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U.S. Lawmakers Again Threaten Sanctions against Nicaragua

LADB Article ID: 80275
Category/Department: Nicaragua
Date: 2017-04-27
By: Benjamin Witte-Lebhar

With last year’s lopsided and highly controversial presidential and parliamentary elections, Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, his wife and vice president, tightened their already firm grip over what is now, for all intents and purposes, a one-party state. Opponents have good reason to question the pair’s democratic credentials and sense of political fair play. But they proved powerless to stop the regime as it dismantled, one by one, the various checks and balances that might have kept Ortega from earning his third consecutive five-year term as president and fourth overall, not including his period as head of the country’s post-revolutionary junta government (1979-1985). Outside the country, however, criticism of the regime continues to mount. In mid-February, it got a dressing down from the European Parliament (EP), the legislative body of the European Union, which issued a resolution lamenting Nicaragua’s “steadily deteriorating human rights situation.” In the US, the House of Representatives is considering an initiative banning non-humanitarian loans to Nicaragua unless the Nicaraguan government takes “effective steps to hold free, fair, and transparent elections, and for other purposes.” The measure also demands that the Ortega regime combat corruption and protect human rights defenders and activists.

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