U.S. announces sanctions against Nicaragua

The Biden administration announced new sanctions and restrictions on Nicaragua on Wednesday, targeting the country’s government for human rights abuses, its facilitation of migration to the U.S. southern border, and its close ties with Russia.

The U.S. officials criticized President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo for exploiting migrants by selling visas that require them to leave Nicaragua within 96 hours, effectively facilitating their journey toward the U.S. border. The administration issued an aviation alert to airlines and charter companies, urging them to validate travel documents, identify smuggling routes, and report concerns about the Nicaraguan government’s actions.

The sanctions include measures against the Training Center of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in Managua, which allegedly trains the Nicaraguan National Police to suppress political opposition. The U.S. accused Ortega and Murillo of unjustly detaining citizens advocating for civil society and freedom, aligning with Russia’s authoritarian practices.

To financially impact Nicaragua’s elites, the U.S. sanctioned two government-run gold companies and imposed visa restrictions on 250 government officials and societal leaders who are seen as obstructing the rights and freedoms of the Nicaraguan people. These actions are part of broader efforts to curb migration and penalize the Nicaraguan government’s repressive tactics.

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