Call to Impose “Economic Sanctions” on the Ortega Regime

The entrance of the Ministry of Family Economy (MEFCA) was painted with propaganda in favor of Daniel Ortega’s reelection. Photo: Confidencial.

International financial organizations should align themselves with human rights organizations and stop financing the dictatorship, experts say.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – On the eve of the November 7 elections, members of the international community called on the Governments of the region to “draw red lines to the dictatorship” of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo. They believe “it is not enough” to repudiate the “electoral farce” and point to the “illegitimacy of the regime.” It is necessary to go “way beyond words” and move on “to what is truly effective,” such as the application of more economic sanctions and even the expulsion of Nicaragua from the Organization of American States (OAS).

During the forum: “The international community before the electoral farce of 7/11 in Nicaragua,” the former President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, warned that if the international community does not react effectively to what happens in Nicaragua, “the cost will be very high” for Nicaraguans and also for the “regional democratic stability.”

“Nicaragua will become the stimulus for other rulers with few democratic convictions who will be observing and will want to follow the path that Daniel (Ortega) has followed in these years,” Chinchilla said.

Only in Central America, the enthronement of Ortega could turn the country into “a factor that will hinder economic recovery after the (Covid-19) pandemic.” It will contribute to the humanitarian crisis “which the northern triangle countries are experiencing” and cause an “imbalance of forces” due to “the arms build-up in which it has incurred with the support of Russia,” she added.

For European Parliament Member (MEP) Javier Nart, from the Renovar Europa group, the political statements of the international community must have “economic consequences”, since individual sanctions only cause “inconveniences” to some members of the regime. What is most needed, “is that we have a political action with decisive and specific economic consequences” against the regime and its collaborators.

CABEI, “the main financier of the dictatorship”

Meanwhile, the regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), Daniel Zovatto, who spoke in an individual capacity, noted that multilateral organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank or the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), continue to finance the Nicaraguan regime, thus demanding “coherence” between financial and human rights organizations.

“The application of Article 21 is a necessary condition, but not a sufficient one. We have to go much further,” warned Zovatto. “It international financial organizations should not be the ones financing this dictatorship. That must end and the RENACER Law (US) can help. In particular, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, which from its presidency downwards, is the main financier of this dictatorship. This must also be denounced,” he added.

Former President Chinchilla said the international community needs “to align economic sanctions with a successful and consistent strategy,” in such a way that it is possible to “align the decisions of international financial organizations with human rights organizations,” since, “just as macroeconomic balances matter, respect for the rule of law must matter.

Likewise, Zovatto pointed out that the sanctions of the international community must also be directed towards “the Armed Forces and against the pension funds that the Armed Forces have, above all, deposited in the United States, to make them feel that now they are serious.”

Latin America must respond to the challenge

The group agreed that the efforts of the international community should be articulated with the work of national actors, keeping Nicaragua’s socio-political crisis on the international agenda and, above all, responding forcefully to the electoral farce.

The regime has “the determination to do anything, killing, torturing, jailing opposition candidates, cancelling political parties, doing everything it has to do to remain in power and consolidate this dictatorship,” warned Zovatto. It is for this reason that Latin America must respond, and “be up to the challenge.”

Alicia Homs MEP, from the Socialist and Democrats group, stressed that “there is unity around (what’s happening in) Nicaragua,” and believes that “the authoritarian system that Ortega has assembled is not sustainable” and that “not all countries have a critical society like the one Nicaragua has.”

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.