The Office of Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury eliminated on December 21 the sanctions imposed against the former director of the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Posts (Telcor), Orlando Castillo, who died two years ago.
The former official was sanctioned by the United States and Canada for acting in favor of Daniel Ortega and silencing independent television and radio broadcast media. On its website, OFAC reported that “the following deletions have been made on the OFAC List of Blocked Persons (SDN): Castillo Castillo, Orlando José (alias Castillo, Orlando), Residencial Bolonia, Canal 2 1 Cuadra Al Sur 3C To the West, Managua, Nicaragua».
Castillo was acting as director of Telcor when he was sanctioned by the Treasury Department of the North American country in June 2019. The sanctions package included the former Minister of Health, Sonia Castro; the retired general and Minister of Transportation, Óscar Mojica, who remain on the blacklist.
Castillo was sanctioned by the Donald Trump administration for “persecuting Nicaraguan citizens who exercise their fundamental freedoms, enact repressive laws, silence the media, and deny medical care to the Nicaraguan people.”
One year after the imposition of sanctions, Castillo died of causes associated with the coronavirus. He was admitted for “atypical pneumonia” at the Managua Military Hospital. However, the Daniel Ortega regime remained silent about the complications that Castillo presented.
Unofficial sources confirmed that although Orlando Castillo presented complications related to the pandemic, the cause of his death was due to three cardiac arrests.
His guidelines led to the closure and confiscation of 100% Noticias, one of the channels most affected by repression and the lack of press freedom in Nicaragua, which worsened after the sociopolitical crisis that began in April 2018. He also ordered Television Channel 12 to stop broadcasting the programs of journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro, Esta Noche and Esta Semana.