The U.S. and European Union on Monday announced sanctions on six Nicaraguan officials for what the Biden administration called “fraudulent national elections orchestrated by their regime in November, further consolidating their control of power to the detriment of the Nicaraguan people.”
The announcement comes on inauguration day for President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.
The U.S. Treasury Department accused the six officials of “state acts of violence,” spreading disinformation and targeting journalists.
After the November elections, which saw Ortega-Murillo reelected for the fourth time, President Joe Biden called the elections “pantomime'' and said he would "use all diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to support the people of Nicaragua and hold accountable the Ortega-Murillo government and those that facilitate its abuses."
At the time, the U.S. sanctioned several officials linked to Ortega.
"The Ortega-Murillo regime continues its subjugation of democracy through effectuating sham elections, silencing peaceful opposition, and holding hundreds of people as political prisoners," Brian Nelson, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in the statement.
"The United States and our partners are sending a clear message to President Ortega, Vice President Murillo, and their inner circle that we continue to stand with the Nicaraguan people in their calls for the immediate release of these political prisoners and a return to democracy," Nelson said.
The officials sanctioned Monday are from the military, the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Mail, and the state-owned Nicaraguan Mining Company.
Citing previous sanctions that seemed not to deter Ortega, analysts doubted a new round of sanctions will have any effect, Reuters reported in November.
Some information in this report came from Reuters.