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U.S. Sanctions Nicaraguan Officials After ‘Sham’ Ortega Elections

Daniel Ortega

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The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Monday on Nicaragua’s public ministry, as well as nine high-ranking Nicaraguan officials, for their role in the “repression of human rights and fundamental freedoms” following the “sham” presidential election of November 7.

Among those sanctioned are the Minister of Energy and Mines, Salvador Mansell Castrillo; the Superintendent of Banks and Financial Institutions, Luis Angel Montenegro Espinoza; and the Vice-Minister of Finance and Public Credit, Adrián Chavarría Montenegro.

According to the Director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, Andrea Gacki, the “regime” of Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo is using “laws and institutions to detain members of the political opposition and deprive Nicaraguans from the right to vote.”

The designated officials are “key partners in Ortega’s anti-democratic policies,” the Treasury said.

The Treasury also considers the Public Prosecutor’s Office to be “responsible for or complicit” in “actions or policies” aimed at “undermining democratic processes or institutions in Nicaragua.”

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Also sanctioned are the mayors of the cities of Jinotega, Esteli and Matagalpa, as well as the president of the Nicaraguan Energy Institute, José Antonio Castañeda Méndez.

As a consequence of the Treasury’s designation, the assets that these entities and companies may have under US jurisdiction are frozen and they are prohibited from making financial transactions with US citizens.

The United States had previously imposed sanctions on numerous members of Ortega’s inner circle, including several of his children.

The Nicaraguan dictator, Daniel Ortega, won an unopposed election on November 7, after the arrest in recent months of seven presidential hopefuls who were emerging as his main contenders and after the dissolution of three political parties.