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U.S. imposes new sanctions on Nicaragua for repression and migrant trafficking

The Biden administration imposed visa restrictions on more than 250 members of the Ortega-Murillo regime and sanctioned three Nicaraguan entities for participating in repression

El gobierno de Biden anunció tanda de sanciones contra Nicaragua | Shutterstock

May 15, 2024 3:08pm

Updated: May 16, 2024 8:31am

The United States announced a new round of sanctions against the Nicaraguan Ortega-Murillo regime this Wednesday for its “repressive actions” and for not making efforts to halt the migrants trafficking through Central America.

The Biden administration also imposed visa restrictions on more than 250 members of the Ortega regime, including police and paramilitary officials, prosecutors, judges and public higher education officials, according to a statement published by the White House.

In addition, it sanctioned three Nicaraguan entities for the repressions: a Russian military training center that supports the repressive activities of the Nicaraguan National Police to persecute the political opposition and two gold companies that generate income and enrich the Ortega regime.

“These actions are taken as part of the president's efforts to crack down on irregular migration and in support of his affirmative agenda for the Western Hemisphere for a more democratic, secure and prosperous region,” the statement read.

“We are very concerned about the ways in which the Ortega-Murillo regime continues to engage in a repressive campaign that silences civil society and unjustly detains individuals for exercising their fundamental freedoms,” the text adds.

The communist Central American country was already subject to U.S. sanctions for the brutal repression of the 2018 protests against Daniel Ortega, who returned to power in 2007 and was successively reinstalled in so-called “elections” that are believed to have been rigged.

For its part, the White House statement says that the State Department, Homeland Security and Treasury Department issued a joint alert to notify airlines and travel agents about the ways in which smuggling networks are exploiting legitimate transportation services to facilitate migration illegally to the United States through Nicaragua.

In recent years, many migrants have begun their journeys in Brazil or other South American countries, but flying to Nicaragua avoids them passing through the dangerous jungle region known as the Darien Gap, on the border between Colombia and Panama.

The Biden administration has struggled with record numbers of migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border as he runs for re-election in November as voter concern over immigration grows

Fast-File Reporter

Marielbis Rojas

Marielbis Rojas is a Venezuelan journalist and communications professional with a degree in Social Communication from UCAB. She is a news reporter for ADN America.