Biden bans Nicaraguan officials from travel after ‘sham’ election.
President BidenJoe Biden Biden Reaffirms His Commitment To Taiwan’s ‘One China’ Policy In Call With Xi Biden Raises Human Rights With China’s Xi During Four-Hour Biden Meeting, Xi Holds ‘Candid’ Discussion Amid Highs tensions MORE banned Nicaraguan government officials from entering the United States after the country’s President Daniel Ortega won what Biden called a “bogus” election this month.
In Tuesday’s proclamation, Biden suspended entry to all “members” of the Ortega government and other elected officials, including mayors, along with the spouses and children of the banned.
The move comes after Ortega won re-election along with his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, after banning many opposition parties, jailing leading opposition figures, and cracking down on independent media.
Shortly after the elections, Biden criticized the elections as rigged and undemocratic and called Ortega, who has been in power since 2007, an autocrat. In his proclamation announcing the ban, Biden repeated his claims that the Ortega government was dangerous.
“The repressive and abusive acts of the Ortega government and those who support him force the United States to act,” read a statement announcing the ban.
“The authoritarian and undemocratic actions of the Ortega government have paralyzed the electoral process and stripped the right of Nicaraguan citizens to elect their leaders in free and fair elections,” he added.
Biden signed a law on November 10 that imposed sanctions on Nicaragua by restricting lending from multilateral banks. The legislation also included new initiatives to monitor corruption in the Central American country.
Nicaragua’s economy has been declining in recent years. More than 100,000 Nicaraguans have fled to nearby Costa Rica since 2018, while the nation’s gross domestic product has declined by 9 percent from 2017 to 2020.
And the opposition to the Ortega regime has clashed with violence. In a 2020 report from the US State Department, officials claimed that 325 murders and hundreds of disappearances during pro-democracy uprisings in 2018 have received no response.
Biden’s Tuesday ban also accused Nicaraguan officials, from mayors to vigilante groups and “government-controlled judges,” of orchestrating violence and implementing anti-democratic practices by jailing protesters and silencing them.
“The physical and psychological abuse of political prisoners at the hands of the police and prison authorities is intolerable and cannot stand,” the statement said.