Visas Of 100+ Nicaraguan Officials Restricted By USA

( — The State Department last weekend imposed sanctions on 100 Nicaraguan officials over their involvement in restricting the human rights of Nicaraguans, The Hill reported.

In a press release last Saturday, the State Department said visa restrictions were imposed on 100 municipal officials as a way to hold the regime of President Daniel Ortega accountable for its “relentless attacks on civil liberties.”

The 100 officials participated in closing “civil spaces,” repressing civil society groups, and “unjustly” detaining government critics, including Bishop Rolando Alvarez.

Alvarez was one of the clerics arrested last year for criticizing the government’s closure of several Catholic radio stations as well as its human rights record. Earlier this year, Alvarez was sentenced to 26 years in prison and stripped of his citizenship.

In a statement on X, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the Nicaraguan regime to release Bishop Alvarez “and all those unjustly detained.”

The announced sanctions come just days after the Nicaraguan government confiscated the Jesuit-run University of Central America in Nicaragua, which was at the center of the 2018 protests against the Ortega regime. The government accused the prestigious university of being a “center of terrorism.”

Dozens of opposition figures had been jailed by the Ortega regime before he won a fourth consecutive term in office in 2021. Since then, some have faced trial or been convicted on charges related to treason.

Ahead of Ortega’s inauguration in January 2022, the Treasury Department sanctioned six Nicaraguan officials and froze the US assets of Nicaragua’s Defense Minister and other leaders of the country’s military, mining, and telecom sectors.

In 2021, the State Department placed visa restrictions on 100 political and judicial figures in Nicaragua, including members of the Nicaraguan National Assembly, judges, prosecutors, and some family members, for enabling the Ortega regime’s “assaults on democracy and human rights.”

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