“The Ortega-Murillo government in Nicaragua does not have a democratic mandate”, He said Emily Mendrala, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the US Department of State, during a press conference in which he participated Infobae.
During the conference with journalists from Latin America, the Deputy Undersecretary spoke about the democratic crisis in Nicaragua, including the self-transmission of command of the Ortega-Murillo regime and the recent sanctions and visa restrictions against officials involved in the repression of the Nicaraguan people.
“Yesterday, the Ortega-Murillo government positioned itself in power. November was an electoral simulation that was not free, fair, or democratic“Added the US official.
Punished by new sanctions from the United States and the European Union but supported by China and Russia, Daniel Ortega He began his fifth five-year term on Monday, fourth in a row and second together with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president. It was imposed on an election in which his main political rivals did not participate, after the authorities dissolved three parties and arrested more than 40 opposition leaders.
The 76-year-old former Sandinista guerrilla was sworn in with Murillo in a ceremony held in the Plaza de la Revolución, in Managua, with the presence of the allied leaders of the region: Nicolás Maduro, from Venezuela; Miguel Díaz Canel, from Cuba; and Juan Orlando Hernández, outgoing president of Honduras.
China, Ortega’s new ally, was represented by Cao Jianming, vice president of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Assembly (ANP, the Chinese Legislative), in his capacity as special envoy of President Xi Jinping. According to Mendrala, this participation “further precipitates Nicaragua into authoritarianism.”
Regarding the few allies who showed their support at the ceremony, or avoided condemning the act, he said: “We would not participate in an event like yesterday’s because it follows several months of human rights abuses and false elections. “
Ortega has been in power since 2007 after having coordinated a Governing Board from 1979 to 1985 and presiding over the country for the first time from 1985 to 1990. This time, the Sandinista leader will be able to remain in office until January 2027. Thus, he will complete 20 years in a row in power., something unprecedented in the recent history of both Nicaragua and the region.
“We are committed to supporting democratic values, such as the European Union, which also applied sanctions. We are working with international democratic partners to support the Nicaraguan people and condemn the abuse of human rights. The sanctions that we announced yesterday and those of the EU show that there is a lot of will in the Americas and in the rest of the world to support through democracy“Mendrala said. “We feel that the impact of sanctions is stronger when they are coordinated with international partners.”
He stressed during the conference that “the Nicaraguan government, like others in the Americas, assumed a democratic commitment. 20 years ago Nicaragua joined the Inter-American Charter of Human Rights. The regime has not honored that commitment. He continues to hold political prisoners in deplorable conditions “.
In this regard, he stressed the importance of release of political prisoners, and said that “it would be a first concrete step.” “We urge the regime to release them immediately and unconditionally.”
He also informed that they will not close their embassy in Managua: “Its operation is very important for the exchange with Nicaraguans and we are going to maintain it.”
With regard to the protection of Nicaraguans who need it, he stated that in The United States is “ready to offer help and shelter. We are talking with Costa Rica to welcome those who have been displaced and we thank this country for the thousands that have already taken in. “
In turn, he warned: “We are committed to orderly, safe and humane migration in the region.”
And he ended: “We have diplomatic, financial and other tools available to support the Nicaraguan people; so that they can elect their leaders, so that they can regain respect for their fundamental human rights and freedoms ”.