Arce Defends Roberto Rivas over Corruption Charges

The presidential adviser asks: “What are the acts of corruption? What are the acts that violate human rights?”

From Confidencial (EFE)

Bayardo Arce. File photo: /Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Bayardo Arce, the economic and financial adviser of Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega, criticized the United States on Friday for sanctioning the president of the country’s Electoral Council, Roberto Rivas, for acts of “significant corruption”, among others.

“In another imperial outburst, the United States decides that there are some 13 people in the world who are corrupt and violators of human rights,” said Ortega’s advisor, when asked about the Rivas case by journalists in Managua. Until now, he is the only person of Ortega’s government that has broken the silence on the sanction.

“What are the acts of corruption and violation of human rights with which they accused Roberto Rivas?” Arce challenged.

Rivas, president of the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) of Nicaragua, was sanctioned in December by the United States for acts of “significant corruption” and “serious violations of human rights.”

The US included Rivas among a group of officials, businessmen and companies from all over the world, who were denied access to the financial system of that country, by freezing “their assets and publicly denouncing the atrocious acts committed.”

Rivas is accused by the Nicaraguan opposition of benefiting the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in each electoral process since 2008 and various journalistic investigations indicate that he has an opulent life that does not correspond to his salary as president of the Electoral Council.

“What are the acts that violate human rights? What are the acts of corruption?” insisted Ortega’s advisor. In his opinion, Washington imposed the sanction on Rivas “because they believe they are the owners of the world.”

“Don’t you realize that they do everything they want in the world? Don’t you realize you’re living in a shit hole, as the president of the United States (Donald Trump) said? That’s how they see us,” he continued.

Arce was referring to a report in The Washington Post, which states that on Thursday Trump called El Salvador, Haiti and all of Africa “shithole countries”, which has caused a new wave of indignation and accusations of racism against the US president.

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