Both the U.S. and Canada on Friday announced new sanctions against the socialist dictatorship of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. The U.S. sanctions specifically target four socialist regime officials, who have helped the Ortega dictatorship continue its violent repression of Nicaraguan demonstrators protesting for democracy and freedom.
The Trump administration and Canada’s government imposed sanctions Friday on some Nicaraguan officials, tying them to a tough crackdown on street demonstrations that began in the Central American country in April 2018.
The U.S. said it was sanctioning four officials: National Assembly President Gustavo Porras, telecommunications institute director Orlando José Castillo, Health Minister Sonia Castro and Transportation Minister Oscar Mojica.
Any assets they have in the U.S. will now be frozen.
Canada didn’t immediately identify who its sanctions were aimed at, saying only that they are “key members” of Nicaragua’s government.
The U.S. already imposed sanctions on at least six Nicaraguan officials, including Rosario Murillo, who is the vice president and wife of President Daniel Ortega, their son Laureano Ortega and current National Police Chief Francisco Díaz.
The sanctions are related to a crackdown last year that saw at least 325 people killed and more than 2,000 injured, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
“The United States is sending an unequivocal message to President Ortega and his inner circle: we stand with the Nicaraguan people on their calls for reform and a return to democracy,” said Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
Canada said it was acting because of the Nicaraguan officials’ violations of citizens’ human rights, including the right to life, security, speech and assembly.
While Canada joined the U.S. with their own sanctions against the Nicaraguan dictatorship, they still remain staunch supporters and defenders of Cuba’s socialist dictatorship. The same Castro regime that has been actively providing intelligence and technical assistance to the Ortega dictatorship in its crackdown on dissent and consolidation of power.
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