The undersecretary of the Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the US Department of State, Brian Nichols warned about the presence in Latin America of Iran’s Vice President, Mohsen Rezai, who participated in the inauguration of President Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.
“Democracies in the hemisphere cannot look aside while Ortega-Murillo undermine democracy and regional security,” Nicholas said.
Rezai, current Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs of Iran, is one of the Iranians on whom an international arrest warrant weighs by the Argentine justice, because he is considered one of the masterminds of the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 85 people on July 18, 1994 in the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), en Buenos Aires.
This week, Ortega held a meeting in Managua with Rezai, who gave his support to “defeat US imperialism” in the midst of the controversy with Argentina, who condemned his presence in the fifth inauguration and fourth consecutive of the former Sandinista guerrilla as ruler.
Nicaraguan authorities They did not inform the date of the meeting, nor the topics addressed, however the day before, the first lady also stated that Nicaragua and Iran were discussing a cooperation agreement. For his part, Razai attributed the meeting to political reasons.
His presence at the inauguration of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo unleashed a wave of criticism around the world, including the Organization of American States (OAS), which said that “Tehran continues to be a serious threat to peace and security in the Western Hemisphere, supporting terrorist groups and their sources of drug financing that destabilize the region and our democracies.”
In that context, eThe US government said Tuesday that evaluates more sanctions against the new government of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, whom he called a “repressive autocrat”.
Emily Mendrala, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said that The United States “will use all the diplomatic and economic tools at its disposal” to “promote the accountability of the government” of Ortega and “those who facilitate the abuses that are committed.”
“We are studying the options that we have,” he said, including a review of the participation of Nicaragua in the free trade agreement between the United States, Central America and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR).
Ortega, in power since 2007, he assumed a fourth consecutive term on Monday, the second together with his wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo, while the United States and the European Union tightened sanctions against the presidential entourage and senior officials.
Mendrala called “simulacrum” the elections of November 7, which were held with the main imprisoned opponents or in exile and all dissidence silenced, and without independent international observations.
“We are focused on restoring democracy in Nicaragua. The release of imprisoned (dissidents) would be a concrete first step,” he asserted.
More than 40 government critics were detained in Nicaragua between June and December 2021, including seven potential electoral rivals of Ortega. Added to this group are another 120 people imprisoned for participating in the 2018 anti-government protests.
“The Ortega Murillo family, who lost popular support long ago and no longer have a democratic mandate, now govern Nicaragua as repressive autocrats and that makes them indistinguishable from the Somoza family, which Ortega and the Sandinistas fought four decades ago,” Mendrala said.