More Opposition Leaders Arrested for Expanding Nicaragua Repression | Wall Street Journal Election News
Critics accuse President Daniel Ortega of suppressing opponents before elections to be held later this year.
More prominent opposition leaders have been arrested in Nicaragua because there are growing concerns about what observers say will suppress opponents of President Daniel Ortega before elections to be held later this year.
After the police arrested three other party officials over the weekend, the police arrested Suyan Barahona, the leader of the left-wing opposition Unamos party, Ortega critic on Sunday.
Barahona is one of nearly a dozen opposition leaders and presidential candidates this month. Detained or disqualified Participate in the presidential election to be held in November.
“This is no longer just a potential candidate, but a political leader,” said Hugo Torres, a former general and Sandinista dissident. “This is not a transition to dictatorship, it is dictatorship in every respect.”
The crackdown began on June 2, when The police raided this house Christiana Chamorro, a journalist and potential presidential candidate, was charged with money laundering shortly after she announced her intention to participate in the election.
At least 11 political leaders Arrested, And reporters have also been questioned by the authorities in recent weeks.
Ortega’s supporters believe that the authorities are simply enforcing the law.
According to the legislation passed in December last year, the Ortega government has the right to unilaterally declare citizens as “terrorists” or coup d’étatists, classify them as “traitors of the motherland” and prohibit them from running as candidates.
The law punishes those who “lead or fund a coup…encourage foreign intervention, demand military intervention…propose or plan an economic blockade, applaud and support those who impose sanctions on Nicaragua or its citizens”
But observers accused Ortega of trying to remove any challengers, and Ortega has not yet confirmed his intention to seek re-election for the fourth consecutive term.
On Sunday, the Nicaraguan police stated that Barahona was arrested for trying to undermine the country’s independence and sovereignty, and for “inciting foreign interference in internal affairs, requesting military intervention and organizing foreign financing”.
Unamos slammed the recent raids and arrests. The party said in a statement: “These actions against the leadership of Unamos are part of the escalation of the Ortega regime’s repression of the democratic opposition.”
Last week, a spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated that Guterres called on the Nicaraguan authorities to fully respect its international human rights obligations and release political leaders.
“These developments will severely weaken the public’s confidence in the democratic process before the November election,” Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price also said that Ortega “is becoming an international pariah” and that Nicaragua is “far away from democracy.”
The United States announced on Wednesday that it will impose sanctions on four Nicaraguan officials who support Ortega, including the president’s daughter, accusing them of undermining democracy and abusing human rights.
“President Ortega’s actions are hurting Nicaraguans and plunge the country into a deeper tyranny,” Andrea Gach, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Ministry of Finance, said in a statement.