Ros-Lehtinen’s Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Ortega Regime Murders and Violence in Nicaragua Passes House

Jul 25, 2018

Ros-Lehtinen’s Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Ortega Regime Murders and Violence in Nicaragua Passes House

“Today, this body is standing up for some of our most cherished values and ideals and we are unequivocally rejecting the Ortega regime’s abuses and its corruption. Today we can send a loud, unified and clear message that we are watching, we are acting, and we are supporting the aspirations of all freedom-loving Nicaraguans.”

 (Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman Emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, made the following statement after her resolution, H.Res. 981 condemning the intimidation, violence, persecution, and murders committed against the people of Nicaragua by the Ortega regime, passed the House of Representatives today. Ros-Lehtinen’s resolution, which was co-sponsored by Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Paul Cook (R-CA), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Norma Torres (D-CA), and Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR), expresses the House’s full support for the Nicaraguan people in their pursuit of democracy and the rule of law in their nation and calls on the administration to sanction Ortega regime officials under the Magnitsky Act who are responsible for the murders, arrests, and violence in Nicaragua.

 Statement by Ros-Lehtinen (as prepared for delivery):

“Thank you Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel for your leadership in bringing this important and timely resolution to the floor.

I’m grateful to have worked alongside both of you, as well as Chairman Cook and Ranking Member Sires of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee in introducing House Resolution 981.

This resolution condemns the persecution, intimidation, violence and murders committed by the Government of Nicaragua against its citizens.

Mr. Speaker, 450: that is how many Nicaraguans have been killed by the Ortega regime and its thugs since April of this year;

The death toll is rising by the day, as the regime has authorized a “shoot to kill”policy in cities like Masaya and Jinotega.

Add that to the thousands injured, arrested, and the forced disappearances, and we’re talking about a massive and severe repression by a regime that will do anything to stay in power.

On Monday, Ortega had the audacity to go on Fox News and say that everything was under control and that the Nicaraguan people were the ones responsible for the bloodshed – a desperate attempt by a desperate, but dangerous, fool.

Mr. Speaker, it’s a dire situation and getting worse.

That is why we need to hold Ortega accountable for his evil and violent actions and put additional pressure on him and his regime.

The Administration has shown great leadership in condemning Ortega and sanctioning some of his regime’s top officials under the Global Magnitsky Act.

My resolution urges the Administration to do more, to target more Ortega goons for sanctions, and I urge this body to do more – time is of the essence.

This measure is simple and straightforward:

It rightfully identifies Ortega as the orchestrator of the violence and urges the Administration to take more action against the regime;

It also demonstrates our unwavering support to the people of Nicaragua in their pursuit for democracy, including calling for early, free and fair elections overseen by credible domestic and international observers.

And, this resolution calls upon responsible nations to stand in solidarity with the people of Nicaragua.

Today, this body is standing up for some of our most cherished values and ideals and we are unequivocally rejecting the Ortega regime’s abuses and its corruption.

Today we can send a loud, unified and clear message that we are watching, we are acting, and we are supporting the aspirations of all freedom-loving Nicaraguans.

I urge my colleagues to support this resolution - thank you.”

Note: On June 5, 2018 Ros-Lehtinen led a bipartisan, bicameral letter asking the Administration to determine whether Francisco Lopez, head of ALBANISA, and Francisco Diaz, Deputy Commissioner of the National Police and de facto Director, meet the criteria to be sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Act. Joining Ros-Lehtinen were Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY), Paul Cook (R-CA), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Norma Torres (D-CA) and Michael Conaway (R-TX), and Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Ted Cruz (R-TX). On July 5, 2018 the Administration announced it was designating three Ortega regime officials under Global Magnitsky including Lopez and Diaz.

 

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