United States President Joe Biden on Sunday called the elections in Nicaragua a “sham” and threatened to use “all the diplomatic and economic tools” at his disposal to hold Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to account.
“What Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, orchestrated today were gestural elections that were neither free nor fair, and certainly not democratic.Biden said in a statement distributed by the White House.
President Ortega Murillo urged immediate action to “restore” democracy and He called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of dissidents jailed before the elections, including seven presidential candidates.
Until that happens, Biden warned Washington, in coordination with other members of the international community, “It will use all diplomatic and economic tools at its disposal to help the people of Nicaragua and demand accountability from Ortega, Murillo and those who “facilitate their abuse”.
The US administration had already advanced that it was coordinating with other countries to respond to the elections.
Although the president did not provide details on what his strategy would be, he noted that the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Democratic Charter obligates the American continent to “defend the democratic rights of the people of Nicaragua.”
“They’ve been unpopular for a long time.”
Biden has not said outright that he does not know the results of Sunday’s election, although he considered that Ortega and Murillo no longer have a democratic mandate.
“Long unpopular and now without a democratic mandate, the Ortega and Murillo family now rule Nicaragua as autocrats, without distinguishing themselves from the Somoza family that Ortega and the Sandinistas fought four decades ago,” Biden said.
With Washington’s support, three members of the Somoza family (first Anastasio Somoza García and later his two sons) ruled Nicaragua from 1934 to 1979, when they were overthrown by Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) fighters during the Sandinista Revolution. .
More than 4.4 million Nicaraguans were called to vote on Sunday with the goal of electing a Nicaraguan president and vice president, 90 deputies to the National Assembly and 20 deputies to the Central American Parliament.
The Sandinista National Liberation Front is the favorite to win the elections that opponents and human rights advocates have described as “rigged”, while the Organization of American States, the European Union and various countries have expressed reservations about the legitimacy of the results.
Ortega, a former Sandinista fighter who returned to power in 2007, was seeking re-election for another five-year term on Sunday.
The president, who is about to turn 76 and who coordinated the board of directors from 1979 to 1984 and presided over the country for the first time between 1985 and 1990, has accused opposition leaders of trying to oust him with US backing. States, which Washington vehemently denies.
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