The Biden administration is threatening to take action against Nicaragua over the election held on Sunday resulted in Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega securing a fourth term.
President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken both released statements declaring the election a “sham” and threatening new sanctions.
“We will continue to use diplomacy, coordinated actions with regional allies and partners, sanctions, and visa restrictions, as appropriate, to promote accountability for those complicit in supporting the Ortega-Murillo government’s undemocratic acts,” Blinken said on Monday.
On Friday, US officials told Reuters that the Biden administration was already preparing fresh sanctions on Nicaragua over the election. The US decided the election was a “sham” before it even happened, the accusation being that Ortega jailed most of his political opponents.
Sanctions against Nicaragua have strong bipartisan backing in Washington. Last week, the House passed a bill that would implement sanctions on Nicaragua in a vote of 387 to 35. The week before, the legislation passed easily through the Senate and is expected to be signed once it reaches President Biden’s desk.
Russia is standing behind Ortega and condemned Washington’s calls not to recognize the election results. “As far as I understand, just yesterday in the evening, when the voting was over, the White House declared its refusal to recognize the election and called on other countries to do the same. We consider it inadmissible and strongly condemn such a policy,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday, according to Tass.