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US bans Nicaraguan officials, including Ortega, from entry over elections

The US slapped visa sanctions on Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega as well as all “elected officials” Tuesday in response to elections that have been roundly rebuked by the international community as rigged.

Biden said in a proclamation he “determined that it is in the interest of the United States to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of members of the Government of Nicaragua, led by President Daniel Ortega, including his spouse and Vice President Rosario Murillo, and others.”

The additional individuals have worked on or benefited from “policies or actions that undermine or injure democratic institutions or impede the return to democracy in Nicaragua,” Biden added. They include mayors, political secretaries and Nicaraguan security officials as well as their spouses, sons and daughters.

“The repressive and abusive acts of the Ortega government and those who support it compel the United States to act,” Biden said. “The Ortega government’s undemocratic, authoritarian actions have crippled the electoral process and stripped away the right of Nicaraguan citizens to choose their leaders in free and fair elections.”

The actions come after Ortega, who has been in power since 2007, secured a fourth term in office following the Nov. 7 elections. The results, however, have been widely denounced as illegitimate.

Biden’s decision to slap visa sanctions on the Nicaraguan president and government officials comes after the US imposed sanctions on Nicaragua’s federal public prosecutor’s office and nine government officials.

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