The Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of the Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States (USA), Emily Mendrala, warned this Tuesday that, in order to restore democracy in Nicaragua, the Government of her country will maintain diplomatic pressure and economic action against the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, after it “proclaimed itself” in elections without political competition.
Mendrala pointed out that Ortega, who on January 10th assumed his fourth consecutive term, “does not have the democratic mandate to govern”, since the November elections were a “mock electoral” and warned that the United States will use “diplomatic tools and economic ”within their reach to“ support the people of Nicaragua ”.
The official also acknowledged that US sanctions will have a greater impact to the extent that they are carried out in coordination with other members of the international community. That is why the State Department continues to “study the tools contained in the Renacer Act ”and the way in which they can be applied to the Nicaraguan regime.
Despite not recognizing the legitimacy of the Ortega government, the United States Executive it will keep its Embassy in Nicaragua open because it considers that its “presence” in the country “is very important.”
“We have an Embassy in Managua and its operation is very important for the exchange we have with the Nicaraguan people and the services it provides, so we are going to maintain it,” said Mendrala.
Demands release of political prisoners in Nicaragua
The Undersecretary also urged the Nicaraguan Government to release “from immediately and unconditionally ”to the more than 160 political prisoners that he has held since 2018, since, he valued, his release would be a “first step” to initiate an eventual dialogue between Ortega and the opposition.
“Our focus will continue to be the establishment of democracy in Nicaragua. The release of political prisoners is very important and it would be a concrete first step, ”Mendrala responded to questions from journalists.
During Ortega’s inauguration, for the period 2022-2027, he promised a “clean slate” after the massacre that he unleashed in April 2018 against the population that demanded justice and democracy.
Ortega also complained about the sanctions of the United States and the European Union, which on the eve of his inauguration sanctioned senior officials of the Army, Telcor and Eniminas. Camila and Laureano Ortega Murillo, children of the Nicaraguan leaders, were also sanctioned.
Only the presidents of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel; from Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro; and from Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández; and representatives of the Governments of China, Iran, Russia and Bolivia.
Mendrala affirmed this Tuesday that the Ortega government’s approach to China “precipitates Nicaragua into authoritarianism.”
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