The U.S. Congress on Wednesday passed legislation to dramatically increase diplomatic pressure on the government of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, accusing it of suppressing and imprisoning opponents ahead of the Nov. 7 election.
The RENACER Act (strengthened with conditions for electoral reform in Nicaragua) was passed by the House of Representatives with 387 votes in favor and 35 votes against, following Senate approval in August and amendments made on Monday.
The two-party law, which was supported by more Republicans than Democrats, must now be approved by President Joe Biden.
“We are witnessing the worst dictatorial attack on democracy in Latin America in decades, and I am proud to lead this initiative so that Congress can act decisively and know that the Ordega-Murillo regime will have great consequences for the fake coronation of its dictatorship,” said the Democrat Senator. , Said the sponsor of the initiative.
The law sets out an arsenal of measures by the government of Ortega and his wife and vice-president Rosario Murillo to address corruption and human rights abuses.
To this end, Canada, in conjunction with the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean, is increasing sanctions against individuals for violating human rights and preventing free elections.
In addition, it expands the oversight of international financial institutions’ debt to Nicaragua and should analyze Nicaragua’s participation in the Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Central America and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR).
Corruption adds Nicaragua to the list of Central American countries subject to visa restrictions and demands more intelligence reports on Russian government activities in Central America, including the sale of Russian troops to Managua.
“The Fiden administration should sign the bill soon and work with international allies to coordinate sanctions against this regime,” said Republican Senator Marco Rubio, another of the bill’s supporters.
The 75-year-old former guerrilla president, who has been in power since 2007, sought a fourth consecutive term amid a severe crisis in Nicaragua after anti-government protests in April 2018, as his repression killed more than 300 people and imprisoned hundreds. 100,000 deported.
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