March 7, 2021

The US ambassador admits that "there are tensions" in relations with Nicaragua

The US ambassador in Nicaragua, Kevin K. Sullivan, said on Wednesday that "there are tensions" in relations with the government of Daniel Ortega in the wake of the socio-political crisis in the Central American country for more than a year.

"It is no secret that there are tensions today in the bilateral relationship between our governments," said the US diplomat in a speech on the occasion of the Independence Day of the United States, and attended by Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada and other government officials. Sandinista Executive

Sullivan explained that the sociopolitical "grave crisis" of Nicaragua, which began on April 18, 2018 for unpopular reforms to social security and in which "serious human rights abuses have been recorded, has had a negative impact on our cooperation, and it could not be otherwise. "

Within the framework of the Nicaraguan crisis, the US Treasury Department has sanctioned Ortega's wife and vice president of Nicaragua, Rosario Murillo; as well as his in-law Francisco Díaz and head of the National Police; and Laureano Ortega Murillo, one of the sons of the presidential couple.

Others close to Ortega sanctioned are the national security adviser to the president, Néstor Moncada Lau; the treasurer of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), Francisco López; the former president of the Supreme Electoral Council, Roberto Rivas; and the general secretary of the Mayor's Office of Managua, Fidel Moreno.

In addition, the president of the National Assembly (parliament) and union leader, Gustavo Porras; the Minister of Health, Sonia Castro; the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Major General in retirement Óscar Mojica; and the head of the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Postal Services (Telcor), Orlando Castillo.

Also, the Corporate Bank (BanCorp) of Nicaragua, a financial entity linked to the Sandinistas.

Sanctions block all assets and interests of those affected and the BanCorp in the United States or those that are related to US citizens.

On December 20, the US president, Donald Trump, signed the "Nica Act" that imposes individual sanctions on members of the Ortega government, in addition to limiting Nicaragua's access to international loans such as those of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Despite these sanctions, the ambassador continued, "open communication between our governments remains essential."

On the other hand, Sullivan highlighted the political negotiations maintained by the Ortega government with an opposition coalition with which they hope to overcome the crisis, and considered that "the Civic Alliance has played a key role as a representative of the demands of Nicaraguans in favor of human rights and democracy. "

In this regard, he valued the work of the apostolic nuncio in Nicaragua, Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, and the former Minister of Defense of Uruguay Luis Ángel Rosadilla, as a witness and accompanist of those negotiations on behalf of the Vatican and the OAS General Secretariat, respectively.

He warned, however, that "every day that passes without a solution to the crisis brings as a consequence more businesses that close, more uncultivated land and more flight of human talent".

"It is vital that Nicaraguans can once again have the confidence that their fundamental rights will be protected and their voices will be heard," he added.

Since April 2018, Nicaragua is experiencing a sociopolitical crisis that has left at least 326 dead, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), although local organizations raise the figure to 595 and the Government recognizes 200 and denounces an alleged coup attempt. State.

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