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‘Foreign agents’ bill advances in Nicaragua despite international rejection

October 14, 2020

A commission of the Nicaraguan parliament deemed it favorable to approve in the coming days the bill for the Regulation of Foreign Agents, a much-criticized text with which the government of Daniel Ortega seeks to control the funds of civil organizations, an official deputy reported Tuesday.

There is study is “favorable to the initiative of law regulating foreign agents,” which will force people, companies and organizations that work with foreign entities to register and report their activities and movement of funds, said the official deputy Wálmaro Gutiérrez to the television channel Canal 4.

The United States and the European Parliament last week condemned the bill promoted by the Nicaraguan government on the grounds that it restricts public freedoms. Both also threatened new sanctions.

Promoted by the ruling sector, which is a majority in the National Assembly, the project was submitted to study and consultations by a legislative commission, which on Monday afternoon concluded that it could be discussed in plenary by the deputies, but recommended making some modifications.

The commission members suggested excluding from future regulations “international social communication media and their correspondents,” as well as cooperation agencies, foreign humanitarian organizations and accredited religious entities.

The text indicates that the persons and companies that work “under the order, supervision and control of a foreign body” will be obligated to register with the Ministry of the Interior.

The same must be done by those who “act as counselors, public relations, advertising agents, information service employers” and political consultants, among others.

According to Gutiérrez, in the country there is “a herd of criminals and scoundrels who use foreign resources to do atrocities to the Nicaraguan people, and that will no longer be allowed.”

“They receive resources from abroad and turn them into tools for interference by foreign governments in internal and external affairs of our country,” he claimed.

He complained that international resources are used to influence the country’s elections.

Nicaragua will hold presidential and legislative elections in 2021. The ruling Sandinista Front (FSLN) of President Ortega will seek his third successive re-election since 2007.

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