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US sanctions Nicaraguan first lady over abuses

November 28, 2018

The US imposed sanctions Tuesday on Nicaragua’s vice president and first lady Rosario Murillo, the Treasury Department said, as part of a crackdown on corruption and human rights abuses by the regime of President Daniel Ortega.

“This administration is committed to holding the Ortega regime accountable for the violent protests and widespread corruption that have led to the deaths of hundreds of innocent Nicaraguans and destroyed their economy,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

“Treasury is intent on ensuring that Ortega regime insiders are not able to access the US financial system to profit at the expense of the Nicaraguan people,” he added.

The Treasury also sanctioned Nestor Moncada, who it said had been a national security advisor to the Ortegas.

Nicaragua spiraled into deadly chaos earlier this year as Ortega cracked down on opponents, with rights groups saying more than 300 people have been killed.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton said on November 1 Nicaragua was part of a “troika of tyranny” in Latin America alongside Cuba and Venezuela.

Ortega’s ironfisted rule had “completely eroded” democratic institutions, stifled free speech and imposed a deadly policy against political opponents, according to Bolton.

Until free, fair and early elections are held, “the Nicaraguan regime, like Venezuela and Cuba, will feel the full weight of America’s robust sanctions regime,” he added.

The sanctions against Murillo and Moncada block their assets that fall under US jurisdiction and prevent American persons and entities from doing business with them.

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