The United States has officially imposed sanctions on Nicaraguan officials, which includes Daniel Ortega’s wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo. The sanctions come from an executive order signed by President Donald Trump targeting Nicaraguan officials for a crackdown on anti-government protests.
The U.S. Treasury noted that the new executive order seeks to punish the wife of Nicaragua’s President and an aid called Nestor Moncada Lau, who are accused of undermining the democracy of Nicaragua.
What the sanctions entail are freezing any property that are owned by Moncada Lau and Murillo that may fall under U.S. jurisdiction. In addition, it bars U.S. individuals, banks and any other entities from carrying any form of transactions with them.
As expected, the Nicaraguan government has rejected the sanctions. And, in a statement, the government blasted the United States for its continued “imperial” design on Nicaragua.
An anonymous senior Trump administration official commented that the decision is “a message to President Ortega to find an exit strategy and to begin a process for … free and fair elections. It’s an opportunity to find some type of solution … to the crisis that they have created.”
As people continue to protest the Ortega regime, more than 300 people have been killed in the country. Also, around 2,000 people have been injured in crackdowns by the Nicaraguan police and armed groups on protests that have been ongoing since April. The protests are due to government plans to make cuts to welfare benefits, which have ultimately escalated to full opposition against Daniel Ortega.
However, the sanctions might not be as effective as they aim to be according to Roberto Cajina, a former advisor to the ministry of defense.
Commenting on the issue, Cajina said that “Neither Rosario Murillo or Moncada Lau have investments in their own names. Everything is done through front men. This is not an economic blow. It is a political blow.”