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Joseph Borrell: “Ortega and Murillo Must Stop this Autocratic Spiral”

European Union High Commissioner says “prospects for credible elections were crushed”

The High Commissioner of the European Union, Joseph Borrell, took a stance on the annulment of the legal status of the Citizens for Freedom (CxL) party pointing out that in this way the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo stripped the 2021 electoral process of all credibility.

“Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo want to win the elections without competition. Their decision, implemented by the Supreme Electoral Council, on August 6, to strip the last remaining opposition political party of its legal status ahead of the general elections in November, crushes the prospects of a credible and legitimate electoral process,” cites Borrell’s statement from Brussels.

The statement of the senior EU official mirrors the position of Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State, who expressed that the regime’s action against CxL was a “final blow” to the possibility of “free and fair elections in Nicaragua,” in a statement issued on Saturday.

“The opposition has been eliminated. Nicaraguans are being deprived of the basic human and civil right to vote in credible, inclusive and transparent elections in line with Nicaragua’s Constitution and international human rights laws and standards,” added Borrell’s statement.

On Monday, August 2, the European Union took a step to increase pressure against the regime, when it imposed individual sanctions against Rosario Murillo, her son Juan Carlos Ortega Murillo and the officials of the regime Alba Luz Ramos Vanegas, president of the Supreme Court; Bayardo Arce Castano, presidential advisor for economic affairs; Gustavo Porras, president of the National Assembly; Ana Julia Guido Ochoa, Attorney General; and commissioners General Fidel Dominguez Alvarez, Chief of Police in Leon; and Juan Antonio Valle Valle, Chief of Surveillance and Patrol.

“The EU has firmly condemned the adoption of restrictive laws and the continued systematic repression and arbitrary detention of presidential pre-candidates, opposition leaders, student leaders, peasant movement leaders, journalists and business representatives. President Ortega and VP Murillo must stop this autocratic spiral and change course,” the statement added.

On Sunday the regime continued with the legal persecution against Kitty Monterrey, president of CxL, when it issued a statement in which it reported that it annulled all the documents referring to the Nicaraguan citizenship of the opposition leader, which puts her at risk of deportation by the regime authorities.

“The EU urges the Nicaraguan authorities to liberate all political prisoners, reinstate political parties, repeal restrictive laws and allow free and fair elections with the aim of reconciliation and a democratic solution. The civic unity of all Nicaraguan social, economic, and political actors in favor of peaceful democratic change remains indispensable to build a better future. The EU will work with the international community to defend dialogue and democracy and to promote the respect of the rule of law and human rights in Nicaragua,” says the statement from the regional body official. 

Borrell in his statement insists that the European Union will continue with its policy of diplomatic pressure to ensure that the Ortega-Murillo regime redirects the country towards democracy and restores the civil rights of Nicaraguans.

“The Council decided to impose targeted sanctions on eight more individuals responsible for serious human rights violations in Nicaragua and/or whose actions undermine democracy or the rule of law. This decision followed persistent attempts at dialogue and critical, but constructive engagement with the Nicaraguan authorities. The EU will continue to use all its instruments to support a democratic, peaceful, and negotiated solution to the political crisis in Nicaragua,” the statement concludes.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff

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