Biden imposes travel ban on Nicaraguan officials after ‘mock’ election

President BidenJoe Biden Biden Reaffirms Commitment to ‘One China’ Policy in Taiwan in Appeal with Xi Biden Raises Human Rights with Chinese Xi in Four-Hour Meeting Biden and Xi Hold a “frank” discussion in the midst of strong tensions MORE banned Nicaraguan government officials from entering the United States after the country’s President Daniel Ortega won what Biden called a “sham” election this month.

In the Tuesday proclamation, Biden suspended the entry of all “members” of the Ortega government and other elected officials, including mayors, as well as the spouses and children of those banned.

The move comes after Ortega was re-elected along with his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, after banning numerous opposition parties, jailing opposition figures and cracking down on independent media.

Shortly after the election, Biden criticized the election as rigged and undemocratic and called Ortega, who has been in power since 2007, an autocrat. In his proclamation announcing the ban, Biden repeated his claims that Ortega’s government was dangerous.

“The repressive and abusive acts of the Ortega government and its supporters compel the United States to act,” said a statement announcing the ban.

“The anti-democratic and authoritarian actions of the Ortega government paralyzed the electoral process and deprived the right of Nicaraguan citizens to choose their leaders in free and fair elections,” he added.

Biden signed a law on November 10 imposing sanctions on Nicaragua by restricting multilateral bank lending. The legislation also included new initiatives to monitor corruption in the Central American country.

The Nicaraguan economy has been in decline in recent years. Over 100,000 Nicaraguans fled in neighboring Costa Rica since 2018, while the country’s gross domestic product declined 9% from 2017 to 2020.

And opposition to the Ortega regime has met with violence. In a 2020 US State Department report, officials claimed that 325 murders and hundreds of disappearances during the pro-democracy uprisings in 2018 went unanswered.

Tuesday’s Biden ban also accused Nicaraguan officials – from mayors to parapolice groups and “government-controlled judges” – of orchestrating violence and implementing undemocratic practices by jailing protesters and curbing them. to silence.

“The physical and psychological abuse of political prisoners at the hands of the police and prison authorities is intolerable and cannot be endured,” the statement said.

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