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September 29, 2023

Promoting Accountability for Nicaraguan Officials for Restricting Freedoms

STATEMENT BY SECRETARY ANTONY J. BLINKEN
September 29, 2023

The Department of State took steps to impose visa restrictions on 100 Nicaraguan municipal officials for their role in supporting the Ortega regime’s attacks human rights and fundamental freedoms, and repression of civil society organizations. Since August, President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo have shut down and seized the Central American University and the Central American Institute of Business Administration, two of the country’s most renowned centers of higher learning, under arbitrary and unfounded pretenses. Additionally, Ortega and Murillo have targeted independent academic institutions, disrupting the hopes and dreams of Nicaraguans seeking to build a better future in their homeland.

To date, we have restricted visa eligibility for more than 1,000 Nicaraguan officials, including those involved in human rights abuses, repression of independent voices, and corruption. Those who engage in repression and deny their fellow citizens’ human rights should not expect to travel freely to the United States.

We renew our call on the Nicaraguan authorities to release those unjustly detained for their courageous support of a free civil society and freedom of conscience, including Bishop Rolando Álvarez. The United States continues to work with the international community to promote accountability for individuals who undermine democracy in Nicaragua. We remain committed to promoting respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Nicaraguan people.

This action was taken pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 10309, which suspends entry into the United States as immigrants and nonimmigrants for members of the Government of Nicaragua and other persons who formulate, implement, and or benefit from policies or actions undermining democratic institutions.

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