Two US senators have urged the White House to punish the President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, accusing his regime of systematically silencing opposition party members with arrests and criminal charges.
In a letter addressed to the Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Marco Rubio, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, stated that Nicaragua poses a direct threat to US security and stability in the region.
The Ortega administration has detained several opposition figures, particularly those likely to run for the presidency in the general election scheduled for November this year. Such detainees include Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga, Juan Sebastián Chamorro, and Cristiana Chamorro.
The detention came a week after Blinken spoke with his counterpart in Nicaragua, making it clear that the US “wants to see free and fair” elections.
The United States has already imposed sanctions on Ortega’s daughter and three of the regime’s financial and political operators. That was “an important response, but additional steps are needed,” the senators have demanded.
They have urged the White House to impose a ban on the individuals covertly supporting the Nicaraguan regime with funds.