Members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation called on the Trump administration to hold members of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s regime accountable under the Global Magnitsky Act.
Over the weekend, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen commented that “The Administration has taken necessary steps to hold key Ortega regime officials accountable for egregious human rights violations and shameless acts of corruption. However, as Ortega and his cronies continue to intensify their crackdown on the Nicaraguan people by harassing, beating and arbitrarily detaining anyone who demands Ortega’s exit from power, the U.S. can and must do more. One way to do that is to continue to designate and sanction more individuals under the Global Magnitsky Act. No person, no matter what position he or she holds, has the right to abuse of the liberties of others. That is why my colleagues and I are urging the Administration to investigate the wrongdoings of four individuals, including two of Ortega’s sons, Laureano Ortega Murillo and Juan Carlos Ortega Murillo. By using this vital U.S. foreign policy tool, we can seek an end to impunity while sending a strong message that the United States stands with the Nicaraguan people.”
In a letter written to President Trump, the lawmakers wrote that “We appreciate your continued commitment to implementing the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (“the Global Magnitsky Act”). As violence and unrest, continue to escalate in Nicaragua, we ask you to determine whether Nicaraguan nationals Sonia Castro, Laureano Ortega Murillo, Juan Carlos Ortega Murillo and Gustavo Porras meet the criteria to be held accountable under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. Daniel Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, have doubled down on his intention to remain in power and increased the violent oppression against the Nicaraguan people. Since protests began in mid-April, nearly 400 people have been murdered and over 2,000 people have been injured at the hands of the Nicaraguan Government, the Nicaraguan National Police, or militias controlled by Ortega. On June 5, 2018, many of the undersigned Members of Congress sent you a letter urging immediate action to determine whether Francisco Lopez and Francisco Diaz met the criteria to be sanctioned in accordance with the Global Magnitsky Act, and we appreciate your Administration’s designation of both individuals on July 5, 2018. However, there are additional individuals who must be held responsible for human rights violations and corruption in Nicaragua.”