Nicaragua: Ortega and Murillo swear a new term in isolation in Nicaragua | international

A woman walks with her children in front of a mural painted by Daniel Ortega on Monday in Managua.Oswaldo Rivas (AFP)

Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo will be sworn in only on Monday afternoon. Not only did the international community reject the elections in which they were elected unopposed in November 2021, after all of their competitors were arrested, but this morning the United States and Canada imposed joint sanctions against officials of the Sandinista regime. It is a coordinated action in response to the presidential couple’s continuing in power, which will be joined by Canada and the United Kingdom, according to diplomatic sources consulted by EL PAÍS.

The European Union was the first to stand out by extending sanctions against seven other officials (among them the children of the presidential couple Camila and Loriano Ortega Murillo), and three key institutions of the Sandinistas’ repressive scheme: the National Police, the Supreme Electoral Council and the Nicaraguan Institute of Communications and Postal Services (TELCOR), a responsible entity About the farm wagon to generate information, it was also revealed report In June 2021. This is the first time that the European Union has imposed sanctions on institutions.

Then, the United States set the difficult note by punishing six other people, especially three generals in the Nicaraguan army, an institution that has always claimed to remain outside political repression, although many human rights organizations refer to this as complicity and inaction in Facing the disarmament of paramilitary groups operating outside the constitution. Later, the United States also announced that Canceled visas for 116 people “Accomplices in Undermining Democracy in Nicaragua,” including mayors, prosecutors, university administrators, police, prisons, and military officials.

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The three army generals under sanction are Bayardo Ramón Rodríguez Ruiz (Chief of the General Staff), Bayardo de Jesus Pulido Ortiz (Brigadier General), and Ramon Humberto Calderon Wendel (former Inspector General). The three soldiers are directors of the Institute for Social Protection (IPSM), the public investment fund for the Nicaraguan army in which major military companies are concentrated. IPSM is one of the most profitable investment groups in Nicaragua. According to military sources, the punishment affects the first line, the chief of staff, who is in theory the final successor to the military commander Julio Cesar Aviles, the inspector general and the inspector of personnel and cadres.

“It’s a fairly direct message to the military,” Elvira Cuadra, a sociologist and security expert, told EL PAÍS, referring to the fact that the military is a major factor of stability for Ortega. “What is clear is that the international isolation, compared to the isolation of the eighties, during the Sandinista revolution, is greater. It is in the eighties that there were European governments that maintained relations and recognition of the government. Not now.”

For its part, the US Treasury discussed its sanctions by saying that with the “rigged national elections” in November, it strengthened its “greater control of power at the expense of the Nicaraguan people”. “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 support the people of Nicaragua in their calls for the immediate release of these political prisoners and a return to democracy,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.

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Lopez Obrador stumbles

Although Vice President Murillo said that about 300 people from different delegations would accompany them in the protest, so far only the usual ally has arrived in Managua: the President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel. Nicolás Maduro, Venezuelan President, is due to arrive. Bolivia will be dispatched by Deputy Foreign Minister Erwin Mamani. Argentina and Mexico said at the time that they would send delegations, but the southern country backed down first and Andres López Obrador’s government plunged into a maelstrom of contradictions.

Rosario Murillo announced for the first time that Mexican Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, will accompany them. Sources from the Mexican Foreign Ministry confirmed, Sunday, that it will send Martin Borrego Llorente, Director General of Latin America at the Ministry of Foreign Relations. But in a sudden turn in the Sunday night hours, they backed down, saying no official would be going to Managua. The first information sparked criticism and controversy because the Mexican government had provided support for one of the regimes that violated most human rights in the region.

However, at Lopez Obrador’s morning conference, he changed the official line again by saying that his country would send Ramiro Ayala, the head of the foreign ministry at the Mexican embassy in Nicaragua. said the Mexican president, who was quick to say that they maintain good relations with all countries in the region.

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