US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday (7) that the elections scheduled for November in Nicaragua “have lost all credibility” because of dictator Daniel Ortega’s maneuvers to dismiss opponents of the protest.
On Friday (6), the Supreme Electoral Council of Nicaragua (CSE) disqualified the right-wing Citizens for Freedom (CxL) party, which leads an opposition alliance against Ortega’s re-election, after having canceled its legal status.
The move left the main opposition bloc out of the November 7 general election – in which Ortega, a 75-year-old former guerrilla in power since 2007, is seeking a fourth consecutive term.
“The United States considers the regime’s latest undemocratic and authoritarian actions – fueled by Ortega’s fear of electoral defeat – to be the fatal blow to Nicaragua’s prospects of holding free and fair elections at the end of the war. year. This electoral process, including its eventual results, have lost all credibility, ”Blinken said.
Critics accuse the government of trying to prevent any meaningful opposition from running for election in Nicaragua. Thirty-one opposition leaders, including seven presidential candidates, have been arrested since June, most of them charged with “treason against the motherland”.
Among those arrested is Cristiana Chamorro, daughter of former President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1997), who has emerged in the polls as a potential rival to take on Ortega at the polls.
CxL reported this week that its vice-presidential candidate, Berenice Quezada, was under house arrest without any justification.
The electoral tribunal has until August 9 to revalidate or reject candidates put forward by parties and alliances to stand for election.
“Yesterday’s decision by President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo to ban the last real opposition party from participating in the November elections shows their willingness to stay in power at all costs,” said Antony Blinken.
The United States announced on Friday (6) that it would deny visas to 50 other Nicaraguans linked to Ortega, extending the restrictions to more than 100 people, including lawmakers and judges.
The international community has condemned human rights violations in Nicaragua.
Last week, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took a stand for the first time on dictatorship in Nicaragua and advised dictator Daniel Ortega to “not give up” on democracy, in an interview on Mexican television .
“If I could give Daniel Ortega one piece of advice, I would give it to him and any other president. Don’t give up democracy. Be sure to defend the freedom of the press, of communication, of expression, because that is what promotes democracy, ”said journalist Sabrina Berman, of Canal Onze in Mexico.