The Department of State has imposed visa restrictions on 50 immediate family members of Nicaraguan National Assembly representatives and Nicaraguan prosecutors and judges. As these actions demonstrate, the United States is committed to promoting broad accountability for anyone responsible for or benefiting from the Ortega-Murillo regime’s attacks on democratic institutions.
In these last two months alone, the regime has arrested 32 political opponents and pro-democracy actors, including seven presidential candidates, a vice-presidential candidate, student activists, private sector leaders, defense attorneys, and others. This includes the detention just this week of 27-year-old Berenice Quezada, a brave Nicaraguan who courageously stepped forward to run for vice president as an opposition candidate despite the increasing repression. Ortega and Murillo once again demonstrated that they are afraid of running against anyone who they feel might win the support of the Nicaraguan people.
In response, on July 12 the Secretary announced visa restrictions against 100 Nicaraguan legislators, judges, prosecutors, and family members of those officials under a visa restriction policy that 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. Today we are announcing visa restrictions against a further 50 individuals, all immediate family members of regime-affiliated officials who have directly contributed to measures adopted by the Government of Nicaragua that do not meet the conditions for transparent, free, and fair elections to which all OAS member states have committed under the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
As demonstrated by these visa actions and recent sanctions, the United States will continue to use diplomatic and economic tools to promote accountability for those who enable Ortega and Murillo’s repression.