U.S. orders non-emergency government personnel to leave Nicaragua

08 Juillet, 2018, 01:22 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • U.S. orders non-emergency government personnel to leave Nicaragua

The three officials sanctioned are Francisco Javier Diaz Madriz, Nicaragua's police commissioner; Fidel Antonio Moreno Briones, the secretary of the Managua mayor's office; and Jose Francisco Lopez Centeno, president of the state-owned oil company Petronic and vice-president of Albanisa, a private company that imports and sells Venezuelan petroleum products.

"The people have risen up and we are telling Comandante Ortega to leave, to resign, the people are not afraid of him", said a 27-year old protester with a flag in his hand.

Three people were killed in fresh clashes in Nicaragua on Friday as the USA sanctioned the Central American country's police chief and two other top officials over rights abuses and corruption.

The sanctions were imposed on the officials because of concerns over the "ongoing crisis in Nicaragua", including "violence perpetrated by security forces and others that have resulted in the death of at least 220 demonstrators, and almost 1,500 injured", the statement said.

"We condemn the violence perpetrated by security forces and others that have resulted in the death of at least 220 demonstrators, and almost 1,500 injured", the Treasury Department said in a statement.

"Since protests began on April 18, the Nicaraguan government's violent response has included beatings of journalists, attacks against local TV and radio stations, and assaults on mothers mourning the deaths of their children".

The designation blocks any USA assets the three individuals may have and bars them from transactions with Americans.

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Earlier this week anger boiled over so much that Mr. Ortega's brother, a former military chief, urged the embattled leader to move up elections to avoid more bloodshed, according to a letter released on Wednesday.

"If president Daniel Ortega constitutionally advances the presidential elections for the coming year, he says yes to peace", said the president's brother, who was one of the nine Sandinista commanders and headed the army from 1979 to 1995.

Humberto Ortega, who served as head of Nicaragua's army until 1994, has criticized his brother's consolidation of power in the past.

The Treasury announced on Thursday that, "all properties and interests in the property of those designated by OFAC [Office of Foreign Assets Control] within USA jurisdiction are blocked".

Senior U.S. officials on Thursday were pointed in their criticism of the violence Managua appears to support, as the image of a once peaceful Central American country spirals out of control, pulled down partly by its collapsing main ally, Venezuela.

Authorities say the United States is taking "immediate action" and have accused the Nicaraguan President of similar crimes.

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