US Congressmen Request Halt on CABEI Loans to Ortega Regime

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US Legislators Urge Central American Presidents to Prevent Loans to Nicaraguan Dictatorship

The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) has approved nearly $3.5 billion in financing for initiatives “to be implemented under the auspices of the regime” of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo. In light of this, the presidents of the foreign relations committees of the US Congress have urged Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to prevent CABEI loans from “perpetuating the consolidation of the dictatorship” in Nicaragua.

Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and Republican Congressman Michael McCaul stated in a letter that financing from CABEI “provides a lifeline to the Ortega-Murillo regime at a time of growing global condemnation of human rights violations in Nicaragua.” They further asked the presidents to take measures to increase the transparency and scrutiny of the loans to Nicaragua.

The legislators firm that political opening of the Nicaraguan regime must be pursued. They call for dialogue that would restore democratic governance, respect for human rights, and a timetable for free and fair elections. If the current regime is not willing to allow such progress, the government must “use their voice and vote to suspend the financing of their criminal regime,” according to the letter.

In the statement, the congressmen mentioned crimes against humanity committed by Ortega and the increasing repression of dissent, citing a report by a group of UN experts that accuses the Nicaraguan government of committing systematic violations of human rights that constitute “crimes against humanity.” They also mention a comment by Pope Francis about the imbalance of power in Nicaragua, stating it is as if Ortega wants to establish a dictatorship similar to those of Stalin or Hitler.

The legislators encourage the Central American presidents to apply similar policies to those imposed by the United States to increase scrutiny and reduce funding for multilateral institutions that directly benefit the Ortega-Murillo regime. In doing so, they urge support for the people of Nicaragua and the restoration of democratic governance in the country.

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