President Joe Biden on Tuesday banned Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, his wife and Vice President Rosario Murillo, as well as a wide range of ministers and officials from entering the United States.
“The repression and abuses of the Ortega government and its supporters demand the United States to act,” Biden said in a statement.
In power since 2007, Ortega won a fourth consecutive term on November 7 in an election in which he was not a weight contestant, because seven opposition presidential candidates were arrested and three of his parties were banned.
“I have taken the decision that it is in the interests of the United States to restrict and suspend entry to” members of the government of Nicaragua, headed by President Daniel Ortega, including his wife and Vice President Rosario Murillo, all of whom are linked to actions that threaten the country’s democratic institutions, Biden affirmed.
The long list of persona non grata includes deputies, mayors and members of his government whom he accuses of “violating human rights to punish peaceful protesters”, as well as a number of senior officials in police, security, government agencies, prison services, the judiciary and the Ministry of Interior.
In addition, there are other people who contributed to the events Washington denounces.
The wives and children of those subject to the sanctions are also prohibited from entering the United States.
On Monday, the United States had already imposed sanctions on a number of senior Nicaraguan officials in response to the “electoral farce” and the “unequivocal message” of Ortega and Murillo.
The Treasury has announced sanctions against prosecutors, nine senior government officials, including the Minister of Energy and Mines, Salvador Mansel Castrillo, and a number of mayors, whom it accuses of being involved in the suppression of peaceful demonstrations in 2018.
Biden had already ordered financial sanctions against officials and banned more than 100 Nicaraguan lawmakers, prosecutors and judges and their families from entering the country.
In 2019, the government of former President Donald Trump had already sanctioned senior Nicaraguan officials, including Murillo, three of Ortega’s children, and the police for acts of corruption and human rights abuse.