After “Sham” Election, White House Sanctions Nicaragua

( Last Tuesday, President Biden announced a blanket US travel ban on members of Nicaragua’s government. The move, which could affect thousands of Nicaraguan officials and their families, comes in response to the sham election held on November 7.

Who knew Joe Biden objected to sham elections?

Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega was re-elected to a fourth consecutive term in office, but only because he jailed all the major opposition candidates.

Hopefully, Joe Biden isn’t getting any new ideas.

The travel ban will apply to all of the officials who are part of the ruling regime, including Ortega, his wife, and Vice President Rosario Murillo. It will also apply to members of the security forces, along with judges, mayors, and their allies in the private sector who were complicit in the sham election and Ortega’s continued human rights abuses.

The new measures go beyond the targeted sanctions the Trump administration imposed in 2018 after street protests left more than 300 dead and another 2,000 injured.

In addition to the travel ban, the President announced a coordinated effort with the UK and Canada to prohibit companies doing business in their countries from dealing with the Attorney General’s office in Nicaragua. This will effectively impede many business transactions in Nicaragua, including the sale of computers and software.

But according to Elliott Abrams, former President Trump’s special representative for Venezuela and Iran, these new sanctions don’t go far enough.

Abrams believes the Biden administration should impose personal sanctions on these government officials as well. But to do that effectively, it would require the cooperation of other nations, not just the United States.

Abrams explained that if an official and his family have a hard time traveling the world, it has more of an impact than simply barring them from entering the United States.

As it stands, it might be difficult to get Nicaragua’s neighbors to sign on to any sanctions. On November 12, the 33-country Organization of American States passed a resolution condemning Ortega’s sham election. And while 25 countries supported it, the resolution did not include any kind of sanctions against Nicaragua.