The US compared the regime of Daniel Ortega with the government of Vladimir Putin: "Its laws try to erase opponents from the scene."
The special envoy of the State Department for the Northern Triangle, Ricardo Zúñiga, expressed his concern about the presence of external "negative actors" in Central America and mentioned the influence of Russia in the legislative package that Nicaragua is implementing.
The United States expressed its concern on Friday about the presence of external "negative actors" in Central America and mentioned the influence of Russia in the package of laws implemented by Nicaragua to arrest opposition leaders and "restrict legitimate democratic action."
"We are very concerned about the existence and work of negative actors in Central America from abroad," said the special envoy of the State Department for the Northern Triangle, Ricardo Zúñiga, in a conference call.
"We can see why these laws in Nicaragua implemented by the government of President (Daniel) Ortega and Vice President (Rosario) Murillo" against opponents, he exemplified.
The US diplomat said that the package of laws approved by the Nicaraguan National Assembly (Parliament), controlled by an absolute majority by the Sandinistas in the framework of the November elections, and considered "repressive" by the opposition, they are "compared" with those that have been approved in Russia. In addition, he indicated that "the US will continue to use all economic and diplomatic tools" to pressure the regime.
From Russia to Nicaragua
"They are compared with the laws that President (Vladimir) Putin has approved in Russia to restrict legitimate democratic action and to try to erase from the scene those opponents who have, in many cases, greater support than the president himself" Zúñiga noted.
Such laws, he said, "have no place in any democratic formulation contemplated under the requirements and commitments of the States of the region ."
Asked if Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela are supporting Ortega in Nicaragua, the diplomat commented that "everything seems to be, and in our opinion, (that) the president of Nicaragua is following the example of what he has seen in Russia as an effort to repress and distort the laws and repress the democratic actors in the country."
"Obviously, he feels encouraged and supported by that (Russian) model, and it is something that worries us because this form of distortion of the laws or the rules of the democratic game does not take place in the Americas," he stressed.
He recalled that the countries of the Americas made a commitment under the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) "and not the models designed in other parts of the world," where there has been "greater repression lately."
The situation in Nicaragua is "serious."
In Zúñiga's opinion, the situation in Nicaragua, with the arrests of opponents and the harassment of the media, which he described as a "wave of repression," is "serious" for "all the peoples of the Americas committed to democracy.".
"What we see in Nicaragua represents a threat to the commitment of the countries of the Americas to democracy, to freedom of expression and political freedoms that we should all enjoy as part of normal life in any country in the area," he said.
He explained that the US is making multilateral efforts for the Ortega regime to release four presidential candidates for the opposition, Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga, and Juan Sebastián Chamorro García, and other opposition leaders, whom it has detained in recent days.
Also, for Nicaragua to guarantee free elections in November, in which Ortega, in power since 2007, will seek new reelection.
He assured that they are focusing their multilateral efforts through the OAS, where they hope to "promote a resolution showing strong support for the release of the candidates and the holding of free elections in November ."
Ortega, 75, who returned to power in 2007 and has governed since 2017 alongside Murillo, is running for the presidency for the eighth time in the November 7 elections.
The Sandinista leader, who has been branded as a "dictator" by the US, which has urged the rest of the countries of the world to treat him as such, is in his second stage as president of Nicaragua, after coordinating a Governing Board from 1979 to 1985 and presiding over the country for the first time from 1985 to 1990.