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GOP Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar of Florida introduced the Nicaragua Free Trade Agreement Review Act (H.R. 3964). Several Republican congress members followed Salazar in promoting the initiative. The Republican argued that it is a response to Daniel Ortega’s regime.
First signed by President Bush in 2005, the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) is a treaty between the United States and Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
“The brutal Ortega regime in Nicaragua must understand that free trade with the United States is a privilege,” Salazar wrote on Twitter.
She further added: “Ortega’s thugs are imprisoning political opponents and violently silencing dissenting voices. I introduced the Nicaragua Free Trade Review Act because trade with the U.S. is a privilege, not a right. We must show the Ortega regime that it cannot continue to repress the Nicaraguan people while reaping the economic benefits of free trade with the United States. The United States should not be in the business of trading with dictators.”
Nicaragua Free Trade Agreement Review Act
The measure was supported by Republicans such as Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Rep. Byron Donalds, Rep. Mike Waltz, Rep. Jennifer González, and Rep. Madison Cawthorn.
Rep. Carlos Giménez, a co-sponsor of the bill, argued that Nicaragua’s Ortega is a threat to democracy. “Daniel Ortega is a dictator and a threat to freedom and democracy. He is violating the fundamental rights of Nicaraguans,” he said on Twitter.
Nicaraguan citizens celebrated the initiative as a step in the pressure against the country’s regime. “As a Nicaraguan, I thank you for all the support to our people. Living in a dictatorship is very painful, said one Twitter user.
“It’s the best that can be done. It is not possible that they are talking about the ’empire’ and they are serving the ’empire’,” said another citizen named Juan Carlos Sanabria.