Will Ortega be able to stop the international sanctions?

This article published yesterday on the author´s blog, lays out the importance of the events of the coming days for the immediate future of the country. June 18th is the deadline the government agreed on for the release of all political prisoners, and June 21st is the date the Nica Act stipulated for Pompeo to report to Congress about whether the Nicaraguan government was progressing in respect for human rights and fighting corruption. Later this month there is also an important meeting of the representatives to the OAS that will also be looking at the government´s compliance with the agreements signed in the negotiations with the Civic Alliance.

Will Ortega be able to stop the international sanctions?

By Enrique Saenz, June 17, 2019

[see original Spanish at https://enriquesaenz.com/2019/06/17/podra-ortega-detener-las-sanciones-internacionales/ ]

We are starting a week with two dates that can set the path for the coming months. First, June 18th. This is the date set in the commitments in the negotiation table for the definitive liberation of all the hostages by the regime. There are still 89 people imprisoned. In addition, other commitments that the government signed are yet to be fulfilled, among them the full re-establishment of citizen rights and freedoms, including the freedom of the press and freedom to demonstrate.

The other date is June 21st. The time frame set by the NICA ACT when the the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, certifies before the US Congress whether the Ortega regime is carrying out effective steps in the direction of the following objectives:

  • Trial of those responsible for acts of corruption and money laundering
  • Trial of those responsible for human rights violations and crimes against humanity
  • Re-establishment of the rule of law, respect for the law, the separation of powers
  • Institutional reforms for holding early, free, transparent elections with independent international and national observation
  • The protection of civil and political rights.

This is what the NICA ACT sets out. For everyone it is clear what the reality is, but it is not overdoing it to highlight the following points:

Ortega has not taken one step to fight corruption. It is natural, he would have to put himself at the head of the list of those to be tried. Rather, he has sought how to conceal BANCORP, a financial institution constituted with oil aid funds for the purpose of moving capital.

Ortega has not taken one step to try those responsible for human rights violations and crimes against humanity. This is natural, he would have to put himself at the top of the list of those to be tried. Rather, using his servants in the National Assembly, he imposed an amnesty law with the intention of covering himself with a mantle of impunity. It is obvious that the trial of those responsible will only be possible with Ortega out of power.

Ortega has not taken one step to re-establish the Rule of Law and the separation of powers. Rather, he violates the law at will. And let us not even mention the separation of powers. He turned judges and magistrates into executioners, and subjugates from the most lofty hierarchs of the powers of the state to the last council members of the smallest municipality. The only law in force is the will of the monarch.

Ortega has not taken one step to re-establish citizen rights and freedoms. Rather he maintains a de facto state of siege; his para military groups publicly move about committing abuses with complete impunity; he fortified a police state and an environment of generalized repression. He continues the closure of communications media, non governmental organizations, and the usurpation of property.

Ortega has not taken one step for electoral reforms that would make it possible for early, free, legitimate, transparent elections observed by credible international organizations.

On these points there is no mystery for anyone. Now we will see what the Secretary of State reports to the Congress. And what maneuvers Ortega will come up with in the coming days.

On the other hand, what happens this week will have an influence, without a doubt, on the deliberations of the foreign ministers of the continent within the framework of the General Assembly of the OAS, to be verified in Colombia, starting on June 26.

To finish, two considerations. The renewal of the Negotiating Table will only make sense if Ortega fully complies with the commitments that he assumed, beginning by the re-establishment of citizen rights and freedoms.

Second. The individual sanctions on hierarchs of the regime for corruption and human rights violations have nothing to do with sovereignty and self determination. Just the opposite. The violations of international law and agreements signed by the State of Nicaragua have consequences that the ringleaders of the regime are fully aware of.

Let us hope then that the outcomes of the current week mark a step forward in the struggle for freedom, justice and democracy.


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