Ros-Lehtinen Leads Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter Urging the Administration to Support the Nicaraguan People by Making Additional Global Magnitsky Designations

Jun 5, 2018

Ros-Lehtinen Leads Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter Urging the Administration to Support the Nicaraguan People by Making Additional Global Magnitsky Designations  

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) was joined by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the Senate and 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) in the House, in sending a bipartisan and bicameral letter to the President urging the administration to use the authority provided by the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to hold individuals in Nicaragua accountable for human rights abuses and acts of corruption. This letter expresses concern regarding the actions of the National Police in the crackdown of peaceful protestors and the general corruption found in ALBANISA, PDVSA’s subsidiary in Nicaragua. In the letter, the Members call upon the Department of State and the Department of Treasury to take immediate action to determine whether Francisco Lopez, Vice-President of ALBANISA, and Francisco Diaz, Deputy Commissioner of the National Police and its de facto Director, meet the law’s criteria to be sanctioned. To read a copy of the letter, please click here.

Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“Last December, the Administration designated a key Ortega regime official under the Global Magnitsky Act. It appears that the message these designations was meant to send to the Ortega regime was not enough as the regime continues its slide into totalitarianism. That is why we are calling on the Administration to target additional regime officials for designation under the law, so that Ortega and his cronies feel the real impact of their brutal policies.

“For the past month, Nicaraguans have taken to the streets in protest, calling for democracy and reforms, but have been met with nothing but the brute force of the national police led by Francisco Diaz. Meanwhile, Francisco Lopez, in his role as head of ALBANISA, has been implicated in various cases of money laundering and other significant acts of corruption, fleecing the country of its assets and resources and allying the regime with criminals and despots. The United States must send a strong message that these vile human rights abuses and acts of corruption will not be tolerated. This bicameral and bipartisan letter shows that we stand with Nicaraguans and their calls for freedom and democracy and that those responsible for these crimes and the violence will be held accountable to the full extent of our laws.”

NOTE: Reps. Ros-Lehtinen and Albio Sires (D-NJ) sent a bicameral, bipartisan letter to the administration on December 1, 2017, urging the Department of State and the Department of Treasury to investigate Roberto Rivas and Francisco Lopez and determine whether they met criteria to be sanctioned under Global Magnitsky. They were also joined in this letter by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Paul Cook (R-CA), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). On December 21, 2017, the Administration announced it was designating Rivas under Global Magnitsky for human rights violations and acts of corruption.