Ros-Lehtinen, Engel, Cook, Sires Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Violence, Repression in Nicaragua; Calls on Administration to Impose Sanctions on Regime Officials

Jul 5, 2018

Ros-Lehtinen, Engel, Cook, Sires Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Violence, Repression in Nicaragua; Calls on Administration to Impose Sanctions on Regime Officials

“This resolution empowers the Administration to go further to identify and sanction those who have engaged in acts of oppression in accordance with our laws” Says Ros-Lehtinen

The United States will not stand idly by while Ortega’s henchmen continue to kill unarmed protestors, restrict the free press, and line their pockets” Says Sires

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, along with 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), introduced H.Res. 981 condemning the intimidation, violence, persecution, and murders committed against the people of Nicaragua by the Ortega regime. This resolution expresses the U.S. House of Representatives’ full and unequivocal support for the Nicaraguan people in the face of unceasing violence in their nation as they bravely assert their democratic rights. It also urges the Administration to identify regime officials who qualify for the imposition of sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.  

Statement by Rep. Ros-Lehtinen: “As so many Nicaraguans exercise their rights to free speech and assembly, the violence in Nicaragua continues unabated with almost 300 people killed at the hands of the Ortega regime. This bipartisan resolution further demonstrates that the U.S. is paying close attention to the abuses of Ortega and his henchmen, and that we stand in solidarity with the Nicaraguan people in exercising their God-given rights, and calling for the reestablishment of democratic order. Though the State Department has rightfully imposed visa restrictions to some of Ortega’s puppets, this resolution empowers the Administration to go further to identify and sanction those who have engaged in acts of oppression in accordance with our laws.

Statement by Rep. Sires: “The Ortegas have consolidated power in the hands of their family and close confidants at the expense of Nicaraguan citizens. This latest campaign of targeted attacks on peaceful protestors and media outlets is just a further progression of Ortega’s dissent into authoritarianism. The United States will not stand idly by while Ortega’s henchmen continue to kill unarmed protestors, restrict the free press, and line their pockets through corruption schemes. I support the Nicaraguan people who are working diligently to break free from Ortega’s autocratic grip. This resolution reaffirms that Congress hears the voices of the Nicaraguan people and stands with them in solidarity as they continue to fight for their human rights.”

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.