U.S. Imposes Visa Restrictions on Ortega-Murillo Regime Officials

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Department of State
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Department of State

The United States says it remains deeply concerned about the Ortega-Murillo regime’s unjust detentions of political prisoners and ongoing abuses against members of civil society.  

“We remain committed to applying a range of diplomatic and economic tools to support the restoration of democracy and respect for human rights in Nicaragua,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement released on June 13.

To that end, the U.S. Department of State is taking further steps to impose visa restrictions on an additional 93 individuals believed to have undermined democracy following Daniel Ortega’s illegitimate November 2021 reelection, including judges, prosecutors, National Assembly Members, and Interior Ministry officials.

The U.S. statement adds that the regime-aligned judges and prosecutors share complicity in the Ortega-Murillo regime’s efforts to undermine democracy through their participation in prosecutions and convictions of opposition leaders, human rights defenders, private sector leaders, and student advocates. 

National Assembly members and Ministry of Interior officials enabled the Ortega-Murillo regime to tighten its authoritarian grip over Nicaraguan citizens and institutions by using repressive laws to strip more than 400 NGOs and a dozen universities of their legal status.

The regime holds over 180 political prisoners, with many suffering from a lack of adequate food, proper medical care, and even sunlight. One political prisoner has died, and others remain in solitary confinement.  

Political prisoners detained under house arrest similarly suffer abuses and are unable to choose their own health care providers or receive visitors. The regime’s corrupt security and judicial systems arrested and prosecuted these civic leaders and human rights defenders for speaking the truth, practicing courageous journalism, defending their communities through NGO work, and publicly advocating for alternatives to the regime’s repressive rule – activities that should be permitted under Nicaragua’s own constitution or any democratic political system.

The United States reiterates its call for the immediate and unconditional release of those unjustly detained and the restoration of democracy and the rule of law in Nicaragua.

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Rakesh Raman