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Published on Thursday, November 18, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff and wire services

International News

The United States government banned members of the Nicaraguan government from entering the U.S. in response to an election that Washington has denounced as rigged in favor of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, according to a report by Voice of America Journal, VOA, which is the U.S. government news agency funded by the U.S. Congress.

The travel ban applied to all of Nicaragua's "elected officials," apparently including Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, in addition to security force members, judges, mayors and others seen as undermining democracy in the Central American nation.

"The repressive and abusive acts of the Ortega government and those who support it compel the United States to act," said Joe Biden, the U.S. President, in the decree.

The order came just a day after the United States, Britain and Canada imposed targeted sanctions on Nicaraguan officials in a concerted response to the Nov. 7 election that many countries have called a sham.

They took the action after Ortega's re-election to a fourth consecutive term after jailing political rivals and cracking down on critical media.

Ortega has derided his U.S. critics as "Yankee imperialists" and accused them of trying to undermine Nicaragua's electoral process. Cuba, Venezuela and Russia have offered Ortega their backing.

Previous sanctions and travel bans on certain Nicaraguan officials imposed by President Biden and President Donald Trump have failed to deter Ortega, and many analysts are skeptical whether new measures will have much impact, VOA said.

The Organization of American States (OAS) adopted a resolution on Friday saying Nicaragua's election lacked "democratic legitimacy." Twenty-five nations voted in favor and seven abstained, including Mexico, Honduras and Bolivia.

In Costa Rica, due to the lack of conditions and guarantees required in a democratic election, the government does not recognize the elections in Nicaragua as credible.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the actions deployed by the Nicaraguan government against important political and social representatives, opposition leaders, youth groups, and the media in that country, contravened the free exercise of democracy, the guarantee of political pluralism and freedom of expression.
How could the Nicaraguans depose Daniel Ortega without the support of the army? 
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

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