The so-called RENACER act will allow restricting multilateral bank loans to combat corruption in the country, after a presidential election considered “a sham”.
The president of the United States, Joe Biden, promulgated a law on Wednesday that enables new sanctions against the Daniel Ortega regime in Nicaragua, considered a “dictatorship” by Washington.
Biden sanctioned the law to Reinforce Nicaragua’s Adherence to Conditions for Electoral Reform of 2021, better known as the RENACER Law for its acronym in English, “which imposes sanctions on the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, ” reported the White House in a statement, noting that it allows “restricting multilateral bank loans and fighting regime corruption.”
The legislation was approved in the US Congress six days ago, with the support of Democrats and Republicans; and allows a free trade agreement with the Central American country to be reviewed.
FILE IMAGE. The Capitol Building in Washington, USA, September 30, 2021 (REUTERS / Elizabeth Frantz)
The legislation urges the Biden government to examine Nicaragua’s participation in the Free Trade Agreement with Central America (Cafta, in English) and also asks it to increase its sanctions against key players in the Ortega government.
The text also urges Biden to expand cooperation with Canada and the European Union (EU) on policy towards the Central American country. The project also expands the supervision of loans from international financial institutions to Nicaragua.
Ortega has just extended his grip on power in a presidential election that Washington has denounced as a sham.
FILE IMAGE. A poster promoting President Daniel Ortega as the presidential candidate is seen on a public transportation bus before the November elections, in Managua, Nicaragua. October 14, 2021 (REUTERS / Maynor Valenzuela)
The arrests of dozens of opposition politicians, including presidential hopefuls, practically guaranteed that Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla, would win a fourth consecutive term in Sunday’s elections, reinforcing his grip on the Central American country.
On Tuesday, the United States assured that Nicaragua is no longer a democracy and is now a dictatorship.
“It has gone from being a fragile democracy to becoming a completely autocratic regime ,” Ricardo Zúñiga, assistant secretary of the US State Department’s Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs, told a telephone press conference. “It is a dictatorship … that lacks any democratic mandate.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Alex Brandon / Pool via REUTERS)
Zúñiga’s comments represent the strongest assertion that the government of President Joe Biden has made to date to refer to the Ortega administration after the elections.
They also take place one day after the start of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), in which Washington hopes that a large part of the region will condemn the situation in Nicaragua , demand the release of the so-called “political prisoners” and analyze the actions to follow to preserve democracy in the Americas.
OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro on Tuesday rejected Ortega’s “illegitimate” reelection in Nicaragua and called on the organization’s General Assembly to act in the face of what he called a “clear violation of the Democratic Charter” of the organization.
The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, in a file photograph (EFE / Jorge Torres)
“We reject the results of the illegitimate elections in #Nicaragua ,” Almagro said on his Twitter account and accompanied his message with a 17-page report from the Secretariat for the Strengthening of Democracy that proposes to “cancel” last Sunday’s elections and celebrate others with internationally accepted guarantees and conditions.
” The international community must demand the annulment of the elections on Sunday, November 7, and call for the holding of a new electoral process, with guarantees, electoral observation and true electoral competition,” the report states.
Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) awarded Ortega 75.92% of the votes in a preliminary vote on Monday. At least 40 countries rejected those results.
A woman (c) votes on November 7, 2021 in Managua (Nicaragua). EFE / Jorge Torres
At the end of 2018, the US Congress already approved a bill known as the Nica Act, which orders US officials from multilateral credit institutions to use their influence to stop funding to Nicaraguan state agencies.