Marco Rubio and Bob Menéndez asked the US president to use "all the diplomatic tools available to confront the regime" of Nicaragua.
On Monday, two prominent figures from the United States Senate urged President Joe Biden to increase pressure on the Daniel Ortega regime in Nicaragua, where they denounced growing authoritarianism that threatens regional stability.
Democrat Bob Menéndez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Republican Marco Rubio, the highest-ranking member of the Upper House Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, called on the Biden administration "every diplomatic tool available to confront the Ortega regime."
In a letter to the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, Menéndez and Rubio asked to increase the economic sanctions against Nicaraguan officials and redouble joint work with the Organization of American States (OAS) to coordinate a multilateral rejection of the "undemocratic attack" of the Nicaraguan regime.
"The Ortega regime is carrying out a campaign of repression without limits to demolish the hopes of being able to hold free and fair elections in November and thus consolidate the third dictatorship in the Americas," the senators wrote.
Menéndez and Rubio have repeatedly targeted the "dictatorships" of Cuba and Venezuela in the past.
In the letter to Blinken, the senators highlighted the "arbitrary" detention in Nicaragua of the presidential candidates Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga, and Juan Sebastián Chamorro, as well as the house arrest of Cristiana Chamorro, among other opponents and business leaders and civil society deprived of liberty in recent days.
In addition, they encouraged the Biden government to apply the protocols of the bipartisan bill to Enforce Compliance with the Conditions for Electoral Reform in Nicaragua (RENACER), presented at the end of March under the leadership of Menéndez and Blond.
The RENACER initiative requires the United States to increase the coordination of economic sanctions with Canada and the European Union, monitor more closely the loans of international financial institutions to Nicaragua, and strengthen intelligence on the activities of the Russian government in Nicaragua, they stressed.
Menéndez and Rubio last month condemned the electoral reforms approved by the ruling party in Nicaragua and asked for guarantees for the November 7 elections, when Ortega could seek a fourth successive term.
The Acting Undersecretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the United States Department of State, Julie Chung, asked the OAS this Sunday to send a "clear signal" to Nicaragua. As she said, there is a "campaign of terror" with the arrests of various political leaders.
"Ortega-Murillo's campaign of terror continues this weekend with more arbitrary arrests. The members of the OAS must send a clear signal this week: stop the repression," the diplomat said in a message sent to the media by the US embassy in Managua.
"The region cannot just sit around and wait to see who will be the next" jailed opponent, he added.
Last Wednesday, the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, urged its members to suspend Nicaragua's participation in this body after the arrest of several opposition politicians.
The OAS Permanent Council will hold an extraordinary virtual session next Tuesday to "address the situation in Nicaragua," at the request of Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, the United States, Paraguay, and Peru.
During the meeting, the draft resolution "The situation in Nicaragua" will be discussed by the call.
The Nicaraguan police, led by Francisco Díaz, a brother-in-law of Ortega, arrested five Sandinista dissidents this weekend, including former guerrillas Dora María Téllez and Hugo Torres.
It also keeps under arrest the presidential candidates of the opposition: Cristiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Félix Maradiaga and Juan Sebastián Chamorro García. In addition, the former head of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep) José Adán Aguerri, former Vice Chancellor José Pallais, and the opposition leaders of the Violeta Granera National Unit, Tamara Dávila, Ana Margarita Vigil and Suyen Barahona.
Likewise, two other former collaborators of an NGO have been arrested in the last two weeks on charges of various crimes.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed its concern on Sunday about the new arrests of opponents in Nicaragua, including the "illegal and arbitrary search" of their homes. It reiterated "its call to the State to respect the personal integrity of leaders and women leaders, and their immediate release." "The IACHR expresses its concern and identifies the generalization of the persecution of political opposition activists, thereby intensifying a serious deterioration of the conditions for fair, free and transparent elections in Nicaragua" on November 7 next, said that autonomous entity of the OAS in a message on Twitter.