes” law, a “foreign agents” law, and a “sovereignty” law, which have all served to restrict and criminalize speech, dissent, and political participation;
- Seeking to harass and silence civil society and independent media; and
- Undermining democratic institutions and processes in Nicaragua.
These visa revocations demonstrate that the United States will promote accountability not only for regime leaders but also for officials who enable the regime’s assaults on democracy and human rights. The United States will continue to use the diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to push for the release of political prisoners and to support Nicaraguans’ calls for greater freedom, accountability, and free and fair elections.